Since Rob Bell's controversial teachings about the concept of universalism have become relevant for our Catholic parish (his Nooma video series will be shown Wednesdays during Lent at IHM) I did a little digging.
Universalism is an old, old heresy, first promulgated by Origen and roundly refuted by the Church. Here is the Catholic Church teaching on hell: 1033-1037.
Here are a couple Protestant links about the controversy. I looked around for some Catholic discussion about the situation but haven't found any. Let me know if you do and I will post links:
Original blog post that got things fired up
CBN's take on the issue
More evangelical protests about Rob Bell
UPDATE: I finally found a Catholic view of Rob Bell, and it's a durn good view, too. Found it via a Christian who is hoping to become Catholic one day soon. Important perspectives...