In another interview with his longtime atheist friend, Eugenio Scalfari, Pope Francis claims that Hell does not exist and that condemned souls just “disappear.” This is a denial of the 2,000-year-old teaching of the Catholic Church about the reality of Hell and the eternal existence of the soul.
The interview is headlined, “The Pope: It is an honor to be called revolutionary.” (Il Papa: “È un onore essere chiamato rivoluzionario.”)
Scalfari says to the Pope,
“Your Holiness, in our previous meeting you told me that our species will disappear in a certain moment and that God, still out of his creative force, will create new species. You have never spoken to me about the souls who died in sin and will go to hell to suffer it for eternity. You have however spoken to me of good souls, admitted to the contemplation of God. But what about bad souls? Where are they punished?”
Pope Francis says,
“They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.”
Then the Vatican said,
The Holy See issued a terse statement saying a lengthy article published in La Repubblica on Wednesday by Eugenio Scalfari, 93, the newspaper’s founder, was “the fruit of his reconstruction” and not “a faithful transcription of the Holy Father’s words”.
The Vatican said the “literal words pronounced by the pope are not quoted” and that “no quotation of the article should be considered as a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father”.
Scalfari is said to pride himself on not taking notes or recording high-profile interviews. But this is not the first time he has been accused of misrepresenting the pope: in 2014 he was rebuked by the Vatican for an article saying Francis had abolished sin.
Vatican spokespersons have dismissed the texts of Scalfari as unofficial. In 2014, Fr. Federico Lombardi, past papal spokesperson, told CNA that “if there are no words published by the Holy See press office and not officially confirmed, the writer takes full responsibility for what he has written.”
Pope Francis has previously spoken about the existence of hell in public speeches, including at a prayer vigil in March 2014.
There he gave an address in which he said that members of the mafia should change their lives, “while there is still time, so that you do not end up in hell. That is what awaits you if you continue on this path.”
Citing Pope Paul VI, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says that Catholic teaching “affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, ‘eternal fire.’ The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.”
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
March 30th, 2018