In another interview with his long-time atheist friend, Eugenio Scalfari, Pope Francis claims that Hell does not exist and that condemned souls just “disappear.”
At the end of the interview, Scalfari also expressly denied the divinity of Christ, describing Jesus of Nazareth as “a man and no more than a man.”
With controversial headlines swirling across the globe, this afternoon Vatican press spokesman Greg Burke issued a statement confirming the Pope had “recently received the founder of the daily La Repubblica in a private meeting for Easter,” but said he hadn’t granted him “an interview.”
This is a denial of the 2,000-year-old teaching of the Roman Catholic Church about the reality of Hell and the eternal existence of the soul.
The ‘interview’ between Scalfari and the Pope was published March 28, 2018 in La Repubblica. The relevant section on Hell was translated by the highly respected web log, Rorate Caeli.
Burke added that “what the author reported in today’s article is the result of his own reconstruction, in which the exact words spoken by the Pope are not cited.”
“No quotation marks of the aforementioned article should therefore be considered as a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father,” he said.
Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register said the Pope’s comments on this occasion “are questionable as they are at odds with previous statements in which he has spoken of Hell’s existence, most recently last week when he appealed to the mafia to give up their lives of crime and avoid eternal damnation.”
But he added that “Francis has also given signals to the contrary, preaching last year that ‘everything will be saved — everything’ and that at the end of history there will be an ‘immense tent, where God will welcome all mankind so as to dwell with them definitively.’”
After a similar encounter between Pope Francis and Scalfari in 2016, Riccardo Cascioli, director of the Italian Catholic daily La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, welcomed the fact that the Pope is establishing relationships with people such as Scalfari “who are far away.”
The interview is headlined, “The Pope: It is an honour 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.”
The Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church states: “The teaching of the Church 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.” (1035)
The Catechism further states, “The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny”.
Editor: Lets have the ancient lie of Satan come forth out of the mouth of the latest pontif, ‘Thou shalt not die’, there is no punishment for sin.
“They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: ‘Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.’
As for the human soul, the Catholic Church teaches that it is eternal, immortal in countless places throughout the Catechism. One instance, “Endowed with ‘a spiritual and immortal’ soul, the human person is ‘the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake.‘ From his conception, he is destined for eternal beatitude.” (1703)