According to an interviewer, Pope Francis denies the doctrine of eternal conscious punishment.
A reporter claims that Pope Francis denies the existence of Hell. The reporter, Eugenio Scalfari is an atheist, but he is also the pope’s longtime friend. It is difficult to believe that the Pope would be friends with someone who would lie about him and get him in trouble.
So in addition to buying into myths about global warming and mandating mass migration, the Pope seems to believe in the annihilation of the wicked.
CNS News reports, “Pope Francis: ‘There Is No Hell.’”
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.”
Of course, the church bureaucracy went into damage control mode saying it didn’t count but not formally denying that the Pope disbelieves in Hell.
Patrick Buchanan points out that the Vatican reply is totally inadequate:
The Vatican swiftly issued a statement saying the pope had had a private conversation, not a formal interview, with his friend, Scalfari.
The Vatican added: “The textual words pronounced by the pope are not quoted. No quotation of the aforementioned article must therefore be considered as a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father.”
Sorry, but this will not do. This does not answer the questions the pope raised in his chat. Does hell exist? Are souls that die in mortal sin damned to hell for all eternity? Does the pope accept this belief? Is this still the infallible teaching of the Roman Catholic Church?
In other words, the Vatican’s statement does not affirm that the Pope believes in Hell.
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