pope francis hell doesn't exist

In an interview published on Holy Thursday, Pope Francis spit in the face of Christian doctrine when he proclaimed, “Hell doesn’t exist.”

At least, that’s according to left-wing journalist Eugenio Scalfari.

The 93-year-old Scalfari, who famously refuses to take notes during his interviews, recently interviewed the Pontiff for La Repubblica. At one point during said interview, Scalfari asked His Holiness to expand upon what happens to “bad souls” after the death of the physical body. Here’s the entire exchange, courtesy of The American Conservative:

“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?

“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.”

If you’re hesitant to believe that the leader of the Catholic Church actually denied the existence of Hell, you’re not alone. Indeed, the Vatican itself disputed the interview, issuing a statement that the Pope’s supposed answer to Scalfari’s question was a “reconstruction” by the author:

“What is reported by the author in today’s article is the result of his reconstruction, in which the literal 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.”

This is not the first time the Holy See has tussled with Scalfari. In 2014, former papal spokesperson Fr. Federico Lombardi said that Scalfari, who is an atheist, uses La Repubblica to pursue “his own discourse,” and that nothing he writes should be taken as official. “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.”

In other words, it’s highly unlikely that Pope Francis actually denied the existence of Hell. In reality, Scalfari probably just wanted to get a rise out of Christians a few days before Easter.

What do you think? Is Scalfari just trying to use the Pope to push his own viewpoints? Share your thoughts below!

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