In a recent statement, Vatican dismissed reports about Pope Francis saying that there is no hell for sinners. The statement insisted that the transcript of an interview between the Pope and an Italian journalist on Thursday was not “faithful”.
Vatican also insisted that the so-called interview between the pontiff and the atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari, 93, was in fact a private meeting, not a formal interview. According to the statement, the claims that hell does not exist are Scalfari’s “reconstruction” of Pope’s “literal words.” There is also no quotation cited by the journalist in the transcript.
Scalfari’s report claims that the journalist had questioned the leader of the Catholic Church about the fate of “bad souls” after death. In response, Pope Francis reportedly said that sinners are not punished for their sins, but those who repent are forgiven by God and granted a “place among the ranks of those who contemplate Him.”
According to the Pope, bad souls who do not repent just “disappear” after death. “A hell doesn’t exist, the disappearance of sinning souls exists,” Scalfari claims the Pope told him.
Journalist Didn’t Use a Tape Recorder
A spokesperson for the Vatican confirmed that the two men met five times, but insisted the latest meeting was not an official interview. The Vatican described the report as the fruit of [the journalist’s] reconstruction.”
Scalfari, who works as an editor at Italian newspaper La Reppublica, acknowledged that he doesn’t use tape recorders or notes during his interviews with important personalities. His reports are usually lengthy reconstructions of what has been said.
In 2014, Scalfari claimed the Pope Francis “abolished sin.” That report was dismissed by the Vatican as well.
According to the Catholic doctrine, the souls of people who fail to repent and die in a state of mortal sin end up in hell where they are tormented in various ways including the “eternal fire.” The 20th Century saint Silouan the Athonite described the eternal fire as the fire of God’s love which is perceived as tormenting by impure souls.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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