Pope Francis has been sensationally quoted as saying hell does not exist, contrary to the universal catechism of the Catholic Church. Eugenio Scalfari, 93, a well-known Italian journalist who is the founder of Italy's daily La Repubblica newspaper, published Thursday an interview with the pope.
According to the article written by Scalfari, an atheist, he asked the pope where “bad souls” go and where they are punished. Scalfari quoted the pope as saying, “They are not punished. Those who repent obtain God’s forgiveness and take their place among the ranks of those who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot be forgiven disappear. A Hell doesn’t exist, the disappearance of sinning souls exists.”
In contrast, the teaching of Orthodox Catholic Church says sinful souls get the punishment of hell. Scripture does not depict hell in detail but makes multiple references to it. Citing pope Paul VI, catholic teaching affirms “the existence of hell and soul,” and dictates that “immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell.”
But the Vatican quickly issued a statement after the article sparked outrage online, denying the pope said “there is no hell.” The pope and the Italian reporter had a private meeting on the occasion of Easter and it was not giving him any interview, the Vatican said. “What is reported by the author is the result of his reconstruction, therefore not a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father.”
Jung-Min Dong email@example.com