Vatican Denies Pope Francis Said Hell Doesn't Exist

Vatican Denies Pope Francis Said Hell Doesn't Exist

Controversy surrounded the Vatican and Pope Francis after an interview was released in which the Pope allegedly claimed there was no hell and people who die without knowing Christ simply “disappear.”

The Pope’s atheist friend Eugenio Scalfari interviewed him recently and published an article in the liberal Italian newspaper La Repubblica titled “It Is an Honor to Be Called a Revolutionary.”

In that article, Scalfari asked the Pope what happens to “bad souls” when they die, and the Pope allegedly responded, "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.”

This, of course, is a very controversial statement, and a departure from orthodox Catholic doctrine.

The Vatican, as well as Catholic media sources, have denied that the Pope said these words, however, and instead say that Scalfari “reconstructed” them to fit his article.

An official statement from the Vatican, released on March 29, reads:

"The Holy Father Francis recently received the founder of the newspaper La Repubblica in a private meeting on the occasion of Easter, without however giving him any interviews. What is reported by the author in today’s article [in La Repubblica] is the result of his reconstruction, in which 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."


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Publication date: March 29, 2018