The Vatican has scrambled to clarify comments made by Pope Francis to a well-known Italian journalist that appeared to deny the existence of hell.
The Holy See issued a terse statement saying a lengthy article published in La Repubblica on Wednesday by Eugenio Scalfari, 93, the newspaper’s founder, was “the fruit of his reconstruction” and not “a faithful transcription of the Holy Father’s words”.
While the Vatican conceded that Scalfari, an atheist who struck up a friendship with Francis in 2013, had held a private meeting with the pontiff before the Easter weekend, it said an interview had not been granted.
During the meeting Scalfari asked the pope where “bad souls” go, to which he was quoted as responding: “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.”
The Vatican said the “literal words pronounced by the pope are not quoted” and that “no quotation of the article should be considered as a faithful transcription of the words of the Pope”.The Guardian.
For Catholics the existence of hell is central to their faith and for the catholic church, the scare of hell is what feeds the coffers of the church.
From the dark ages, the Catholic Church conjured up the false teaching regarding the state of the dead.
It is taught that after death, the righteous ascend to meet ‘St Peter at the gate’, those not so righteous end up in purgatory and the bad ones go to burn in hell fire.
It is in purgatory that the Catholic church really makes her money. In the dark ages, they conjured up another term called indulgences – a partial remission of the temporal punishment, esp. purgatorial atonement, that is still due for a sin or sins.
To put it in simple terms, purgatory is a place of punishment to clean off the not so bad people before they head to heaven. An indulgence gives you score points or shaves off time you’d have spent in purgatory. And not just you, even your dead loved ones.
By donating to the church, they were taught, you reduce the suffering of your loved ones as their ‘sentense’ in purgatory is lessened.
So, for Pope Francis to remove all these ‘important’ elements of faith in his interview is a huge blow to the entire foundation of the catholic church.
Either way, the catholic church is wrong.
The dead, righteous and unrighteous await the coming of Christ.