The Italian newspaper La Repubblica claimed that the Pope said there was no hell, but is that outlandish statement based in reality? No, says the Vatican. The Vatican reaffirmed that the souls of sinners are forever doomed to “eternal fire.”
Often fear is criticised as the lowest form of motivation in moral development prompting many Catholic priests to shy away from the old style of fire and brimstone preaching. Although the Catholic church has had debates on whether Hell is a state, a place or both they have been mostly consistent with the Hell existing. Although other Abrahamic religions, like Judaism and some sects of Christianity, deny the existence of hell.
“There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls,” allegedly said Pope Francis who is known for his less dogmatic and more modern approach to Catholicism. Many news outlets to include those in the mainstream media ran with the story.
However, the Vatican and the Pope have made clear that hell is in fact real. The Pope flat-out accused the newspaper of violating the 8th commandment of bearing false witness in an official statement.
The People’s Pope as he is sometimes informally called is known for his unorthodox views. Having previously said a good atheist could go to heaven, gays can potentially go to heaven and implied the catholic church should modernize their views on contraceptives.
I ask Jeremy Xang a three-year sociology major and member of a campus Bible study group what he thought of the alleged Pope’s statement. “Although we do not like to talk about hell. The devil and hell are real, but that also means heaven is real.”
“The devil’s greatest trick is teaching the world he doesn’t exist.” Is a common saying but one thing that is for sure the Catholic will certainly not be teaching it anytime soon.