Smile, There Is No Hell (Even the Pope Says So)

Pope Francis at St Peter's

As society changes, theology tries to adapt

Controversy erupted this week with reports that Pope Francis denied the existence of hell. Quoted by an Italian journalist who is both a friend and frequent interviewer of the pontiff, Francis reportedly said that sinners who die without eternal salvation “are not punished” but that instead of their souls simply disappear. “There is no hell,” he unambiguously declared.

Interestingly, in the uproar that followed, the Vatican tried to smooth over the rather stunning statement but nevertheless stopped short of expressly denying it, saying that the quote was a “reconstruction” of the interview and not a transcript.

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