Happy Easter! But what is Pope Francis celebrating if Hell does not exist?

V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia.
Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia.

R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia,

For he whom you did merit to bear, alleluia,

V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.

Has risen as he said, alleluia.

R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

Pray for us to God, alleluia.

From the  Editor…

As well as being the usual facility to exchange Easter greetings, we might use this thread to discuss what on earth Pope Francis makes of Easter, since, apparently, according to recent reports, he thinks unrepentant souls just “disappear” – they don’t end up in Hell. What on EARTH is he celebrating this weekend, if there is no Hell?  Why Good Friday?  Why the need for the Saviour? What IS Christian salvation if not salvation from the eternal punishment of Hell?  Read the following report, taken from the Rorate Caeli website which will leave you wishing, as it leaves me wishing that Papa Francis would “disappear” – like, yesterday! 

From Rorate Caeli…

“THERE IS NO HELL” — new Francis revelation to atheist journalist just in time for Good Friday

In another informal interview with Italian atheist journalist (and founder of liberal newspaper Repubblica) Eugenio Scalfari, published today, Pope Francis reveals that “hell does not exist”.

His exact words below (full interview behind paywall here, most important excerpt below):

Title of the interview: “It is an honor for me to be called revolutionary.”

Excerpt on hell:

[Scalfari:] Your Holiness, in our previous meeting you told me that our species will disappear in a certain moment and that God, still out of his creative force, will create new species. You have never spoken to me about the souls who died in sin and will go to hell to suffer it for eternity. You have however spoken to me of good souls, admitted to the contemplation of God. But what about bad souls? Where are they punished?

[Francis:] “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. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.”  Source – Rorate Caeli

And then … click here to see what happened next.  

Comment:

Was Pope Francis misquoted?   Before you answer that, read this Catholic World Report  including the following comment underneath: I can’t believe people have not caught on yet. It is likely that Pope Francis told Scalfari that there was no hell. The fact that he said at other places and times that their IS a hell does not matter. What the Pope says changes from time to time. If Scalfari found it a stumbling block to believe in hell, then the Pope would have no trouble telling him there is no hell. The Pope was “accompanying” Scalfari, trying to move him closer to the church. If this involved the POPE denying or altering doctrine, then so be it. When Scalfari is ready to accept the idea of hell, the Pope will re-introduce it. It will appear again. What we just saw was the Pope’s idea of how to lead someone into the church. You deny or alter doctrine, if necessary. Then, when the person has accepted the fundamentals, you move the goalposts again, hell re-appears, and Voila! Now, the critical thing is that the POPE is endorsing this approach. Truth is situationally relative for the Pope, and he will say whatever he needs to say to get to his goal. He is flexible. Doctrine does not matter. So Germans want to give communion to divorced and remarried and bless gay marriage. Who cares? Not the Pope. So maybe Jesus did not rise from the dead. Who cares? Not the Pope.” 

Well… Was Pope Francis misquoted?