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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
Civic Rights …

SCALFARI MISREPRESENTING THE POPE: HELL EXISTS

IT HAS BEEN OBSERVED that the Catholic Church has always being an object of attack by people. It is so glaring that all other churches, organisations, individuals that have emerged over time live under the umbrella of the Catholic Church.  They have nothing to offer and the only way they can draw the attention of the world to themselves is to attack the Universal Church.  Attacks have been coming from the media, journalists, groups, organisations among others. This is absolutely uncalled for.  They are seeking attention of the world through cheap popularity because anything said about the Catholic Church will always make the headlines. The structure of the Catholic Church is endowed with modalities and principles which makes it to be absolutely different from other Churches.  All other churches draw their membership from the Catholic Church but they are not satisfied with what they get.  Remember what the scripture says: No gate of hell shall prevail against the Church.

Recently, the Holy See stated that a reported interview between Pope Francis and an Italian journalist, which claims the Pope denied the existence of hell, should not be considered an accurate depiction of Francis' words, but the author's own "reconstruction."A recent meeting between Pope Francis and Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari, 93, was a "private meeting for the occasion of Easter; however, without giving him any interview," thecommuniqué stated."What is reported by the author in the article is the result of his reconstruction, in which the literal 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." It is not surprising then that Scalfari at 93 is failing in wisdom and brain storage of information. His brain is failing him drastically.Scalfari, self-proclaimed atheist, is the founder and former editor of Italian leftist newspaper La Republica.  In a published article, Scalfari claims that Pope Francis told him, "hell doesn't exist; the disappearance of the souls of sinners exists".   It is not the first time he has misrepresented the Pope's words following a private audience.In November 2013, following intense controversy over quotes the journalist had attributed to Francis, Scalfari admitted that at least some of the words he had published a month prior "were not shared by the Pope himself". In a meeting with the journalists of the Foreign Press Association of Rome in 2013, Scalfari maintained that all his interviews have been conducted without neither a recording device, nor taking notes while the person is speaking. In his words "I try to understand the person I am interviewing, and after that I write his answers with my own words", Scalfari explained.  He conceded that it is therefore possible that 'some of the Pope's words I reported were not shared by Pope Francis'.Scalfari also falsely reported that Pope Francis had made comments denying the existence of hell in 2015.  Vatican spokespersons have dismissed the texts of Scalfari as unofficial.  In 2014, Fr. Federico Lombardi, past papal spokesperson, told CAN that 'if there are no words published by the Holy See press office and not officially confirmed, the writer takes full responsibility for what he has written".

Pope Francis has previously spoken about the existence of hell in public speeches, including at a prayer vigil in March 2014.  There, he gave an address in which he said that members of the mafia should change their lives, 'while there is still time, so that you do not end up in hell.  That is what awaits you if you continue on this path'.The Catholic Church's teachings affirm the existence of hell and its eternity, saying "the chief punishment of hell is eternal separation of God".Pope Benedict XVI said in 2007 that hell really exists and is eternal, even if nobody talks about it much anymore, while in 1999 Pope John Paul II announced that hell was the ultimate consequence of sin itself, rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy.

Arguing about the existence of hell, or even the existence of God, is a little like arguing about the existence of the number zero. If we start thinking of hell as a concept that deals with the same sort of problems as the concepts of justice and mercy do, it's easy to see that all our thoughts about it are in some sense figurative. This does not mean they are unreal. Hell is clearly something experienced, which cannot be escaped, if you are there, by wanting to escape it, even with all your heart. The real difficulty for Christians is the idea that hell entails eternal conscious torment, which is the jargon for something almost unthinkable. That seems to have been what Francis was actually discussing.

The idea of eternal conscious torment has troubled Christians almost since it first arose. It seems entirely disproportionate to the sins it punishes. The sufferings of hell are by definition worse than anything we can experience in this life: worse than cancer; worse than being burned alive; worse than watching your family dies of Ebola; deeper and sharper than the worst inward gripings of remorse. All those can be unendurable, but the sufferings of hell, in the traditional doctrine, endure forever. Death cannot end them: quite the opposite, in fact. To inflict such endless agony does not seem in the nature of a loving and merciful God; it seems disproportionate even to the demands of justice. The real difficulty comes with the concept of eternity. The problem is not just that the universe has no place for hell: it has no time for it either. The universe, which had a beginning in the big bang, and will have an end, cannot contain eternity. Only our minds can experience eternity and I suspect that suffering, like bliss, can be eternal in that sense - while it lasts. But no one who has experienced real bliss, or real anguish, could doubt that they exist.According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "immediately after death, the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, 'eternal fire.'""The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs," the catechism says.

The alleged quotes ascribed to Pope Francis directly contradict the many public remarks he has made in homilies and speeches confirming the existence of hell.Meeting a group of children and teens during a Rome parish visit March 8, 2015, a female Scout asked the pope, "If God forgives everybody, why does hell exist?"The Pope praised the question, saying it was "very important" as well as "a good and difficult question."The Pope assured the children that God is good but reminded them that there was also a "very proud angel, very proud, very intelligent, and he was envious of God. He was envious of God. He wanted God's place. And God wanted to forgive him, but he said, 'I don't need your forgiveness. I am good enough!'""This is hell: It is telling God, 'You take care of yourself because I'll take care of myself.' They don't send you to hell, you go there because you choose to be there. Hell is wanting to be distant from God because I do not want God's love. This is hell. Do you understand?"

I think the world should leave the Pope alone and let him carry out his spiritual assignments that he inherited from St. Peter.

God Bless the Catholic Church!!!

 


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