I Know I Feel Better About It

DrudgeReport asks, “Pope Declares No Hell?” and links to an article from CNSNews which reports an exchange with Italian reporter Eugenio Scalfari and Pope Francis:

Scalfari says to the Pope, “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?”

Pope Francis says,  “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.”

Not to worry! Today the Vatican released a statement to quell rumors of heresy by the Pope:

“The Holy Father Francis recently received the founder of the newspaper La Repubblica in a private meeting on the occasion of Easter, without however giving him any interviews. What is reported by the author in today’s article [in La Repubblica] is the result of his reconstruction, in which the textual 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.”

Translation: Whatever Pope Francis said was muttered during a question and answer chat with a reporter; not an interview, you see. Therefore you don’t know Pope Francis actually said what the reporter claims he said.

Well…there you have it.

 

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16 thoughts on “I Know I Feel Better About It

  1. I dislike Pope Francis as much as the next sane guy, but I find it impossible to believe he said that for the simple reason that he has referred to the reality of hell multiple times in the past.

    We have plenty of reasons to dislike him, let’s not make up new ones.

    Also, your translation is wrong. The guy who he chatted with literally said he “reconstructs” the interviews or some such nonsense, and then makes it look like he actually quotes him because, well, reasons, and isn’t that how all reporters act?

  2. (Whatever other criticisms you’re about to offer, by the way, such as the stupidity of these chats in the first place, or the bazillion other atupid things he’s said or done in the past, you can probably assume I agree with. I hold no special love for this Pope.)

  3. @MtC

    The point you’re missing is that the Vatican didn’t deny what was reported Pope Francis said. I think they should do that if they can. Why don’t they?

    Also, your translation is wrong

    What translation? My translation of the Vatican’s response?

  4. They didn’t deny it because they simply were not there and couldn’t deny it; they pointed out that the reporter admitted he made stuff up and that it contradicted other things the Pope said.

    Why didn’t the pope clarify? Well, when has he ever done that?

    That’s a problem, but a different one.

    Your translation of the Vatican’s response is wrong because it was more than that it was a question and answer chat – it was that the “reporter” admitted to making up quotes from the interview. How hard is it to transcribe a tape recorder nowadays?

    Again – it is a big problem we’re even having this discussion, but a different one.

  5. @malcolm

    It is my understanding that Scalfari doesn’t use recording equipment when conducting his interviews.

    I think this is important because it gives the powers that be plausible deniability when Scalfari writes a piece. So after he writes something that doesn’t swing well they can respond with something like, “Well Mr. Salfari doesn’t use recording equipment and relies on his memory to write up an interview. That’s why he didn’t render the quotes correctly.”

  6. @MtC

    I’m going to be picky about this because you are being obtuse in general and specious in the particulars.

    Do you have sources for your earlier statement: I find it impossible to believe he said that for the simple reason that he has referred to the reality of hell multiple times in the past.

    And in this statement: “We have plenty of reasons to dislike him, let’s not make up new ones.” what have I made up? If the Pope didn’t say those things, then he didn’t commit heresy. If he did, then he did.

    Do you have a source for this: “Your translation of the Vatican’s response is wrong because it was more than that it was a question and answer chat – it was that the “reporter” admitted to making up quotes from the interview.?

    Why did you put reporter in quotes? Are those scare-quotes? Is it your belief that Scalfari is not actually a reporter?

    If you believe that your statement (“admitted to making up quotes from the interview”) is an accurate paraphrase of the Vatican’s actual statement (“What is reported by the author in today’s article [in La Repubblica] is the result of his reconstruction, in which the textual 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.”), then there is WIDE latitude for considering my paraphrase (“Whatever Pope Francis said was muttered during a question and answer chat with a reporter; not an interview, you see. Therefore you don’t know Pope Francis actually said what the reporter claims he said.”)

    Which is basically what you said anyway except that I didn’t impugn Scarfali because, like the Vatican, I admit that I simply don’t know. At worst my post is no more than a statement of No Confidence in the Vatican’s press organ.

  7. Sure, pick away.

    Yes, reporter was in scare quotes. I am being obtuse because what the Vatican said was quite specific: We don’t know For SURE, BECAUSE Scalfari used no recording equipment, which is absurd for a modern day reporter and ridiculous journalistic practice.

    We know he makes up quotes because, well, he says they’re not his actual quotes.

    And we have ACTUAL recorded evidence of Pope Francis specifically acknowledging the reality of hell, more than once.

    So you might be technically xorrect, but you are the misleading one, not me, because the evidence points to him *not* saying that.

    Should he have gone to that discussion? No.

    Should he clarify? Yes.

    But it’s doubtful he said what Scalfari claims, which was exactly what the Vatican’s statement was correctly pointing out.

    You’re specifically focusing on “We can’t say for sure, but..”

    I am focusing specifically on “…but we have excellent reasons to think this is a lie.”

    Which is important.

  8. “Annihilation” – been hanging around as a theological point of debate for ever. The late Harold Camping came to believe in annihilation. Possibly the current Pope believes that, but we’re not going to know are we.

  9. @GJ

    According to Catholic News Agency this “Scalfari said the Pope said” has happened several times. Their comments and Malcolm’s are similar, but I am left unmoved. They report:

    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 CNA 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.

    Notice the dates. It’s entirely possible to wonder (though I hope not) that 2014 was the last year Pope Francis believed in an eternal, ever-smoking, Hell as a testament to God’s power, glory, and justice. (Rev. 19)

    Here is another incident from 2013!. The Vatican has endorsed Scalfari’s reports, published them, and then retracted them. They just keep blundering into this guy’s traps! Hyuck! Hyuck! So, there are several of these incidents. Why?

    If the Vatican were something like a state then I would wonder whether they were running pys-ops campaigns.

  10. Amazing.

    I do think that the endless rounds of ‘did the Pope actually say that?!’ are part of an attempt to mess with faithful Catholics. Blog activity generally implies that this has been a wild success.

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