The Vatican is literally falling apart after Pope Francis allegedly said: ‘Hell does not exist’. Just hours after the Pope reportedly dismissed the fiery afterlife, the ceiling of St Peter’s Basilica began to crumble.
Easter worshippers ducked for cover as debris rained down on the floor by Michelangelo’s Pieta statue on the eve of Good Friday.
The Vatican reported no injuries and minimal damage. It was just after a spokesman strenuously denied that the Roman Catholic Church was changing its tune over the afterlife.
‘No words in quotation marks should be considered as a faithful transcription of the Holy Father’s words,’ a Vatican spokesman said.
The controversy follows Francis’ interview with a 93-year-old atheist Eugenio Scalfari. The veteran journalist appeared to suggest Francis had abolished the idea of Hell from Catholic doctrine in his report for La Repubblica, the daily newspaper he founded.
Instead, the Pope allegedly said the souls of the unrepentant will simply disappear forever and go unpunished.
Mr Scalfari’s report has been thrown into doubt as he admitted their conversation was reconstructed from memory as he doesn’t take notes or recordings.
‘They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and go among the ranks of the souls who contemplate him,’ Francis reportedly said.
‘But those who do not repent, and therefore cannot be forgiven, disappear.’ For centuries, traditional Catholic doctrine has told followers that those who die in a state of mortal sin will land themselves in Hell’s ‘unquenchable fire’.
The Vatican issued a statement after the comments spread like wildfire on social media. They saying the pope never granted the interview and the story was “the result of (the reporter’s) reconstruction.” not a “faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father.”
Scalfari, an atheist, is known for not using tape recorders or taking notes during interviews.