Pope Francis

Pope Francis: ‘There Is No Hell’

In another interview with his longtime atheist friend, Eugenio Scalfari, Pope Francis claims that Hell does not exist and that condemned souls just “disappear.” This is a denial of the 2,000-year-old teaching of the Catholic Church about the reality of Hell and the eternal existence of the soul. The interview between Scalfari and the Pope was published March 28, 2018 in La Repubblica. The relevant section on Hell was translated by the highly respected web log, Rorate Caeli. The interview is headlined, “The Pope: It is an honor to be called revolutionary.” (Il Papa: “È un onore essere chiamato rivoluzionario.”) 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.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. 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.” (1035) The Catechism further states, “The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: ‘Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.’ “Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where ‘men will weep and gnash their teeth.'” Pope Benedict XVI said in a 2007 sermon, “Jesus came to tell us that he wants us all in Heaven and that Hell, of which so little is said in our time, exists and is eternal for those who close their hearts to his love.” As for the human soul, the Catholic Church teaches that it is eternal, immortal in countless places throughout the Catechism. One instance, “Endowed with ‘a spiritual and immortal’ soul, the human person is ‘the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake.’ From his conception, he is destined for eternal beatitude.” (1703) * In a statement released on Mar. 29, after Scalfari’s report garnered worldwide attention, the Vatican said: “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.”

Fascinating!  I’m not Catholic.   But, I’m sure there are many out there wondering…  “Sooo..  Did the Pope say there is no hell, or didn’t he?”

Opinion: The Pope Was Wrong: Fences Do Not Define Faith

I know the pope is a compassionate man. I know the pope has a heart for immigrants and refugees, as he should. I know he has a habit of answering pointed questions with confusing platitudes. I also know that yesterday, when asked about Donald Trump, the pope answered a loaded question that misstated Trump’s position on separating families. But even with those caveats, the pope was flat-out wrong to answer the question as he did — wrong on the substance and wrong in his manner. A reporter asked him whether an American Catholic can vote for someone who “has said that, if elected, he would build a 2,500-kilometer-long wall along the border. He wants to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, thus separating families, etc.” The pope responded: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way, and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.” I’m sorry, but this sounds a lot like the kind of intolerant progressive religious rhetoric one hears in the nominally Christian ranks of mainline Protestantism. First, he builds an impressive straw man (“a person who thinks only about building walls . . . and not building bridges”) and then burns that straw man in the lake of eternal fire. But just when you’re about to give Francis the benefit of the doubt — to assume that he’s speaking in abstractions — he gets concrete: “This man is not a Christian if he said things like that.” The idea that a man’s border and immigration policy can define whether he is a Christian is simply absurd. I know I’m a Protestant and not steeped in Catholic teaching, but my definition of a Christian is derived more from Romans 10:9 (“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”) than it is by my border-control or deportation policies. Our relatively open border harms national security, facilitates drug trafficking and human trafficking, helps depress wages for America’s most vulnerable working families, and swamps already-strained social services. Where’s the compassion in that? Moreover — again, to my Protestant ears — bringing the Gospel itself into the immigration debate is disrespectful to the Gospel. It lowers a transcendent truth. The Gospel isn’t defined by a set of social policies but rather by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s the good news of Christ’s victory over sin and death. Indeed, when one lowers the Gospel to the realm of politics, it can have the infernal side effect of leading people to believe that their politics make them righteous, when only Christ can cover our sin. Yes, I know that the pope’s defenders will say that his words have no impact on the Catechism, that of course he doesn’t believe that nations should have no control over their borders, and that he’s merely calling on people to be compassionate. But words have meaning. The pope is responsible for the things he says. He chose to cloak a progressive political position in the Gospel itself. And he did so in the wrong manner — without even gracing us with an actual argument. The declaration that a person isn’t just “wrong” but “not a Christian” because of a position on illegal immigration or border control represents exactly the kind of dogmatic declaration that conservative Americans are simply sick of hearing. Progressives have hurled insults like “racist” or “homophobe” so frequently that it’s become the background noise of conservative life. From colleges to corporations, conservatives either learn how to handle the insults or learn to keep silent, while seething with resentment at liberal intolerance. Rather than bring a measure of goodwill to the debate, the pope handed the Left yet another moral cudgel. Look for his declaration to be echoed and amplified again and again — and not just against Trump supporters but against anyone who seeks to secure our border and to limit American jobs and educational opportunities to legal American residents. The Left will taunt Christian conservatives, asking whether we think we know more about Christianity than the pope. But here the pope is wrong, and neither his exalted position nor his admirably soft heart can make him right. Border fences do not define our faith.

Indeed..  And well said, David.  David French, the author of that piece, is an attorney and Army Reserve (Major) officer who received the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.

Opinion: Sorry Papa, But Daddy Trump Is the One Defending Catholics from Invaders

Pope Francis, a man who lives in a country surrounded on all sides by a gigantic wall, has objected to Donald Trump’s plans to build his own wall to stop illegal immigrants. Granted, the Vatican’s wall was built to stop marauding hordes of barbarians who didn’t obey Roman laws, didn’t speak Latin, and were mostly just attracted by Rome’s wealth and opportunities. They were nothing like the illegal Mexican immigrants Trump wants to keep out. Unlike the Visigoths, Mexicans all speak a Latin dialect of some kind. And they have no intent to flout Roman laws — just Californian, Texan and Floridian statutes. As a Catholic, albeit more of a Benedict XVI fan, Pope Francis is my spiritual leader. But that doesn’t mean he’s my political leader. When he says that Trump’s plan is un-Christian, I’m afraid to say I disagree with him. Daddy Trump is right, and Il Papa is wrong. In case you don’t know, papal infallibility has a very specific meaning. It certainly doesn’t mean the pope is never wrong, and on prudential issues like immigration policy, taxation and so on I’d argue that this pope, who isn’t nearly as clever as his more stern but also less emotionally incontinent predecessors, screws up rather a lot. Now, if you think I’m being outrageously presumptuous and skidding toward excommunication… well, you might be right. I can’t say I’m a particularly good Catholic, despite the amount of time I spend on my knees, but being a bad Catholic and then paying for it is kind of our thing. So let me share a few thoughts and hope for the best. The key problem with Francis is that he’s a socialist, and, unlike his predecessor, not sharp enough to realise that socialism always ends the same way: oppression, misery and destitution. That’s not precisely accurate: it’s better to say that Francis fails to understand as Benedict XIV and John Paul II both instinctively did, that socialism is the flat enemy of Christianity — it’s a peverted ghost of Christian charity. What’s incontrovertible is that it’s Christianity married to capitalism that does the best job of raising the poor out of penury and giving everyone a fair crack at reaching their emotional, economic and spiritual potential. Proclaiming that The Donald’s robust policies are “anti-Christian” is remarkable — and, yes, probably a bit disgraceful, as Trump suggested on Facebook. At the same time, it won’t be hard for Trump to get out of it. All he has to do is call himself an “undocumented Christian,” and I’m sure the pope will endorse him for President. Strangely, we haven’t heard pope Francis say anything about the sitting President, who grew up attending Islamic Madrasahs, and later a “Black Liberation Theology” Church, which famously included a pastor who said “God Damn America.” He’s been curiously silent about the Democratic candidates, too, perhaps because endorsing an atheist socialist or a woman whose acquaintance with the truth gives Old Nick a run for his money might come across as hypocritical, given how much more appropriate the phrase “un-Christian” would be for either of the leading left-wing candidates. It’s little wonder that the pope’s popularity is plummeting so fast among Americans. Heaven help him, he’s actually approaching congressional levels of contempt. Is it any wonder, when his Bishops are so heavily politicised? It’s also worth pointing out, as one Twitter user did recently, that the Church has come dangerously close to violating the rules on tax-free status in the US, which is conditional on it remaining apolitical. Maybe Francis is desperate to pay taxes? I wouldn’t put it past him, but this is the Catholic church we’re talking about so I’m guessing no. Here’s a hard truth for the pope: modern Catholicism was born out of a Trump-like reinvigoration. Following the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church went through a counter-Reformation which was, in effect, a successful effort to “Make Catholicism Great Again.” Donald Trump wants America to have its own reformation and its own return to glory. The counter-Reformation imposed strict spiritual boundaries around Catholicism, differentiating itself from Protestantism and preventing it from becoming permanently diluted. Trump wants to build his own boundaries around America, both physical and cultural. Trump’s rallying cry and the counter-Reformation are both, in their own ways, appeals to the base and returns to reliable, populist centrism. Trump also promises the restoration of America’s economic fortunes, basic security, and place in the world. Exactly what Catholics wanted after the chaos of the Reformation. He even has his Jesuits: the alt-right. (Just to frustrate National Review writers eager for blood, I’ll refrain from casting myself as Ignatius of Loyola.) Of course, the pope avoided naming Trump directly in his remarks this week, instead choosing to attack his signature policy. According to Francis, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.” Well, Holy Father, I think Pope Leo IV, Pope Paul III, Pope Pius IV, and Pope Urban VIII, all of whom expanded the Vatican’s fortifications, might beg to differ. Many other religious states have absolutely no problem with walls. Just ask the Jews in Israel how much they enjoy not having pizza parlors explode after putting up their border barriers. I can’t help but note that it’s often Catholic countries that economic migrants are fleeing from to come to America. Should Francis apologise for a faith that certainly clothes a nation in style and gives it great food and awesome parties, but which is hopeless at liberating the poor from corrupt governments? After all, it’s lousy supposedly Catholic regimes in Latin America that are the reason so many people want to get into Texas, California and Florida, isn’t it? Come to think of it, why didn’t Il Papa go to Mexico’s southern border to feel sorry for all the Guatemalans, Hondurans and Salvadorans who desperately flee to Mexico but get marched immediately back home? Either way, Trump’s right when he says the Vatican is clearly ISIS’s number one target. And Francis’s well-meaning blundering on immigration is going to do nothing to help Catholics either in Europe or already legally in America. Trump’s policies will. But enough about the Vatican’s defenses. (They really are huge, by the way — and yes, they have several lovely doors built into them.) I’m sure the pope will be tearing his own wall down soon, as my colleagues Ben Shapiro and John Nolte have suggested. The real reason the pope is wrong is thanks, as I say, to his radical left-wing school of religious thought, known as “liberation theology.” Liberation theology is Marxism with a crucifix. It views capitalism, self-interest, and other pragmatic values as inherently un-Christian. According to liberation theologists, moving wealth from the rich to the poor is a good thing. So it’s only natural that pope Francis would oppose a sensible border policy for America, or any wealthy nation for that matter. Although, oddly enough, the Vatican itself still has border controls. And did I mention that massive wall? Oh, and a huge pile of wealth. If the pope is so keen on redistribution, why doesn’t he redistribute some of the Vatican’s? It seems Pope Francis is a man of extreme words, but not extreme action. Still, I guess virtue signalling is kinda part of the job. We Catholics sort of invented social justice, too, but the less said about that the better. (In fact, if you’re interested in the origin of that term, and how progressives perverted it, as they do everything, you should read this.) Trump, in contrast to the pope, lives in a manner more redolent of prosperity theology, also known as the “health and wealth” gospel, which is much closer to my beliefs. Although it was originally a Protestant doctrine, some Catholics have adopted a modified version of it. Sensibly, this doctrine asserts that in order to help others, you first have to help yourself. Impoverishing a country by flooding its borders with unskilled workers is no way to help anyone. In my own life, I recognise that it’s all very well giving speeches to students at my own expense, but I won’t do my best work unless I first treat myself to some new Gucci loafers and a briefcase from Louis Vuitton. Pope Francis should realise that liberation theology is a mistake. It’s like an updated version of the Spanish Inquisition. Both were started with the best of intentions, but end up in misery and death for those affected — just like any other kind of socialism. This misguided doctrine is no way to help decent, law-abiding Catholics, and it’s no way to help poor, desperate immigrants either. Trump may seem harsh, but he’s not being anti-Christian. The road to hell is paved with Marxist intentions. That gives me an idea — a really good idea — to help the poor. Why not bring back indulgences? Face it, I’m rich and sometimes I feel a bit bound by Catholicism. I mean I love it, but you know, I f*** up occasionally. Sometimes twice in one night. Sometimes twice in one guy! My point is, I pay the Vatican, and the Vatican tells God, “Look, he had a three-way with Somali pirates but he also fed 1,000 poor people.” Boom. Instead of telling countries where they can and can’t build walls, let’s get some synergy between lapsed Catholics and the ol’ world hunger problem. The check’s in the mail, padre. Follow Milo Yiannopoulos (@Nero) on Twitter and Facebook, or write to him at milo@breitbart.com. Android users can download Milo Alert! to be notified about new articles when they are published.

What an outstanding, yet irreverent, op/ed from Milo!  Please consider this your read of the day.  If you read anything here at The Daily Buzz, then READ THIS!!  And, then pass it along to all your friends and family members…especially if they’re Catholic.   🙂

Opinion: The Pope embraces Raul Castro but calls Donald Trump anti-Christian!

Last Sunday, Pope Francis was in Mexico visiting sick children in hospitals. It was amazing to watch him holding the little kids and praying with their mothers. As a Catholic, I was so proud of “El Papa.” That was El Papa being El Papa, or the religious leader of my faith. He was reaching out to kids and their mothers and giving them some hope. As he left Mexico, Pope Francis made a terrible mistake by saying that Donald Trump is not a Christian. I am not sure if he was answering a question or speaking at a meeting. He had finished a Mass on the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez border. First, El Papa should stay away from presidential elections, here, there, and everywhere. Second, the Vatican is one gigantic place surrounded by walls. Third, is a border now un-Christian? How did we get to the point that defending borders and promoting legal immigration is now inhumane? Fourth, El Papa has given Mr. Trump a huge gift. I am not a Trump supporter, but I believe that the U.S. has every right to protect and defend its borders. I don’t know whether building a wall from Laredo to San Diego is the best answer. However, it may work in some isolated regions currently used by cartels to bring drugs and people. Last, but not least, El Papa just visited Cuba. He hugged and embraced Raúl Castro, a man who has executed priests, harassed religious leaders, and closed Christian schools years ago. Did he call the Castro brothers un-Christian? Pope Francis is a good man, but he needs a few people around him to protect him from himself.

Author Silvio Cantor, Jr. makes some really good points here..  I’m not Catholic.  But, I really admire Pope Francis.  He is a good and humble man who walks the walk.  But, he needs to stay out of politics.  The Pope’s handlers have really done him a disservice by allowing him to say such ridiculous things.  The Vatican has the most restrictive policies on immigration on the planet.  AND, it is completely surrounded by walls.  So, for ‘El Papa’ to criticize Trump for wanting to secure OUR borders is the very height of hypocrisy.  And then, for him to go to Cuba and embrace Castro who has slaughtered countless hundreds, if not thousands, of people in his brutal , oppressive, reign…while saying that Trump isn’t a “Christian” is beyond mind-boggling.

Pope Blesses Work of Exorcists

According to Pope Francis, priests devoted to the ministry of exorcism “manifest the Church’s love and acceptance of those who suffer because of the devil’s works.”

I’m not Catholic… But, I’ve always found this whole exorcism thing to be fascinating.  Of course, being from St. Louis, originally, I grew up hearing about the 1949 case at what is now St. Louis University (“SLU”) where a month-long exorcism took place…and became the basis for the famous movie, “The Exorcist.”  In the movie (based on the novel), the location is Georgetown Univ, instead of SLU.

Paid with a blessing and a selfie: pope’s surprise fish-and-fries lunch at Vatican cafeteria

Paid with a blessing and a selfie: pope’s surprise fish-and-fries lunch at Vatican cafeteria

Isn’t this great?!  I’m not Catholic.  But, boy do I respect Pope Francis for the way he handles himself.  He really does walk the walk, and leads by example.

Pope warns mobsters they risk going to hell

Pope warns mobsters they risk going to hell

I like this new Pope Francis!  I’m not Catholic.  But, I respect the man, and the way hes conducted himself.  He goes into soup kitchens and does work there.  He actually has washed the feet of homeless people as Pope.  I mean, c’mon.  Hes walking the walk; not just talking the talk.  And, it takes guts saying what hes sayin IN Italy.  Sure, he has his Swiss body guards and all.  But, Pope John Paul was shot in the ’80s in spite of all the security surrounding a sitting Pope.  And Pope John Paul was like a rock star back in the day…and he didn’t get out and mingle with the masses like this new Pope.  Anyway, big kudos to Pope Francis for taking such a public stand against the mafia!