Hell Does Not Exist - Pope Declares

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Scalfari, a self-proclaimed atheist, is the founder and former editor of Italian leftist newspaper La Repubblica.

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 can not therefore be forgiven disappear. You have never spoken to me about the souls who died in sin and will go to hell to suffer it for eternity.

Catholic Pope Francis made a startling revelation Thursday by stating that hell did not exist, in an interview with a leading liberal Italian newspaper.

This bomshell dropped by the Pope is capable of rocking Christianity, and even Islam, faiths to their roots as both are strong believers in the existence of hellfire.

The pontiff was giving his weekly general audience in the Vatican's St Peter's Square on Wednesday, where he told the tens of thousands gathered that 'these fake Christians will end up in a bad way, ' according to The Telegraph.

The Catholic Church has traditionally claimed that following death the souls of those who perished "in a state of mortal sin" descend into hell where they suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

He added that "as reported today" by Scalfari, "the article is the result of its reconstruction, in which the exact words spoken by the Pope are not cited". The church says that while the two met, no interview took place.

Rome - Pope Francis has revealed he needs to have cataract surgery, a common procedure for older people, because his eyesight is failing.

Previous conversations between the Pope and Scalfari have often caused controversy, and led to the Vatican issuing similar statements afterwards, neither confirming or fully denying the Pope said the actual words attributed to him, but casting doubt on their veracity.

"No quotes of the aforementioned article should therefore be considered as a faithful transcription of the Holy Father's words", the Vatican said.

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