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Pope Francis: 'I like to think that Hell is empty'On the Sunday, January 14 episode of the Italian talk show Che Tempo Che Fa (What's the weather like), TV presenter Fabio Fazio made an interview with Pope Francis. They spoke on various topics, including the controversy raised by the recent CDF document Fiducia supplicans.
Towards the end of the show (at the 45:12 mark here), Fazio challenges Francis: "It is hard to imagine Hell, a Father that condemns [someone] eternally... it is hard to imagine." Francis responds: "Yes, it is hard to imagine. This [that I am about to say] is not a dogma of Faith, what I am going to tell you, it is a personal thing of mine, which pleases me: it pleases me to think that Hell is empty. It is a pleasure. I hope it is a reality. But it pleases me."
What causes pleasure to Francis is actually considered a heresy in the Catholic Church. It participates in the heresy of Apocatastasis (the final restoration of all things), which wrongly holds that before the Final Judgment God will forgive all the condemned, including the devils, and a general restoration will occur.
In the first centuries of her History, some Fathers of the Church such as Origin and Clement of Alexandria defended this thesis, which was later condemned by the Catholic Church. Her final condemnation of this doctrine reads: "If someone says or feels that the punishment of the devils and impious men is temporary, and that in some future time it will have an end, or that a reintegration of the devils and impious men will occur, let him be anathema." (Pope Vigilius, Liber adversus Origines, canon 9, Denzinger 211)
John Paul II questioned the existence of Hell and Purgatory as not being physical places, but men's states of soul on this earth. Benedict XVI denied the existence of Heaven as a place where Our Lord went after His Ascension. He also denied the existence of Limbo (here and here). So, we see that the conciliar Popes preach against the existence of the Four Last Things.
If someone would try to defend Francis by saying that he did not affirm that Hell is empty, but just said this hypothesis would please him, we would answer: "Yes, it is true that he did not explicitly affirm this, but by expressing that sentiment and wishing it to be true, he strongly favors the heresy." The Church has also condemnations for those who favor heresies...
Posted January 21, 2024