Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.
Matthew 25: 41
Yet another fruit of Pope Francis’ policy of giving interviews and then never giving any sort of explanation after the feathers hit the fan. From Mahound’s Paradise:
On to the Scalfari piece. It’s an editorial reflection in La Repubblica on what the journalist wants to see happen in the Church, so it’s not a new interview, per se. But he includes a part where he describes the Pope’s thoughts on the issue. Here is the relevant passage:
[…] Whoever has had the grace to meet Pope Francis knows that the egoism of the most dangerous enemy of our species. The animal is selfish because it is only guided by his instincts, the most important thing is their own survival. Man is also driven by socializing and he therefore feels love towards the other, in addition to the survival of the species to which he belongs. If egoism wins the upper hand and the love for others is suffocated, it darkens the divine spark which is in him and condemns himself.
What happens to these extinct souls? Will they be punished? And how?
Francis’ answer is unambiguous and clear: There is no penalty but the annihilation of that soul. All others live on to share the the happiness in the presence of the Father. The extinguished souls have no part in this feast, with the death of the body is its end and this is the motivation of the missionary Church: to save the lost. This is also the reason why Francis is through and through, a Jesuit. […]
This theological view is called Annihilationism, by the way, and it is the view of some sincere Protestant Christians. In fairness, it has some Biblical support (though I think the weight of Biblical evidence is strongly against it.) But it has never been a teaching of the Catholic Church. Indeed, it is a clear heresy. The current Catechism of the Church states:
(1035) 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.” (Matthew 25:41) 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.