Commenting on Pope Francis' scandalous interview with his long-time atheist friend Eugenio Scalfari, in which the Pope reportedly said "there is no Hell," Sister Theresa Aletheia, with the Daughters of St. Paul, said the Pope "needs a sassy nun" as a personal assistant who will prevent him from ever speaking with Scalfari again.
"I've been saying this from Day 1 of Pope Francis' papacy," tweeted Sr. Theresa.
"He needs a sassy nun as his personal assistant who'll be the one to say, 'You had an interview with Scalfari scheduled for tomorrow but I called him and told him you were busy," she wrote. "Busy until the next papacy."
In the March 28 interview pubished in La Repubblica, Eugenio Scalfari asked the Pope about "bad souls" and where they are "punished."
Pope Francis reportedly said, "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 Pope's remarks were carried by media worldwide and caused the Vatican to issue a statement that did not deny what the Pope allegedly said, but blamed Scalfari for supposedly not presenting the Pope's precise comments.
On March 29, 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."
On Fox's The Ingraham Angle, Mar. 30, EWTN host Raymond Arroyo described this statement from the Vatican as a "non-denial denial," and added, "so people are still wondering, what does this mean?"
Catholic intellectual and writer Phil Lawler said, "The Vatican, naturally, has rushed out another 'clarification.' Notice, however, that the Vatican statement does not actually deny that Pope Francis uttered those words."
Columnist and author Pat Buchanan said of the Vatican statement, "Sorry, but this will not do. This does not answer the questions the pope raised in his chat. Does hell exist? Are souls that die in mortal sin damned to hell for all eternity? Does the pope accept this belief? Is this still the infallible teaching of the Roman Catholic Church?"
Sister Theresa Aletheia, a former fallen-away Catholic who returned to the church and became a religious sister, is the author of The Prodigal You Love: Inviting Loved Ones Back to the Church.