Hell Fire Does Not Exist, Says Pope Francis

The Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon shared in the disappointment and regret among people learning Pope Francis will not come to Canada to apologize to residential school survivors. During a visit to the Vatican previous year, Trudeau personally asked the Pope to consider such a gesture.

The church has offered formal apologies in the past, including in 2010 to Irish victims of sexual abuse and in 2015 to Indigenous peoples in the Americas for the "grave sins" of colonialism.

He added, "Hell does not exist - what exists is the disappearance of sinful souls".

According to Pope Francis, the evil doers will disappear from the world.

"The Catholic Bishops of Canada have been in dialogue with the Pope and the Holy See concerning the legacy of suffering you have experienced", Gendron stated in the letter.

A papal apology was one of the 94 recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. "That is what awaits you if you continue on this path", the pope said, as cited by The Catholic News Agency.

Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee responded to a letter released to the Indigenous Peoples of Canada on Wednesday. He is also seeking a direct meeting with the Pope to discuss the issue further.

"Hearing an apology directly from Pope Francis would be an important act of healing and reconciliation", Bellegarde said.

"Reconciliation is not just between government and Indigenous Peoples, it's between non-Indigenous Canadians and Indigenous Peoples as well", Trudeau said. "This has opened the door for reconciliation and healing", said Madahbee. Certain heretical offshoots of Christianity, like Jehovah's Witnesses, Christadelphians and Seventh Day Adventists adhere to the Annihilation of Souls theology, but Catholics, the Orthodox Church and most Protestant denominations reject the idea. Many were beaten and verbally and sexually abused, and up to 6,000 are said to have died.

Archbishop of Winnipeg Richard Gagnon, who is also CCCB vice-president, said that part of the reason why Pope Francis didn't want to intervene now is a concern that his words could interfere, and maybe inhibit, ongoing grassroots reconciliation work.

He at that point reported the Pope told him: "Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them".

"We're talking about a long term commitment and not a cheapened apology", he said.

"I try to understand the person I am interviewing, and after that I write his answers with my own words", he said after a 2013 incident.

  • Rogelio Becker