Just before Good Friday last month, Pope Francis was accused of denying the existence of hell by an atheist Italian journalist, Eugenio Scalfari, of La Repubblica.
While the Vatican has called into question the authenticity of what the pope said in the private conversation, one thing is conspicuously missing a week later – a refutation of the account by Pope Francis himself.
The story of the alleged remarks garnered international coverage in major media. It created a firestorm of controversy among Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Yet, the pope himself has made no public statements about what he actually said or believes about the existence of hell.