It's official: Pope has not abolished sin, says Vatican
Published on Dec 31, 2013 7:31 PM
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican felt compelled on Tuesday to deny that Pope Francis had "abolished sin", after a well-known Italian intellectual wrote that he had effectively done so through his words and gestures.
The singular exchange began on Sunday when Mr Eugenio Scalfari, an atheist who writes opinion pieces for the left-leaning La Repubblica newspaper, published an article titled "Francis'Revolution: He has abolished sin".
Mr Scalfari, who held a long private conversation with the pope earlier this year and wrote about it several times, concluded in the complex, treatise-like article that Pope Francis believed sin effectively no longer existed because God's mercy and forgiveness were "eternal".
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told Vatican Radio that "this affirmation that the pope has abolished sin"was wrong.
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