There's another round of Catholic bashing making viral rounds on both the extreme Left and extreme Right. This is based on a fake news story from the leftist Italian journal La Repubblica claiming that Pope Francis denied the existence of Hell.
The back-story to this is that a 93 year-old atheist named Eugenio Scalfari---who is a leading Italian media figure---met with Pope Francis and that the Pope made this denial. Despite their obvious political and spiritual differences, Francis and Scalfari have known each other for years and have been in frequent communications. Here is what the Vatican said in response to Scalfari's claim:
"The Holy Father Francis recently received the founder of the newspaper 'La Repubblica in a private meeting for the Easter holiday, without however giving him any interviews. What is reported by the author in today's article is the result of his reconstruction, in which the literal words of the Pope were not quoted. No quotation of the aforementioned article must be considered attributable to the words of the Holy Father."
This isn't even the first time that Scalfari has faked quotes from Pope Francis. In 2013, he was obliged to issue a retraction of some of the Pope's statements and in 2015 was caught lying and corrected by the Vatican again. Fake news about Pope Francis is about as common in the Leftist media as their lies about President Trump and Vladimir Putin are. In 2014, it had reached such a point that the then-Vatican Press Secretary Father Lombardi issued the following decree:
"If there are no words published by the Holy See Press Office and there are no words officially confirmed, then these reporters and writers must take full responsibility for what they say and write."
We expect fake news and outright lying from the Left. But coming from the fake Right it must be denounced. We've pointed out on several occasions that the Alt-RINO/Red Pill crowd is deeply anti-Catholic. This fake news about Francis spread like wildfire on supposedly Conservative radio, blogs, and news agencies.
The story gained a lot of traction from the outlets of the so-called Media Research Center run by a phony Catholic named Brent Bozell. Bozell himself has been caught in multiple acts of journalistic dishonesty. The very fact that he would quote a Leftist writer who'd been exposed as a fraud before to attack Pope Francis shows that he---like many other Alt-RINOs---are motivated more by their hatred of the Vatican than promoting the Conservative agenda. And that agenda includes Freedom of Religion, by the way.
The bottom-line here is that Francis is not "Lenin's Pope" (a meme coined by Catholic-hater Michael Savage); nor is he an antipope or the Antichrist because of his position on global warming and immigration. The Alt-RINOs and the Red Pills oppose Catholicism for the same reason that the Cultural Marxists do: because Catholics recognize a power higher the State and an ideology higher than the spouting of paid pundits. As Harry Truman said, "Faith is the foundation of our democracy."