Don’t fall for this Pope Francis hoax: 5 things to know and share [Akin] Internet sites are reporting that Pope Francis has declared that “all religions are true,” that there is no hell, and other provocative things.

But the whole thing is an Internet hoax.

Here are 5 things to know and share . . .

1) What is being attributed to Pope Francis?

Among other things, he is claimed to have said:

“Through humility, soul searching, and prayerful contemplation we have gained a new understanding of certain dogmas. **The church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer. **This doctrine is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity. God seeks not to condemn but only to embrace. Like the fable of Adam and Eve, we see hell as a literary device. Hell is merely a metaphor for the isolated soul, which like all souls ultimately will be united in love with God” Pope Francis declared.

In a speech that shocked many, the Pope claimed “All religions are true, because they are true in the hearts of all those who believe in them. What other kind of truth is there? In the past, the church has been harsh on those it deemed morally wrong or sinful. Today, we no longer judge. Like a loving father, we never condemn our children. Our church is big enough for heterosexuals and homosexuals, for the pro-life and the pro-choice! For conservatives and liberals, even communists are welcome and have joined us. We all love and worship the same God.”

2) Where did the hoax come from?

It originally appeared on a blog*called Diversity Chronicle.

The post that contains it apparently was written by the site’s creator, Erik Thorson.

Subsequently, the story has been recycled elsewhere on the Internet, such as in the “Entertainment” section of

3) How do we know it’s a hoax?



Relevant big time!

“KEEP READING” --> “This page can’t be displayed” :frowning:

***I just tried both links and they worked fine for me. ***:shrug:

Still not working for me. Oh well . . .

Maybe your software is not picking up the hyperlink? Here is the direct web address for the article:

I had to smile at this because a relative of mine asked me about the supposed quotes yesterday and I did a little digging on it. I found the original source and disclaimer, as Jimmy points out, and gave a less-detailed response. This means I gave a response to the hoax before Jimmy Akin addressed it publicly. That probably doesn’t mean anything at all…but I’m tickled by that fact. :smiley:

…and in case THAT link doesn’t work, here is the rest of it (I did my best to capture the emphases, etc…) :

3) How do we know it’s a hoax?

Through several means. One is the fact that the piece itself claims Pope Francis was speaking at the conclusion of the Third Vatican Council:

*For the last six months, Catholic cardinals, bishops and theologians have been deliberating in Vatican City, discussing the future of the church and redefining long-held Catholic doctrines and dogmas. The Third Vatican Council, is undoubtedly the largest and most important since the Second Vatican Council was concluded in 1962. Pope Francis convened the new council to “finally finish the work of the Second Vatican Council.” While some traditionalists and conservative reactionaries on the far right have decried these efforts, they have delighted progressives around the world.

The Third Vatican Council concluded today with Pope Francis announcing that Catholicism is now a “modern and reasonable religion, which has undergone evolutionary changes.*

Of course, there has been no Third Vatican Council.

If there had been, it would have been all over the news for months, and every semi-informed Catholic would be aware of it.

Ecumenical councils are huge events in the life of the Church, and modern media and the Catholic Internet would have focused on it intensively.

4) How else do we know it’s a hoax?

The site which originated it contains a disclaimer [link provided in Jimmy’s article], which states:

*The original content on this blog is largely satirical.

“I ceased in the year 1764 to believe that one can convince one’s opponents with arguments printed in books. It is not to do that, therefore, that I have taken up my pen, but merely so as to annoy them, and to bestow strength and courage on those on our own side, and to make it known to the others that they have not convinced us.” – Georg Christoph Lichtenberg.

**It is in the spirit of the above quote that I write. *Who am I you may ask? My name is Erik Thorson. I created this blog for my own personal amusement.

5) Are there other resources exposing this hoax?

Sure. For example, there is also a Snopes page on this subject. [link provided in Jimmy’s article.]

What Now?
If you like the information I’ve presented here, you should join my Secret Information Club. [link provided in Jimmy’s article.]

If you’re not familiar with it, the Secret Information Club is a free service that I operate by email.

I send out information on a variety of fascinating topics connected with the Catholic faith.

In fact, the very first thing you’ll get if you sign up is information about what Pope Benedict said about the book of Revelation.

He had a lot of interesting things to say!

If you’d like to find out what they are, just sign up at or use this handy sign-up form:

Read more:

I’m really glad Jimmy came out with this.

Nope, I can’t connect with the N.C.Register at all, even going thru Google.

At what point can we just relax, realize Pope Francis is the pope and therefore is orthodox and assume crazy stories about what he said or what he is going to do are at best misleading and at worst made up? Come on, Catholics! Have some faith!!

Yes, this is something of a wake-up call being called to order. Michelle Arnold wrote a blog entry to this tune a day or two ago as well. It seems that because so many non-Catholics suddenly have an infatuation with the Pope, that some Catholics might be looking suspiciously or perhaps just with confusion. We are so used to the Popes getting slapped around by the media, that we react with a sucker-punched reaction when they swoon over him. But I digress…:stuck_out_tongue:

The original blog post, intended as a spoof, included a disclaimer that said… “The original content on this blog is largely satirical.” etc, etc.

But I guess many did not see that?

And/or many did not include the disclaimer when the recycled it…


Exactly. In fairness, the disclaimer isn’t all that evident unless one is familiar with the site. It’s a general disclaimer that you have to click on to read (at the top of the main page) and isn’t necessarily attached to each article. People familiar with the site would likely know it was satire (kinda like “Eye of the Tiber”). There may also have been some intentional omission of the disclaimer for some who might have wanted to circulate the hoax as “fact”. Some Catholics could have read the “quote” and would have seen right away that it is incompatible with Cathoilc Doctrine. But there are some (evidently), as well and non-Catholics, who might think it was a real quote.

Does it strike it anyone that we are spending more time explaining and defending this pope’s statements than we ever had to do with Benedict or John Paul?

Why is that? :shrug:

I think there are a few reasons.

  1. Not all people are equally clear when they speak. Francis seems to be less clear than his immediate predecessors.

  2. JP2 and B16 both are European, Francis is South American. His experiences are quite different from his predecessors and that leads to a different way of expressing himself.

  3. JP2 was a brilliant philosopher. B16 was a brilliant theologian. Both disciplines require great precision with language. Francis is a brilliant pastor. Pastors don’t typically use language as precisely as philosophers and theologians do.

  4. Francis speaks “off the cuff” a lot more than either B16 or JP2, both of whom spoke from written notes. When anyone, including a pope, speaks off the cuff they are more likely to be imprecise and thus more likely to be misinterpreted.

  5. Hermeneutics. The media saw JP2 and B16 as the orthodox Catholics they were and saw their statements through that lens. The media has decided that Francis is a “liberal” (whatever that is supposed to mean theologically I don’t know) and interpret his statements as harbingers of change. The media even misinterpreted B16’s statements on condoms, of course they will misinterpret Francis even more so.

We know Francis is a “son of the Church.” We know he is orthodox (or B16 wouldn’t have had him positioned as he did). And we know the Holy Spirit will not allow the Pope to formally teach error. So we need to understand Francis as another Pope, teaching the same thing Peter did.

Along with the hoax about Pope Francis, there is also a hoax that suggests that devout Catholics all secretly hate Pope Francis. It’s a hoax that throws all devout Catholics under the bus to make way for the liberal ‘progressives’ who wrongly think that this Pope is going to change everything in the Church and dump all that was taught before.

Well said :thumbsup:

Thank you. I posted similar thoughts in another subforum a few months ago and took a lot of flack. You have confirmed my opinions. :thumbsup:

Thank you so much for clarifying this. The very notion that God won’t be torturing people for all eternity is ludicrous. Infinite punishment for finite actions is the ONLY true path to justice.

Just to be clear, anyone who does spend eternity in hell will have chosen to be there.

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