The Vatican clarified on Tuesday that Pope Francis has not "abolished sin" as at least one journalist has claimed.
In a statement to Vatican Radio, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said that the notion that Pope Francis has abandoned the notion of human sin is simply incorrect.
"Those who really follow the pope daily know how many times he has spoken about sin and our (human) condition as sinners," Lombardi proclaimed.
Pope Francis celebrates a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. (Credit: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
As Reuters noted, the debate over sin began after Eugenio Scalfari, a well-known intellectual who is also the founder of the La Repubblica newspaper, spoke with the pope in a private conversation last year and later wrote about his experience.
Scalfari has advanced the argument that Pope Francis has "abolished sin" through his words and actions, though the Vatican denies that this is the case.
The journalist posited that the pontiff no longer believes in sin, because's God's love and mercy are eternal, Reuters reported.