Pope Francis made a startling declaration when speaking with an Italian newspaper this week. When asked about what happens to Sinners Souls, the Pope said that after death, they simply vanish.

This goes against just about all of the teachings of the Catholic Church dating back to its inception. The idea of heaven and hell is what dominates spiritual life as a Catholic.

"There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls," the Pope was quoted as saying to the reporter.

Problems for the Catholic Church

Of course, the Vatican was not pleased to hear about the Pope's reported remarks.

They quickly issued a statement of denial, stressing that what was written was "not a faithful transcript" and that the quotes were not direct quotes from the Pope.

The statement went on to stress that the words being reported are a reconstruction of the conversation between the Pope and the newspaper, and not actually recorded quotes of the Pope himself.

Like the Bible itself, the words spoken can be interpreted in many ways. People will be torn between outright faith in their religion and complete questioning of everything that they thought was true.

The Vatican may end up making some serious changes depending on the fallout. Some are already calling for the Pope to be replaced.

Twitter reacts

Needless to say, many people who have faith were suddenly questioning everything as they tried to make sense of what the Pope did or did not say.

The reactions on Twitter paint a wide picture of confusion.

Ranging from outright denial to proof that religion is fallible, no one truly knows what to make of these declarations.

Is the Pope saying there is no hell but only heaven? Is he saying that having your soul simply disappear is the hell as nobody would want that? Is he slowly trying to undermine the pillars of the Catholic religion for some unknown reason?

These are all valid questions. Pope Francis has been the most progressive Pope in the history of the church.

He has brought a liberal attitude that is more welcoming of those that were once shunned by the church.

He has even weighed in on the current topics of the day more so that any previous pontiff.

Although this may have been just a slip of the tongue, the Pope himself has not come out to deny any of his words that are being reported. That in itself is telling. It will be interesting to see how the church responds now as many will find his words to be outright blasphemous.