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12 2014

Petition to Pope Francis for the final abolition of hell

Etcetera collective

This campaign stems from the preliminary framework of Errar de Dios (Erring from God), a participatory installation created by Etcetera collective together with Franco Berardi "Bifo," featuring works by Leon Ferrari created on the occasion of the 31st Sao Paulo Biennial, How to talk about things that do not exist.

Over the course of a three-month campaign in San Pablo, we have collected more than 15,000 signatures on sheets of paper, to be sent directly to the Vatican in Rome.

We are now pleased to announce the launch of the petition online, and invite you to sign and to spread the word.

The collection of signatures will continue through 2015 while we continue to wait for an official confirmation from the Vatican for a personal meeting between representatives of International Errorist and His Holiness.


São Paulo, Brazil, 3 September 2014.
The Holy See, Vatican, His Holiness Pope Francis.

In 1998, the Argentinean artist León Ferrari (1920-2013) sent a petition in the name of CIHABAPAI[1] , addressed to God’s representative on earth, the Pope of the Roman Apostolic Catholic Church John Paul II, asking him to abolish Hell – a place of endless torture and suffering to which the majority of mankind is condemned. The Holy See in the Vatican refused to accept the petition, arguing that it was unable to abolish Hell. The place of eternal suffering is eternal and therefore will continue to exist (or not?).

In December 2001, while financial demons ran rampant in Argentina, Ferrari wrote a second letter to John Paul II, repeating his plea. Again, without any success. Unfortunately, Catholic sadism would not bend: eternal torture would continue to be practiced in this covert place called Hell, and also in the hidden lairs of social unconsciousness, fuelling terror and violence. In 2013, León Ferrari was getting ready to take his final leave from earthly life when Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires and the artist’s friend-enemy, was elevated to Peter’s Throne under the name Francis. Just before taking his final breath, the great Argentinean artist asked for a glass of good red wine and drank a toast to Bergoglio. Was the miracle finally about to happen?

At the end of his first Stations of the Cross, Pope Francis declared that God did not condemn anybody, and also spoke other words that seemed to imply that Hell, about which so much has been said, did not exist.[2]

A ferocious debate was unleashed in the global mediascape – a truly infernal place – between those who interpreted the Pope’s words as the end of eternal torment and those who argued that the words of the Supreme Pontiff were simply metaphorical and that eternal torment could not be doubted.

We, citizens of the world, gathered in the city of São Paulo, ask Pope Francis to clarify this crucial point and, more precisely, we pray for the final abolition of Hell, that place of barbarism, a mental source of hate and violence. Let us now remind ourselves of Francis of Assisi’s ‘Leticia’, when he found himself close to sister death, and hope that all men and women of the world can be freed from facing up to death with the same spirit. Further still, we ask Pope Francis to help us to eradicate the earthly Hell of Financial Capitalism and of the war which is an everyday experience for billions of beings, indigenous people, workers, the poor, unemployed, victims of war and clerical colonialism.


Note: in the event that the negotiations between His Holiness and the Eternal Father concluded with the impossibility of abolishing Hell, we ask them to at least allow the redemption of the soul of the artist and his liberation from eternal damnation.

[1] CIHABAPAI Club of Impious, Heretics, Apostates, Blasphemous, Atheists, Pagans, Agnostics and Infidels, in formation, founded by Ferrari.

[2] In January 2014 a message on Hell purportedly from Pope Francis was distributed: [...] 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. The truthfulness of these declarations is still unconfirmed, although sources from the Vatican