PopeWatch: Pope Francis and Satan

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

Well, I must say this will probably disconcert some of the erstwhile newfound friends of Pope Francis among the secular media and reassure orthodox Catholics:

In his Oct. 11 daily Mass homily, the Holy Father warned of the discreet presence of the devil, exhorting those gathered to be astute in their spiritual lives.

“We must always be on guard,” exhorted the Pope to those who attended Mass in the Vatican’s Santa Marta guesthouse, “on guard against deceit, against the seduction of evil.”

Referencing the day’s gospel reading, in which Jesus has just healed a possessed man and is accused of casting out demons by the power of the devil, the Pope noted that often in history there have been those who wish to “diminish the power of the Lord” by offering different explanations for his works, urging that his is a temptation which has “reached our present day.”

“There are some priests who, when they read this Gospel passage, this and others, say: ‘But, Jesus healed a person with a mental illness.’”

“It is true,” he affirmed, “that at that time, they could confuse epilepsy with demonic possession; but it is also true that there was the devil! And we do not have the right to simplify the matter. No!”

“The presence of the devil is on the first page of the Bible, and the Bible ends as well with the presence of the devil, with the victory of God over the devil.”

Observing that the Lord has given many criteria in order to “discern” the presence of evil in our lives, the Pope stressed that “we should not be naïve,” and that one of the criteria which has been given is “not to follow the victory of Jesus” just “halfway.”

“Either you are with me, says the Lord, or you are against me” he said, noting that Jesus came to conquer the devil and “to give us the freedom” from “the enslavement the devil has over us,” which he cautioned, is not “exaggerating.”

“On this point, there are no nuances. There is a battle and a battle where salvation is at play, eternal salvation; eternal salvation.”

Go here to Catholic News Agency to read the rest.  Pope Francis has spoken out several times about Satan thus far during his brief pontificate, but the secular media has rarely taken notice.  It is time however that critics of Pope Francis who are orthodox Catholics do take notice of this.  PopeWatch views the belief by Pope Francis as very reassuring, as a hallmark of the crazies who promote “spirit of Vatican II” rubbish, is a denial, or, more commonly, a complete amnesia, about Satan, which is what Satan wants, at least at the present, as CS Lewis observed in letter 7 of the Screwtape Letters:

 

MY DEAR WORMWOOD,

I wonder you should ask me whether it is essential to keep the patient in ignorance of your own existence. That question, at least for the present phase of the struggle, has been answered for us by the High Command.

Our policy, for the moment, is to conceal ourselves. Of course this has not always been so. We are really faced with a cruel dilemma. When the humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all he pleasing results of direct terrorism and we make no magicians. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and sceptics. At least, not yet. I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalise and mythologise their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, belief in us, (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the Enemy. The “Life Force”, the worship of sex, and some aspects of Psychoanalysis, may here prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work-the Materialist Magician, the man, not using, but veritably worshipping, what he vaguely calls “Forces” while denying the existence of “spirits”-then the end of the war will be in sight. But in the meantime we must obey our orders. I do not think you will have much difficulty in keeping the patient in the dark. The fact that “devils” are predominantly comic figures in the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that (it is an old textbook method of confusing them) he therefore cannot believe in you.

 

 

4 Responses to PopeWatch: Pope Francis and Satan

  • For info, a few days before the pope’s homily Fr. James Martin S.J. took notice of Anton Scalia’s mention of Satan in a blog for Time.com. Fr. Martin agreed with the justice and defended Catholic doctrine. Deacon Scott Dodge added his own thoughts to Fr. Martin’s remarks and the pope’s homily in his own blog here:
    http://scottdodge.blogspot.com/2013/10/jesus-did-cast-out-demons.html

  • Any attempt to remove the devil from the NT renders the gospel narrative incoherent.

    Satan, the devil, evil spirits and unclean spirits, along with other names, such as “adversary,” “tempter,” “ruler of this world,” are mentioned over 150 times in the NT The synoptic gospels, in particular, treat both Our Lord’s healings and exorcisms as demonstrations of His power over the forces of evil. This is obvious on the most cursory reading and it is summed up by St Peter in Acts, “…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil [τους καταδυναστευομενους υπο του διαβολου], because God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

  • This Pontiff confuses me. One minute he is reported to be telling an atheist something that amounts to liberal nonsense and heterodoxy, and the next he is reported to have given a homily apparently rock-solid in its orthodoxy. The liberal news media is all over the first like stink on manure, and completely ignores the second. The liberal news media hate B XVI for his orthodoxy, and love Francis for his apparent lack of orthodoxy. Yet thinks don’t seem quite that simple.

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