PopeWatch: Satan


“We are all tempted because the law of our spiritual life, our Christian life  is a struggle: a struggle.  That’s because the Prince of this world, Satan, doesn’t want our holiness, he doesn’t want us to follow Christ.   Maybe some of you might say:  ‘But Father, how old fashioned you are to speak about the devil in the 21st century!’ But look out because the devil is present!   The devil is here… even in the 21st century!   And we mustn’t be naïve, right?   We must learn from the Gospel how to fight against Satan.”

Pope Francis, homily, April 11, 2014



Some of the liberal fans of Pope Francis are beginning to note that he talks about Satan a lot:


‘But Father, how old-fashioned you are to speak about the Devil in the 21st century,’ ” Francis, quoting those who have noted his frequent mentions of the Devil, said last month while presiding over Mass at the Vatican’s chapel in St. Martha’s House. He warned those gathered on that chilly morning to be vigilant and not be fooled by the hidden face of Satan in the modern world. “Look out because the Devil is present,” he said.

Since its foundation, the church has taught the existence of the Devil. But in recent decades, progressive priests and bishops, particularly in the United States and Western Europe, have tended to couch Satan in more allegorical terms. Evil became less the wicked plan of the master of hell than the nasty byproduct of humanity’s free will. Even Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, a lofty German theologian, often painted evil with a broad brush.

Enter the plain-talking first pope from Latin America, where mystical views of Satan still hold sway in broad areas of the region. During his time as cardinal of Buenos Aires before rising to the papacy, Francis was known for stark warnings against “the tempter” and “the father of lies.” Now, his focus on the Devil is raising eyebrows even within the normally unquestioning walls of Vatican City.

Go here to The Washington Post to read the rest.  A whole lot of cognitive dissonance is going on.  Many liberals like what the Pope is saying on economic issues, and hope that he will soft-pedal Church teaching on abortion, divorce, etc.  Then he spoils everything for them and demonstrates that he really believes all this God stuff, and actually believes in the Devil, too!  For most liberals understanding religion and those who have faith in it, is like explaining the color green to someone blind from birth.

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  1. Wow, what an article. The press is committed to its “old-fashioned = bad / progressive = good” narrative, and it’ll do anything to protect it. In this case, they threw their hero Francis and all of the Third World under the bus. But here’s the real mind-blower: they praised Benedict. See that? Modern Europeans and recent popes have been backing away from this superstitious stuff, but the new South American pope just spent too much time among the primitives. I’ve been saying for a while now that the press would turn against Francis the moment that Benedict passed away. I never thought I’d see them favor the stern German, but I guess that criticizing religion is more important than perpetuating stereotypes.

  2. “I never thought I’d see them favor the stern German, but I guess that criticizing religion is more important than perpetuating stereotypes.”
    They are manipulating Pope Francis with “the stern German.

  3. They don’t believe in the devil, and may be a bit condescending about superstition as Pinky said, but the pope has built up good will with many people and their desire to cut him some slack on this unprogressive idea, may crack their armor.

  4. The Black Mass that was scheduled to occur at Harvard on Monday is a testament to the transformational deconstruction of Calvinist protestantism and its fundamental misapprehension of the nature of Satan.
    In 1600s Massachusetts, the Puritans killed women they suspected of witchcraft or other participation in the dark arts.
    Less than 400 years later, Harvard, founded to train Puritan ministers, now seeks to openly worship Satan by labeling the black mass “educational”.
    And the Catholic Church, which the Puritans were so convinced was Anti-Christ, played the pivotal role in halting the abomination by moving it off campus.
    We live in strange times. If this event isn’t enough to bring home to Catholicism the descendents of Puritanism, I don’t know what is.

  5. It is curious that Puritanism’s progression through history has caused it to so marginalize and underestimate the powerful spiritual force that is the fallen archangel and his network of demons. To relegate Satan and the Black Mass to an educational and cultural experience is to reject much of the biblical based belief system of its founders. It is incomprehensible that this group and Harvard’s administrators could conclude that conducting and participating in a Black Mass would yield no adverse results for the participants or the locale where the event was to be held.

    If Puritanism has similarly evolved in its understanding of Christ and the supernatural, one might suspect that Puritanism may be becoming atheism. The Salem witches would no doubt say that Magick was responsible.

  6. slainte, we could say almost as much about Georgetown.

    Today’s puritans are busy purifying the world of any number of social injustices. There are many social justice catholics eager to help them. Let’s not forget that.

  7. The local Congregational Church in my area of Connecticut provided a forum for Compassion and Choices formerly known as The Hemlock Society to share its vision of the efficacy of physician assisted suicide. The audience was a local elderly group. Strange notion of Social Justice being promoted.
    Many liberal Catholics are Catholics in name only and are dissenting. It makes sense that they would find common ground with their fellow liberals in Protestantism.
    More the reason why Catholic parents should think twice before sending their children to universities headed by dissenting Catholics, including those who wear the Roman collar. Alumni should protect and foster the Catholicity of Georgetown’s mission for the well being of all.

  8. Anzlyne,
    Thanks for that amazing post. I have been to Salem, Massachusetts and knew that Goody Glover was accused and killed for witchcraft, but was not aware of the connection between her Catholicism and the witchcraft allegations.
    It seems the Catholic theme was present in another Salem trial of that era. In 1692, Giles Corey, a member of the Puritan Church in Salem, defended his wife who had questioned the veracity of statements made by girls accusing others of witchcraft. As a consequence, he and his wife were arrested and charged with witchcraft as well.
    “….When Corey’s case finally went before the grand jury in September, nearly a dozen witnesses came forward with damning evidence such as testimony by Elizabeth and Alice Booth that Corey served bread and wine at a sacrament attended by over fifty witches…”
    The story continues:
    “….Corey knew he faced conviction and execution, so he chose to refuse to stand for trial. By avoiding conviction, it became more likely that his farm, which Corey recently deeded to his two sons-in-law, would not become property of the state upon his death.
    The penalty for refusing to stand for trial was death by pressing under heavy stones. It was a punishment never before seen–or ever again inflicted–in the colony of Massachusetts. On Monday, September 19, Corey was stripped naked, a board placed upon his chest, and then–while his neighbors watched–heavy stones and rocks were piled on the board. Corey pleaded to have more weight added, so that his death might come quickly.
    Samuel Sewall reported Corey’s death: “About noon, at Salem…”
    Giles Corey was a wizard strong, a stubborn wretch was he;
    And fit was he to hang on high upon the locust tree.
    So, when before the Magistrates for trial he did come,
    He would no true confession make, but was completely dumb.

    “Giles Corey,” said the Magistrate, “What hast thou here to plead
    To those who now accuse thy sould of crime and horrid deed?”

    Giles Corey he said not a word, no single word spoke he.
    “Giles Corey,” said the Magistrate, “We’ll press it out of thee.”

    They got them then a heavy beam, then laid it on his breast;
    They loaded it with heavy stones, and hard upon him pressed.

    “More weight,” now said this wretched man. “More weight!” again he cried;
    And he did no confession make, but wickedly he died.

    –Anonymous (early 18th century)
    Source: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/gilescoreypage.htm

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