Monday, 1 January 2018

The Pope’s fight against Satan
In the first five years of his pontificate, Francis has cited the devil many times, insisting not only on his existence but also on his dangerousness

Pubblicato il 28/12/2017
Ultima modifica il 28/12/2017 alle ore 16:50
ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY



In five years, he has quoted him more times than his predecessors have done together in the last half-century: for Pope Bergoglio, the devil, and his ability to divide are common topics in his daily preaching. A countercurrent preaching, since the Evil One has long been a great absent. Here is a small and incomplete review of quotations. 

Last time Francis spoke about the devil was with a group of Jesuits during his recent trip to Myanmar, while referring to the Rohingya and more generally to the situation of refugees, he said, “Today there is so much discussion on how to save banks.... But who saves the dignity of men and women today? Nobody cares about people in ruins any longer. The devil manages to do this in today’s world”.  

Since his first homily in the Mass concelebrated with the cardinals in the Sistine Chapel after his election, on March 14, 2013, Bergoglio, after quoting a phrase by Léon Bloy, affirmed, “When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil”. The very next day, during a meeting with the cardinals, gathered in the Clementina Hall, the new Pontiff, without reading his written speech, said, “Let us never yield to pessimism, to that bitterness that the devil offers us every day”.  

Addressing the Vatican Gendarmerie on September 28, 2013, Francis recalled that “the devil seeks to create an internal war, a kind of civil spiritual war”. In the Santa Marta homily on October 14,2013, the Argentinean Pope invited us not to confuse the devil’s presence with mental illnesses, “No! The presence of the devil is on the first page of the Bible”.  

On September 29, 2014, in another Santa Marta homily, Bergoglio explained that “Satan is the enemy of humankind. He is astute: the first page of Genesis tells us so, he is astute. He presents things as if they were a good thing. But his intention is destruction, perhaps with “humanistic explanations”.  

On October 3, 2015, addressing once again the Vatican Gendarmerie, Francis recalled that “Satan is a seducer, he sows hidden dangers and seduces with charm, with demonic charm, and leads you to believe everything. He knows how to sell with this charm, he sells well, but pays badly in the end!”  

On September 12, 2016, in the morning homily, the Pope explained that “the devil has two very powerful weapons to destroy the Church: divisions and money... The devil sows jealousy, ambitions, ideas, but to divide! Or greed.... “It is a dirty war, that of divisions, it’s like terrorism”.  

On October 13, 2017, Francis described how “The devil slowly changes our criteria to lead us to worldliness. It camouflages our way of acting, which we hardly notice.” 


And how can we fail to remember, finally, the words with which the Pontiff, in the interview with Don Marco Pozza for TV2000 on Our Father, reminded us that the devil “is a person” and we must never “never talk to Satan” because “he is more intelligent than us”.  


PAT SAYS:

As Christians, we believe that God is the absolute personification of Goodness.

We also believe that the Devil, or Satan, is the personification of all that is Evil.

We do not have any choice in these beliefs as both God and Satan are mentioned a lot in the Bible - and more importantly in the teachings of Jesus Himself.

Our human minds cannot comprehend God.

In a similar way, we cannot comprehend Satan.

But all we have to do is to watch the daily news on the TV to be quite sure that there is a great deal of evil in the world.

As Christians, we believe that we can be in receipt of many graces directly from God.

Is it not also reasonable to believe that we can receive "energies" from the source of Evil?

As complex creatures, I think we are all a contradictory mixture of "good" and "evil" and not all of that comes directly from Satan.

There is a difference between badness and weakness.

Most of us are weak. I like to think that very few people are evil.

But I do believe in Satan and Evil and I think there are times in the world when these dark forces become involved in human situations and use people's weakness to make some very bad things happen.

In that context, I think "Old Nick" as we often like to call him is very active in The Vatican and in the RC institution.

Somehow, I think Pope Francis would agree with me.

Have popes not spoken of "The Smoke of Satan" in the Vatican?






47 comments:

  1. Pat, today is the Solemnity of Mary, The Mother of God. Surely your spiritual focus should be on her not Satan. We look to Mary in a unique way. She is an integral part of our salvation story. Let's honour this great woman today. And with respect and love.

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    1. I was quoting Pope Francis.......

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    2. I don't see the problem. Our salvation story is rooted in the divine battle between God of the Universe and Satan, a battle in which Mary plays a vital role. We don't disrespect Mary or her maternity by remembering who God came to save us from.

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  2. Bishop Pat
    A few days ago you responded to news of Peter Forde's death by saying he was a bit of a mystery. I knew Peter well and there was no better priest in the diocese. He was faithful and a true priest. He suffered greatly in the last years of his life. I know he was surrounded by people but still experienced incredible loneliness as do many priests who like him committed themselves to the Church. I knew him and miss him terribly but I am glad that his suffering is over.

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    1. I liked Peter when I say he was a mystery I meant that he was very private.

      I am sorry to hear that he suffered. I did not know that. I wish I had.

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    2. He must have been heartbroken a few years ago when his sister, Sr.Frances Forde was one of those two nuns who were killed in the freak traffic accident by a man who was speeding. It shocked everyone so much at the time.

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    3. Yes, you're correct about the death of Fr Forde's sister.(RIP)
      Sr Frances Forde died in a car accident with another elderly nun in Aug of last year 2016.
      It happened near Newry and shocked us all.
      The nuns found their car in the path of a speeding police car with sirens. There was an inquest afterwards.

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  3. Thank you, Pat.
    I think that what Pope Francis said on 13th October, not long past, was very significant when you ponder a little below its surface and apply it to some realife situations.
    Can any poster remember.. was it the famous visionary nun, St. Faustina who said that Satan's greatest achievement was to convince as many of mankind as possible that he didn't exist! (I think her terrifying experiences may have been permitted to her for a reason.)

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    Replies
    1. Our own C S Lewis in The Screwtape Letters!

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  4. I know that I said this before a few months ago but it's worth recalling again to mind :-
    Pray with strong faith every day of your life so that you maintain your foothold in Heaven. If you begin to neglect Mass and your prayer life, you put the security of your eternal salvation in jeopardy---a frightening thought. You get one chance. Don't blow it! Once your prayer guard drops, Satan finds you derisivly easy to convince of anything he wishes. You'll soon be doing his work for him, exactly as intended!

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  5. Happy New Year to you too Pat. This will be my last sign on as I have given you up now for 2018 onwards. The devil wear's many disguises, sometimes they're pretend Bishop's who spoil vocations for gay men like himself. Goodbye until we meet again in purgatory, each of us covered and eating shit as Dante describes in his Comedia.good luck spoiling others lives in 2018. Until we meet again, you will know me Pat - I'm the one with the horns who will damn you in the Eternal fire, as I know you el be also critical of him in heaven - you won't be able to resist - I shall be rubbing my hands together preparing for your arrival.

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    1. Pat has no issue with gay men having vocations. His blog frequently criticises people in religious life/training who exhibit wanton sexual activity. If that destroyed your vocation than
      1. Were you just the type of man with wanton sexual desires or
      2. Was your vocation not need enough to fight for?

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    2. I always thought the main purpose of this blog was to expose hypocrisy within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and help prevent priestly poovery.

      In the new year, I hope +Pat issues, for example, a 10-point guide how to spot an errant pulpit poove or deacon.

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    3. *deep enough to fight for.

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    4. Somebody needs check their theology on purgatory,and on salvation. The devil no longer has any power to judge, and purgatory is not a place of judgement but of purification.

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    5. What a bizarre - verging on psychopathic - posting. Wishing you a happy new year, accusing you of spoiling gay men's vocations and then condemning you to hell! The confused doctrine towards the end suggests a total lack of catechesis. That coupled with the poor grammar suggests it's by a gay seminarian (?Maynooth) in his cups. Or even by someone whose name has apoeared here...

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    6. @15:57

      Invaluable.

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  6. Good morning Pat and a happy new year. I enjoyed reading you last year. You certainly shone a bright light into a few dark corners and brought a few high and mighty folk down off their wee pedestals.
    Haven’t been on very much this last while. I’ve been very unwell but hopefully now turned a corner. So to all the regulars here,especially MMM have a great year.

    Dalriada Dick

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    Replies
    1. I am sorry to hear you were unwell.

      We missed you.

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  7. D D keep well and have a good year. Old Nick! Unusual way to start the new year. I believe evil is a reality. It is all that goes against the will of God. The mystery is that salvation involves cross and resurrection. May God bless us one and all in the year ahead.

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  8. Yes, evil is a reality. I agree with you Sean at 9.30. It presents itself in many guises. Apart from the evil we see in our world, the subtle evil can be found by dissecting people apart through gossip and innuendo, by attributing sinister motivations to other people's behaviour, by trawling through presbytery windows to catch a photo of someone's private home - I could go on. We must confront evil of any kind - even the evil we find on this blog through reckless and dangerous words. While all of us, irrespective of our way of life titally must shine lights in dark places, the constant harassment of SJ and MB of recent days is the "evil" I detest most. Pity it's encouraged by a Bishop!! Truth is vital but not Pat's brand as it too often is motivated by revenge and hatred with little place for fairness, justice or mercy.

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    1. What about +Pat being referred to the PSNI? What evil queen did that, I wonder.

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    2. I think its dangerous if we start second guessing other peoples motivation. We are challenged to work for good and leave the rest to God

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  9. Thank you poster 1.27.
    Frightening thought.

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  10. Let us remember this Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and world day of prayer gor peace. More uplifting and enriching than the inane preocvupations found here. Let God's peace - mercy, justice - reign in our hearts.

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  11. I think you have to discern the spirit of any group. I have worked in secular groups with people who worked peacefully without fuss for the common good. I have also been in church groups where there was constant one upmanship, back biting and bitching. The devil gets every where. The Holy Spirit is not the only spirit the church

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  12. Satan is now chaplain to the bons seceours in Galway.

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    1. 14.06: Are you illiterate? Should read: Bon Secours.....and a most ludicrous, ignorant comment. Go back to school.

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    2. I think he means the chaplain ex-Gaynooth former dean.

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    3. @ Re/"Go back to school" comment. My school is still closed for a few days more for New Year.

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    4. @22.20 - agreed. Looks like a reference to Donal O'Neill. No doubt he had caused some hurt in his former capacity as Dean.

      @21.28, it would appear that your comment is the ignorant comment - but your focus on the presentation of a comment rather than the content of it demonstrates that you are an ordained catholic & a company man, Donal himself, or a professed catholic sister & a company woman.

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    5. 09:11
      1+1=100

      The arrogance exhibited in your posting demonstrates that you are a nutter.

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    6. @13.38
      You cannot argue the point so you try to argue the person; That is the arrogance in this situation.

      And before you try to claim I am a nutter as well the several psychological assessments on the road to ordination confirm that I am not a nutter.

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    7. I can't believe that Donal O'Neill has turned up as a hospital chaplain. That man shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the healthy, still less the sick. Imagine waking up in your hospital and finding him smirking at the foot of it.

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    8. Lol, 'smirking' was that man's biggest talent. A pr1ck of the highest order. I'd sue the Bons if he came anywhere near me.

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    9. There's a long tradition of Maynooth deans being horrible. Step forward Nial Ahern and Paul Prior.

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  13. MournemanMichael1 January 2018 at 21:01

    Would it be reasonable to argue that belief in the Devil as an energised personal spirit, creature or physical entity is equally as illogical and irrational as humankind's preoccupation with the idea of a Creator God Sky Fairy? This would not be to deny the existence of evil as the real phenomena of human activity undertaken with conscious malevolent intent to wilfully cause harm.
    Judgement on what constitutes evil can be situational and variable, but it seems to be accepted as an entirely human phenomena necessarily linked to intellectual consciousness in the human species. That the cat may play with a captured mouse is seen as a cruel torture but not universally accepted as evil, ....though the mouse might beg to differ!
    To put forward a belief in the actual existence of an inherently evil personalised individual, creature or spirit entity known variously as Satan, the Devil etc inevitably invites questions concerning his (or her!) nature, identity and influence.
    Many would simply say that the 'Auld Nick' in question is but a human metaphorical personalisation of the phenomena of evil as understood above. But it is certainly more controversial for many to accept without proof that Auld Nick has any real existence as a concrete or spiritual actuality.
    MMM

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  14. Please read 1.27

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  15. I suffer from chronic migraine and sometimes sleep paralysis. With sleep paralysis you wake but cannot move and feel the presence of intense evil in the room. It is quite common neurological problem. There is evil in the world but perhaps people mean this when they talk of "the devil"

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  16. The propensity for good and evil exists in all of us, but insubstantially.

    The fact that we may aspire to goodness (and, indeed, to evil) which is beyond us (read Paul the Apostle on this) suggests, to my mind, that such goodness (and such evil) actually exist substantially, else we would not and could not aspire to them. If they exist, then they must have form (identity); to have this they must have also intelligence, self-awareness and personality.

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  17. Mourneman Michael whoever the fuck you are. I doubt that 2,00 years of christian teaching have been awaiting your 'enlightemnent'. You sound like a culchie thicko!

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    1. MournemanMichael2 January 2018 at 14:06

      While there is debate about the origins of the word 'culchie', a majority believe it pertains to the people of the Co Mayo village of Kiltimagh.
      I've never been there or to that area so don't "know " what they "sound" like. But friend Anon @ 00:03 you appear to know. Perhaps you have had personal experience.Would it be possible for you to elaborate? And without crude language please. My sheepdog gets upset when I read such comments out loud.
      Thank you, and a Happy New Year to you too.
      MMM

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    2. @00.03
      200 years of enlightenment have thought us to open our minds. MMM may be the source of enlightenment while your thinking reeks of the dark ages.

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  18. Try walking every day 1000 steps
    And eating a healthy diet

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  19. Paying for sex whether it be with a woman or man is the oldest of professions. Let consenting adults get on with it provided that there is no power imbalance.
    What is more bothersome to me is a jumped up hypocrite of a man who happens to adorn the office of bishop abusing his power and position to bully, humiliate and denigrate his clergy. Which is worse?

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