Pope blames devil for Church scandals, seeks angel’s help

Vatican City, October 8, 2018 – The devil is alive and well and working overtime to undermine the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis says.

In fact, the pope is so convinced that Satan is to blame for the sexual abuse crisis and deep divisions racking the Church that he has asked Catholics around the world to recite a special prayer every day in October to try to beat him back.

“(The Church must be) saved from the attacks of the malign one, the great accuser and at the same time be made ever more aware of its guilt, its mistakes, and abuses committed in the present and the past,” Francis said in a message on September 29.

Since he was elected in 2013, Francis has made clear that he believes the devil to be real. In a document in April on holiness in the modern world, Francis mentioned the devil more than a dozen times.

“We should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea. This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable,” he wrote in the document.

The Church has recently been hit by one sexual abuse scandal after another, from Germany, to the United States, to Chile. At the same time, a deepening polarisation between conservatives and liberals in the Church has played out on social media.

Francis’ use of the term “the great accuser” to describe Satan hit a raw nerve with one of the pope’s harshest conservative critics, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Vatican’s former ambassador to Washington.


In an 11-page statement published on Aug. 26, Viganò launched an unprecedented broadside by a Church insider against the pope and a long list of Vatican and US Church officials.

He accused Francis of knowing about sexual misconduct by a former U.S. cardinal with male adult seminarians but not doing anything about it.

Viganò, concluding that his former boss had singled him out as the devil in disguise, complained in his next statement that Francis “compared me to the great accuser, Satan, who sows scandal and division in the Church, though without ever uttering my name”.

On Sunday, a top Vatican official issued a scathing open letter accusing Viganò of mounting a “political frame job devoid of real foundation” and contesting his accusations against the pope point by point.

Francis is so convinced that Satan is ultimately to blame for both the sexual abuse scandals and the divisions within the Church that he has enlisted the aid of spiritual big gun – St. Michael the Archangel. Michael is mentioned several times in the Bible as the leader of the angels who ousted Lucifer, the fallen angel, from paradise.

Catholics are being asked to recite the rosary daily in October and conclude it with a prayer to St. Michael that was said after Mass until 1964 but then fell into disuse.

The prayer reads:

“St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defence against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of Souls.”


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8 thoughts on “Pope blames devil for Church scandals, seeks angel’s help

  1. Catholic moral theology is based on the doctrine of free will. Good and evil forces, by whatever name we call them, will always try to influence us, but ultimately it is the individual that takes the call. Even Jesus experienced temptations throughout his life, but did not succumb to them.

    Most Indians believe in destiny or even pre-destination, or the sins of a previous birth that are now afflicting them. They use such philosophical notions to absolve themselves of personal culpability. Some psychologists would also have us believe that our actions are determined by our genetic make up, so we are not personally responsible for our sexual misdemeanours.

    However, I am a firm believer in the church’s teaching on free will, that the individual is responsible for his or her own actions.

  2. O my God, finally the Pope has found the real culprit for the misconduct by the hierarchy. The Bishops and priests involved in sexual abuse should now feel relieved and guilt free. Very childish explanation indeed, not expected from Pope Francis.

  3. We need not take devil and angel as two living creatures or statues. They are the inspiration for doing right and wrong. When we feel pain seeing a sick or hungry person and a thought to help him comes in the mind,it is taken as inspiration or direction from Holy Spirit or angel . We are free to neglect . Same way if we feel like becoming rich by taking bribe, it is the inspiration from the devil. We can accept or neglect it. So I feel the idea behind Pope’s finding is the existence and influence of evil and the necessity to overcome the temptations.

  4. As someone earlier involved in youth and family ministry I believe that essentially we are responsible for our own actions. Indians are already quick to blame fate, kismet, karma etc. So the devil would be another excuse.

  5. There have been moments in my life where I have felt the presence of evil, but I find it hard to give it a nomenclature. There is also the danger of passing the buck and blaming external forces for one’s failures.

  6. I hope the pope shortly will warn bishops, over giving key of the tabernacle to non ordained priests the nuns… And ask them to keep the tabernacle’s key personally in custody of ordained priests, the rectors, parish priests, and priests in charge of the Eucharist. Those priest belittle the matter to be suspended from its major duties… The paradox is The custodians of Eucharist is rather very happy to be the custodians of church institutions of material world, vehicles, hostels of girls, working women, boys etc… Same priests entrust the tabernacle’s key to others is not participatory church but abusive church and allotting no time and energy for the Lord….
    Formerly those late bishops allowed nuns to open the Eucharist and pray is unethical, theologically not sound as presence of the Lord is not only in opened form… They might have any other practical reason for the time being… Many places it has become a rule… The mother superior has the authority to expose the Eucharist…
    The retreat centre directors are developing this same abuse for safeguarding their ego to request to another ordained priest…
    Sacrament is not to be played with ego clash… Pressurising etc.
    Same way the other sacraments like baptism, confirmation, marriage, Many priests prefer to give it in private manner by avoiding various prayers…
    Devil enters through the negligence of the ordained priests… To chase devil tighten the rules of the ordained. And avoid the service of the non ordained once until given ordination to those lay groups and nuns whose basic call is for monastic life..

  7. Thank Lord, at last they found the culprit… Devil is real…. But priests who do exorcism in confession and preaching word of God and other prayers don’t belive there is devil… Here was the success key of the Devil until now… Thank God Pope Said it and convinced of the fact of the demonic presence…

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