In nearly five years as pope, Francis has made more allusions to the devil in his sermons and writings than all his predecessors in the past fifty years.
The devil and his capacity for division have become a common subject in the Argentinian pope’s preaching. During his very first Mass concelebrated in the Sistine Chapel with the cardinals the day after his election, the new pope warned: “When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil!”
As the months went on, Francis recalled often that “Satan is a seducer”; he is “the enemy of humankind. He is astute. He presents things as if they were a good thing. But his intention is destruction.”
The pope explains how the devil works: he “slowly changes our criteria to lead us to worldliness”; he has “two very powerful weapons to destroy the Church: divisions and money”.
Recently, on December 13, 2017, in his commentary on the Our Father on TV2000, Francis recalled that the devil “is a person” and we must “never talk to Satan” because “he is more intelligent than us”.
Without a Sense of Irony
It would be interesting to consider whether a religion that has suddenly become accommodating to the world and its maxims is not a sign of Satan’s influence. After the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), which was marked by the aggiornamento that sought to open Catholicism to modernity, Pope Paul VI saw the action of the father of lies at work in Holy Mother Church. On June 29, 1972, in his sermon for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, he declared: “The smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God through some crack: doubt, incertitude, dissension, worry, discontent, and conflict are plain to see…”
In order to fully unmask Satan, one must identify the revolutionary current that is corrupting the Faith, the worship, and morals, and which seems to want to sweep everything along with it. Only if the successors of St. Peter and St. Paul return to the bi-millenary teaching of the Church and the Mass of all times can the “smoke of Satan” which has entered even into the sanctuary be dispelled.