Speaking out about the sex abuse scandal which has rocked the Catholic church, Pope Francis has claimed the devil himself is to blame, warning believers not to dismiss Satan as merely a ‘myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea’.
The 266th pope, who has long been open about his literal interpretation of the devil, has asked Catholics across the world to say their rosary every day during October before reciting a special prayer to keep the evil entity at bay.
Pope Francis is reportedly seeking the help of St. Michael the Archangel to help the Catholic church fight back against their ancient foe, the devil.
The prayer recommended by the 81-year-old pope – which has not been used much in Catholic mass since the early 1960’s – is as follows:
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.
As reported by Reuters, Pope Francis delivered the following message to Catholics on September 29:
[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.
In a document released in April 2018, Pope Francis discussed the dangers of underestimating the powers of the devil:
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.
The Catholic Church submitted itself to the devil
Hundreds of thousands of innocent children will attest to that
Many have died by their own hand
Your priests had an endless supply of children, were well fed, well housed, respected
Now: the time of reckoning
— Merilyn Stewart (@merilynstewart8) October 8, 2018
no, that would be the priests.
— 🎃timrivard (@TimRivard) October 8, 2018
Some people have been angered by the claim, arguing Pope Francis was using the devil as a scapegoat rather than put the blame at the door of his fellow clergymen.
One person remarked:
Sure, if by ‘Devil’ you mean the Church’s unwillingness to deal with priests abusing children.
If by devil you mean the evil things you let happen right under your nose.
Sure, if by "Devil" you mean the Church's unwillingness to deal with priests abusing children.
— The Fantastic Mr. Hilt (@ahilt20) October 8, 2018
😒if by devil you mean the evil things you let happen right under your nose
— Boba T (@roadkillchef) October 8, 2018
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano has called for the pope’s resignation, alleging the Vatican sovereign had covered up sexual misconduct which had been committed by the former archbishop of Washington, D.C.
Vigano has claimed Pope Francis knew about Theodore McCarrick’s acts of sexual misconduct with adult male seminarians for years but failed to do anything about it.
Vigano has also claimed Pope Francis lifted sanctions which had been imposed upon McCarrick by his predecessor, Pope Benedict.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000. If you are a child seeking advice and support call Childline for free on 0800 1111.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]