Pope Francis and the Devil

Mention of the devil offends people.

They don’t like to hear about him, any more than they want to hear about hell. The devil and hell are not a real entity and a real place we are told. They are the boogeyman and the boogeyplace that we Christians use to scare people into conversion.

Many Christians also dismiss the devil and hell. Back when I was a protestant, I was often corrected by my various pastors about my belief in both a literal hell and a literal devil. “Hell is separation from Christ,” I was told. “It is, simply the grave with no resurrection.”

“The devil is not an actual personality,” I heard another time. “There is no such thing.”

But the truth is, Jesus spoke often and graphically about both hell and the devil. There is no indication in any of His words that hell is a state of mind or that the devil was a figment of religious imagination. On the contrary, Jesus gave us our most clear portrait of both these realities.

Pope Francis, far from being politically correct, goes against this modern tide and speaks often of the devil and his works in our lives.


Maybe because, as a pastor of souls, he has met the devil many times. I’ve said before that it is a scalding, life-changing thing to look into another person’s eyes and see the devil looking back at you. Perhaps Pope Francis has had this experience. If he has, it would explain a lot.

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  • Dale

    Persons who doubt the existence of the Devil should give thanks that their lives have been blessed so much.

  • FW Ken

    My thinking on heaven, hell, and purgatory owe much to C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce, a study in personalities, to be sure, but also a story of salvation and damnation that begins in this life, but comes to full realization in the next. We live this life in preparation for unending joy, or unending sorrow and we experience shadows and inklings of them now.

  • SisterCynthia

    As a protestant who went to a graduate seminary (and a fairly conservative one at that), it sadly doesn’t surprise me you were “corrected” by some very foolish ministers who were more concerned with adhering to a “reasonable” faith than the one Jesus taught. Too many of my fellows seemed to need to base their understanding of the faith on human Reason, rather than divine Revelation. Even tho our faith in Christ and acceptance of His teachings is not UNreasonable, appealing to current (fickle!) human wisdom/understanding is a ridiculously frail support. I am very glad to hear Pope Francis does not suffer from such delusions! And I suspect, living thru the dark times in Argentina, he HAS seen Satan…