Like Only Nixon Could Go To China, Can Only Pope Francis Preach About The Devil?

Like Only Nixon Could Go To China, Can Only Pope Francis Preach About The Devil? May 5, 2013
Let me tell you about the Adversary…

Show of hands, how many of you have you heard your parish priest mention the Devil in a homily? Pope Francis doesn’t seem self conscious, or embarrassed, about doing so.

This excerpt is from yesterday’s Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae,

“There can be no dialogue with the prince of this world: let this be clear! Today, dialogue is necessary among us humans, it is necessary for peace. Dialogue is a habit, it is an attitude that we must have among us to feel and understand each other…and that [dialogue] must be maintained forever. Dialogue comes from charity, from love. But with that prince, it is impossible to dialogue: one can only respond with the Word of God who defends us, for the world hates us – and just as he did with Jesus, so will he do with us. ‘Only look,’ he will say, ‘just do this one small little scam…it is a small matter, nothing really – and so he begins to lead us on a road that is slightly off. This is a pious lie: ‘Do it, do it, do it: there is no problem,’ and it begins little by little, always, no? Then [he says]: ‘But … you’re good, you’re a good person: You [get away with] it.’ It is flattering – and he softens us by flattery: and then, we fall into the trap.”

Pope Francis went on to say that the Lord asks us to remain sheep, because if one decides to quit the fold, then he does not have, “a shepherd to defend him and he falls into the clutches of these wolves.”

“You may ask the question,” continued Pope Francis, ‘Father, what is the weapon to defend against these seductions, from these blandishments, these enticements that the prince of this world offers?’. The weapon is the same weapon of Jesus, the Word of God – not dialogue – but always the Word of God, and then humility and meekness. We think of Jesus, when they give that slap: what humility! What meekness! He could have insulted him, no? One question, meek and humble. We think of Jesus in His Passion. His Prophet says: ‘As a sheep going to the slaughter.’ He does not cry out, not at all: humility. Humility and meekness. These are the weapons that the prince and spirit of this world does not tolerate, for his proposals are proposals for worldly power, proposals of vanity, proposals for ill-gotten riches.”


More on Pope Francis, the Devil, and Jesuit Spirituality, can be found at CNS, and at Father Z’s blog. And for extra credit, learn about Our Lady, Terror of Hell.


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  • He’s not the only one talking about this. At the State Knights of Columbus convention in Pendleton last Friday, Archbishop Emeritus Vlazny told us:
    “When we affirm our belief in one God we acknowledge that there is built into the universe a series of positions about right and wrong as firm as the law of gravity. They are not subject to popular vote. We don’t vote about whether it’s all right to steal from neighbors or to kill babies. We don’t vote about the laws of adultery any more than we vote that rainfall should be light in Oregon or that pizza should be more nourishing than fresh vegetables. There are some things which are simply right and/or true.
    We live in a world where too many people believe that right is anything we feel good about and wrong is about anything we feel guilty about. If morality is relative, why was Hitler wrong?

    As you gather this year for this assembly, there is much newness in our church. A new bishop was ordained for Baker back on May 18th of last year, Most Rev. Liam Cary. A new archbishop was installed for the Catholics of western Oregon back on April 2nd at the Chiles Center in the University of Portland. During Lent, at the conclave in Rome the cardinals elected our new Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis. The Pope has been a very effective evangelizer during these early weeks of his pontificate. He is a clever speaker and he uses some rather vivid images in his remarks and addresses. In addressing the need for a new evangelization in our church, mindful of the fact that so many of our fellow Catholics have truly marginalized the practice of their faith, Pope Francis made this observation. He said that today’s situation is the mirror opposite of the biblical parable of the shepherd who leads his 99 sheep to find the one that is lost. The Pope said, “Today we have one in the pen and 99 we need to go looking for!””

    Clearly he’s been listening to the Pope.