Pope Francis shocks world by saying the devil exists

Had to share this because I thought it was so bizarre. Call me stupid, but I thought all Christians (including Catholics) knew Satan exists. Am I wrong?

On Monday, May 12, Lauren Barbato of Bustle wrote an article stating that Pope Francis talks more about Satan than Catholic Church leaders have since 1987, when Pope John Paul II gave a speech where he blamed “the disorder we see in society, the infidelity of man, the interior fragmentation of which he is a victim” at least partly on the devil. She said Francis’s position that Satan, as described in the Bible, is a being who literally exists is confusing to some Catholics. Barbato added that the Catholic theologian Vito Mancuso is opposed to the Pope’s teachings on this subject because he “is opening the door to superstition.”

In the Washington Post article that Barbato cited, Anthony Faiola added that some leaders within the Vatican view him as less progressive than his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI where his beliefs about Satan are concerned. In recent years, it has become popular in the U.S. and western Europe to talk about Satan in more allegorical terms.

On Saturday, May 10.Faiola reported, “After his little more than a year atop the Throne of St. Peter, Francis’s teachings on Satan are already regarded as the most old school of any pope since at least Paul VI, whose papacy in the 1960s and 1970s fully embraced the notion of hellish forces plotting to deliver mankind unto damnation…..

“Largely under the radar, theologians and Vatican insiders say, Francis has not only dwelled far more on Satan in sermons and speeches than his recent predecessors have, but also sought to rekindle the Devil’s image as a supernatural entity with the forces­ of evil at his beck and call. (more at The Examiner)

So, if one believes the Devil/Satan exists it’s considered “old school” or “superstition?” What do those who deny his existence do with all these scriptures:

100 Bible Verses about Satan


11 comments on “Pope Francis shocks world by saying the devil exists

  1. Here are some of my thoughts:

    So given that Satan is a titular type of name, some would argue that what is at play is a particular type of immaterial spiritual evil, but one that is not distinctly personal in the way that you or I are persons, or the Lord is.

    Another is that, in light of some of the work by Walter Wink, the usual dismissal of demons and powers as “superstitions” are understood as the super-personal powers that influence us. By that I mean in the sense that a Company or Society is not a material or quantifiable thing, and yet these take on existences more than just the people that make them up.

    However, both of the above insights are very good, but some use them to make dichotomies that don’t need to be there. Why can’t Satan be some sort of anti-person, just as sin is an anti-reality, that attacks God’s good creation. Or why can’t demons and powers both be creaturely, but also constitutive of the superstructures of societies and companies.

    It is a bit disingenuous to speak of the devil and the demon cohort as allegorical, and say that is the intent of the Bible, when, clearly, the Scripture gives them voices and actions.

    Food for thought,

    • There are so many scriptures which point to the reality of a Devil (Satan) and demons, i could fill the entire front page of this blog with them. How anyone who claims to be a Christian (which would indicate they’d read the bible) could deny that either one really exists is astounding. You’re correct Cal, the scriptures do indeed gives them voices and actions. The record of Satan tempting Jesus in matthew 4, was not allegorical, but fact.

  2. This whole thing struck me as being rather hilarious actually. The idea that so many people would be shocked that anyone of the pope’s stature would believe in the devil or hell is totally not surprising. I actually suspect that a lot of protestants, including evangelicals, are in some degree of denial when it comes to Satan and hell. In how many churches do you actually hear those topics brought up in the sermons? After all they are not the inviting, feel good type themes that draw in the crowds. I seem to recall that the producers of the “Son of God” movie recently noted that they make no mention of Satan “because they didn’t want to give him any air time” or something to that effect. Most people today seemingly would rather put the devil and hell out of sight and out of mind along with other unpleasant thoughts. We have an ever abundant supply of near death visits to heaven (Heaven is For Real, etc), but where are the movies proclaiming that “Hell is For Real”? One would think that with all the people visiting heaven, at least somebody out there has visited hell and come back. But perhaps that is part of the deception involved in the whole thing. Imagine “Hell is For Real” playing in your local theater. That would be a real box office hit. I suspect the reality is that only those of us who are very “old fashioned” actually take the devil and hell seriously these days.

    • George i have to admit i WAS shocked! Guess it just goes to show how ignorant i am, for the idea of Christians denying the existence of satan or a real devil, blows me away.

      I suspect the reality is that only those of us who are very “old fashioned” actually take the devil and hell seriously these days.

      Guess im old fashioned because the bible makes it very clear he is a real enemy.

      Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

      give no opportunity to the devil.

      Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

      For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

      The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,

      We appear to have two extremes today. One focuses too much on satan and the other denies his very existence.

    • “We appear to have two extremes today. One focuses too much on satan and the other denies his very existence.”

      AND … many of those who focus too much on Satan often seem to do so in a circus atmosphere which does not portray Satan in the same light which the bible portrays him. They tend to make it into some sort of dramatic contest in which man is achieving glory by heroically fighting Satan to build the earthly kingdom. In reality we are to call on the Lord to protect us from Satan as we are powerless to oppose him in our own strength. And we are not instructed to invent ways to pick fights with him, but rather to resist him when he presents himself and to call on the Lord to protect us and deliver us from his attacks and into the Heavenly Kingdom.

    • True. A few names came to mind when i wrote that. Like Cindy Jacobs, for instance. The bizarre “spiritual warfare” crowd.

  3. Well, (gulp) we had better stop going around saying that Jesus exists too, just in case we shock the world into a totally catonic state. I mean, it is hardly the ‘christian’ thing to do to go round upsetting people is it? Just as a matter of ‘academic’ interest, in Sweden only 15% of the members of the Church of Sweden actually believe in Jesus Christ. Heres the link to the article I obtained that information from: http://www.livingchurch.org/church-sweden-nonbelievers

    I’m pretty sure its a reliable estimate, not because I trust the source of it, but because it matches up with various cenus and survey information I’ve been digging up which is ‘fact based’

  4. I mildly disagree with George Mitchell. One reason we are given “supernatural” gifts is so we CAN fight back, if and when the Lord tells you to. Everyone is gifted in different ways of course and has their own unique role in the scheme of things. However I totally agree that we should not go round ‘picking fights’ with Satan.

    Trouble is, if you are ‘actively’ serving God then its inevitable you will get ‘more attention’ from enemy forces simply because you get ‘noticed’. And you are far more likely to get noticed these days simply because there are less and less true christians around for satan to worry about. Its simple arithmetic exercise – if there were 10 christians each fighting one demon to start with, and now there is only one true christian left, well… that person now has to learn how to handle ten of them.

    That requires training of course, and you need to go to God for the training and follow the training program HE tells you to follow…. That can lead you all over the place to all sorts of weird and wonderful places.

    What I can tell you is this: one day you will reach a point where you suddenly realise the battle has become ‘personal’. By that I mean, it dawns on you that its YOU the enemy soldier is firing his gun at, he’s not just firing aimlessly into some large nebulous group of people that are all sitting there doing nothing.

    I’m saying that God expects us to each play our part – and that might include going out to face 1000 of the enemy on your lonesome simply because God has said: “George! Go over there and start shooting at the enemy battallion you’ll find there. Shoot as many as you can, and I’ll take care of the rest of them if you run into trouble. Don’t worry, I’ll be keeping an eye on you.”

    Now, that’s doing something quite different from ‘declaring Gods rule over this city and marching out in faith to claim the victory’ even though God hasn’t told you personally to do so.

    • Amen…

    • ‘I mildly disagree with George Mitchell. One reason we are given “supernatural” gifts is so we CAN fight back, if and when the Lord tells you to. Everyone is gifted in different ways of course and has their own unique role in the scheme of things.’

      Andronicus, that is why I used the qualifier: “in our own strength”. Certainly anyone who so much as wins souls for Christ is making an attack against Satan and his powers. So I think we are actually quite in agreement.

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