Pope Francis has said that the devil is to blame for the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.
While he accepts that the Church must be aware of its guilt, he says that Satan is working overtime to undermine the Church.
He said that it is destroying the Church’s reputation and causing deep divisions within the hierarchy.
The Pope has asked Catholics around the world say a prayer everyday to beat the devil.
He said: “(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.”
He is so concerned about Satan that he wants Catholics to pray for help from St Michael. According to the bible, Michael was the Archangel and, as leader of the angels, it was he who banished fallen angel Lucifer from paradise.
The Pope wants Catholics to a revive a prayer to St Michael that fell out of use in 1964. He wants them to recite it daily in October after their rosary.
The prayer, which used to be recited after Mass 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.”
Pope Francis has made it clear that he believes the devil is real numerous times since he was elected in 2013.
In a recent document he wrote: “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.”
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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling