by WorldTribune Staff, October 8, 2018
Amid a torrent of sexual abuse scandals that have even implicated him personally, Pope Francis is calling on Catholics around the world to recite a special prayer every day in October to beat back Satan.
Francis, who has made clear that he believes the devil to be real, wrote in a document earlier this year: “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 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,” Francis said, according to a Reuters report.
Francis has enlisted the aid of St. Michael the Archangel, who is mentioned several times in the Bible as the leader of the angels who ousted Lucifer, the fallen angel, from paradise.
Francis has asked Catholics to recite the rosary daily in October and conclude it with a prayer to St. Michael that was said after Mass until 1964 but then fell into disuse, the Reuters report said.
The prayer reads: “St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense 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.”
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the Vatican’s former ambassador to Washington, last month launched “an unprecedented broadside by a Church insider against the pope and a long list of Vatican and U.S. Church officials,” the Reuters report noted.
Vigano accused Francis of knowing about sexual misconduct by a former U.S. cardinal but not doing anything about it.
Vigano, who said Francis had singled him out as the devil in disguise, said in a statement that Francis “compared me to the great accuser, Satan, who sows scandal and division in the Church, though without ever uttering my name.”
On Oct. 7, a top Vatican official issued an open letter accusing Vigano of mounting a “political frame job devoid of real foundation” and contesting his accusations against the pope.