Pope Blames Problems on the Devil
Pope Francis and the Catholic Church have been feeling the heat of late. The pope was even forced to apologize about his positions on child abuse, a first. He believes that some of that heat directed at him may be hellfire: “Pope blames Catholic divisions on the devil.” His theory has elicited surprisingly few comments.
The Catholic Church maintains that - unlike any other religion or religious denomination - it is guided by the Holy Spirit. But if the Catholic Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, how can the devil be guiding major parts of it? Pope Francis was alluding to a group of cardinals who questioned his Joy of Love. Apparently the pope believes that the devil controls the highest levels of the church. Is the quasi-infallible pope immune from such evil influence?
Pope Francis leaves a trail of excuses
Pope Francis was recently forced to apologize for his passionate defense of a Chilean bishop who was in fact guilty of crimes of child abuse. Francis blamed it on bad advisors. He accepted no responsibility for his failure to check the facts, though five minutes on Google would have shown the error of his ways. After making this pathetic excuse, Pope Francis refused to address similar problems concerning the sexual abuse of Canadian natives placed in Catholic institutions (here). Apparently another apology would have exceeded his quota.
Pope Francis has long refused to address complaints from a group of cardinals that his Joy of Love, in its eagerness to appeal to the divorced, who are no longer Catholics in good standing, invites priests to violate Church law by giving them certain sacraments to them. Pope Francis used a ghostwriter for his Joy of Love [Furor Over Papal Plagiarism]. Not only did he pick a questionable ghostwriter, he failed to have the document properly reviewed before releasing it. (It’s not clear whether Pope Francis read the document, nor is it clear whether he knows Church law.) So now he blames Satan for divisive comments on Joy of Love and refuses to talk about his alleged problems. It does not appear that the Holy Spirit has been guiding him in this matter.
Early in his tenure, Pope Francis had several meetings with leading preachers of the prosperity gospel. The picture below shows his joyous bonding with Ken Copeland, the dean of prosperity preachers. Subsequently, Pope Francis called the prosperity gospel a heresy. Once again, he was not only ignorant, but too incurious to spend a few minutes on Google to learn who he was about to meet and effusively greet. (Even after his meeting with Copeland, he failed to do any research on the other prosperity preachers.)
This kind of thing happens over and over with Pope Francis. He seems to have no concept of due diligence – possibly because he believes he is infallible. When you eliminate the smoke and mirrors generated by the Church’s propaganda machine, it’s not clear what is left behind. It does not seem to be the Holy Spirit’s fruit.
Prior failings of the Holy Spirit
There is little doubt that prior popes have guided the Church in ways contrary to the Holy Spirit. Throughout most of its history, the Church was involved in wars, which they often called holy. Not only did they fail to turn the other cheek or emulate the Prince of Peace, they often struck the first blow. After several failed Crusades, they kept trying to browbeat friendly royalty into further attempts.
Popes initiated most of the Inquisitions, and certified all of them. The same is true of Catholic witch hunts. Few would consider them the product of the Holy Spirit.
Popes also led the way in some of the greatest frauds in history, such as the so-called Donation of Constantine. More mundane matters, like the sales of dispensations, are clear evidence of a long-term policy of fraud and financial misconduct. Rampant simony – sale of Church offices, including the papacy – is also inconsistent with divine guidance.
How about Hitler?
I would like to address another ignoble chapter in Church history, one which is increasingly being rewritten. Few believe that the Holy Spirit would ally itself or the Church with Hitler and the Third Reich. But the Catholic Church was the first sovereign nation to recognize Hitler and form an alliance with him. It did this despite protests from most Western countries.
The Catholic Church formed this alliance long after the publication of Mein Kampf, which detailed Hitler’s plans for war and for ridding Germany of Jews. (At that time, he hoped to exile, rather than kill them, but Mein Kampf contained the racial theories Hitler would use to justify genocide.)
Despite this, the Church rushed into an alliance with Hitler in July 1933. This alliance greatly strengthened the Nazis’ position, as Hitler himself happily noted. The preamble to this concordat is noteworthy: “His Holiness Pope Pius XI and the President of the German Reich, moved by a common desire to consolidate and promote the friendly relations existing between the Holy See and the German Reich, wish to permanently regulate the relations between the Catholic Church and the state for the whole territory of the German Reich.” This is about as close as a diplomatic treaty gets to being a declaration of soul mates.
The point man for Pope Pius XI was the man who drafted the concordat, the “Most Reverend Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, his Secretary of State.” He would go on to become Pope Pius XII, earning the title of “Hitler’s pope.” He always upheld his end of the concordant, even while Hitler repeatedly violated it and repeatedly acted against the Church. Pius XII authorized Germany’s Catholic soldiers to lay down their lives for Hitler and the Reich. He maintained “neutrality” with Germany until it had effectively lost the war, at which time he helped smuggle high-ranking Nazis out of the country.
Which deity is driving the Church?
The Catholic Church claims it is guided by the Holy Spirit. But Pope Francis admits that Satan is guiding parts of the Church, causing divisions and criticism of papal policy. The Church’s history of wars, Inquisitions, witch hunts, frauds, and an alliance with Hitler is clearly evil. Not even the Church attempts to defend it. All Christian theologians would agree that the Holy Spirit could not do such evil.
Theologians and laymen alike agree that Satan could have done it. Furthermore, while God is incapable of doing evil, Satan is capable of doing good. He is the Great Deceiver, capable of any behavior that might further his evil goals. Is it reasonable to assume that the Holy Spirit guides the Church, except for all those times when it steps aside and hands over the reins to Satan? Is it evil for the Holy Spirit to allow Satan to direct the Church to burn witches, rape children and cover up its crimes, fight endless wars, etc., all in the name of God? It is certainly more parsimonious to assume continuous leadership by the same entity. Isn’t it also more reasonable?