Wisdom from the Pope’s Deputy in the Fight against Satan

As previously noted, Pope Francis claims that Satan is responsible for the Church’s abuse crisis (Pope Francis Offers New Solution). He did not specify whether Satan was responsible for the pederasty and subsequent cover-ups, or simply for the Church getting caught. But in any case, the Pope believes that the solution to this problem is more prayers, and has requested the laity’s help. He has created the Worldwide Prayer Network to attack the purported underlying case of the Church’s child abuse epidemic, appointed Jesuit Father Frédéric Fornos to lead it. Ines San Martin of CRUX obtained an exclusive interview with Father Fornos.

Father Fornos told her, “we are in a time of crisis in the Church, with abuses of a sexual nature but also abuses of power and conscience, and also internal division. These are things that cause confusion.” Apparently his primary concern is the “confusion” wrought by raping children and attempting to cover it up. He says nothing about the crimes themselves.

He complains, “Faced with scandals, divisions, the only thing you see is that. Everything else, although much is done, is hidden.” Everybody is too preoccupied with the “scandals.” Again, he seems unconcerned with the actual crimes. Father Fornos seems to believe the Catholic Church mainly has a public relations problem, and needs to get people focused on all the good things it does.  

While Fornos admits, “there is responsibility of the Church,” he and Pope Francis believe, “the origin [of the problem] is much deeper. There is an enemy that is struggling to prevent the Church from giving its message of hope and light to the world” - “ the Adversary, Satan, Father of Lies, the Seducer, the Serpent.”

CRUX asked Father Fornos: “What role do laypeople have in this spiritual battle to help the hierarchy and elevate the whole Church, taking responsibility for helping resolve the crisis?” That is, how can laypeople keep priests from raping children? How can laypeople prevent bishops and cardinals from covering up these crimes? Apparently, it is understood that the princes of the Church will have little part in any remedial actions. It is now “the whole Church” - especially the laypeople – who must fix the problem, even though they have no authority over priests or princes.

Father Fornos emphasizes the “invitation for all the faithful to be awake to their own spiritual combat and also to the one that is present in their community. A call to vigilance.” Only if the laypeople are vigilant to their own spiritual problems will priestly pederasty and princely cover-ups cease. This is indeed a new theory, and one which merits discussion. But to date, neither Catholic media nor Catholic officials have addressed it. In any case, Father Fornos tells us that lots of people are praying.


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