By Dan Calabrese
Well that’s one way to look at it, and it’s not wrong per se. It just leaves out kind of an important detail, which is . . . if you don’t commit pedophilia in the first place, Satan has nothing to expose.
I am not part of the Catholic Church and I don’t believe the Vatican’s claim of authority is biblical, there are still millions of Catholics who love Jesus and want to serve him faithfully through the mechanism of this church, so I take no joy in the Vatican’s blindness on this issue.
Yes, we’re all sinners, but we don’t all abuse our position as ministers of the Gospel to get our thrills with minors. And those who do should expect rather serious ramifications. Yet it’s almost as if Francis thinks this is merely a bunch of idle gossip that people should just shut up about because it’s distracting him from railing against capitalism and global warming. How exactly do you get up in church and say this?
“In these times, it seems like the ‘Great Accuser’ has been unchained and is attacking bishops. True, we are all sinners, we bishops. He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people. The ‘Great Accuser’, as he himself says to God in the first chapter of the Book of Job, ‘roams the earth looking for someone to accuse’. A bishop’s strength against the ‘Great Accuser’ is prayer, that of Jesus and his own, and the humility of being chosen and remaining close to the people of God, without seeking an aristocratic life that removes this unction. Let us pray, today, for our bishops: for me, for those who are here, and for all the bishops throughout the world.”
Let me deal a bit with the theology here, because you might say, “He’s the pope and you’re some slob in Royal Oak,” but I know what the Bible says and he hasn’t got it right.
Satan is the accuser of the brethren, but that’s not what’s addressed in Job 1. I think the pope is thinking of 1 Peter 5:8, which says (NASB translation), “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” There are other translations that use the word “attack” instead of “devour.” I don’t know of any that use the word “accuse.” The context is the importance of keeping alert and sober because Satan is constantly on the lookout for someone he can spiritually attack – whether that attack comes in the form of temptation, accusation or deceit.
It is not specifically about accusing wrongdoers or exposing sin so as to create scandals, and it certainly isn’t about foiling efforts by the church to cover up sin. Jesus constantly tells us we need to confess our sins rather than try to hide them, because everything ultimately will be brought to light.
In Job, which Francis references here, Satan suggests to God that Job only fears God because he is abundantly blessed, and asks permission to test Job’s devotion to God by taking away his possessions and his family, and finally by physically attacking him. I suppose you could say Satan accused Job in the sense that he suggested Job’s devotion to God was insincere and conditioned on his blessings, but that’s hardly the same thing as accusing someone of pedophilia . . . especially when the person is actually guilty of it.
This is not to say Satan has no role in exposing what’s happened, but if that’s the case, it’s because the Vatican and corrupt bishops teed it up for him by covering up the abuse in the first place. If you were going to help Satan sabotage your church, you couldn’t do any better than to try to cover up evil like this – ensuring that when everything finally did come out, the scandal was even bigger than the original wrongdoing.
Yet Francis still seems convinced that the only thing really going wrong here is that the bishops are being made to look bad. Extraordinary. Hand Satan a hammer, he’s going to hit you with it. You’d think the pope would be one of the first people to understand that. If he doesn’t, why are you following the church he leads?
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!