Italian exorcist to Jesuit leader: No, the devil isn’t just a ‘symbol’

Italian priest and exorcist Fr. Sante Babolin said that “the devil, Satan, exists” and that “evil is not an abstraction,” in response to recent comments from Fr. Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Society of Jesus.

In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Fr. Arturo Sosa said that “we have made symbolic figures, like the devil, to express evil.”

“Social conditioning can also represent this figure, since there are people who act [in an evil way] because they are in an environment where it is difficult to act to the contrary,” Fr. Sosa added.

Speaking to ACI Prensa June 2, Fr. Babolin recalled several places in documents and statements of the Church that show the true existence of the devil.

Fr. Babolin recalled the documents of the IV Lateran Ecumenical Council in 1215, state that Christians “firmly believe and simply confess” that God created “from nothing…the spiritual and the corporal, that is, the angelic and the mundane, and then the human. ”

“(T)he devil and other demons were created by God good in nature, but they themselves through themselves have become wicked,” notes the text of the council.

Fr. Babolin, known as the “exorcist of Padua,” also recalled two speeches of Pope Paul VI in 1972, which also confirm the existence of the devil “to the faithful, who tend to doubt the existence of Satan…his presence and action. ”

On June 29, 1972, Paul VI, alluding to the contemporary situation of the Church, said in his homily that it seemed “the smoke of Satan” entered the temple of God. That same year, on November 15, Paul VI warned that “one of the major needs of the Church” is to defend ourselves “from that evil that we call the Devil.”

Fr. Babolin also noted that the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that the devil exists in reality, not in the abstract. In the section of the Catechism regarding the “deliver us from evil” petition of the Our Father, in para. 2851, it states that “in this petition, evil is not an abstraction, A person, Satan, the Evil One, the angel who opposes God. The ‘devil’ (dia-bolos) is the one who ‘crosses’ in the design of God and his work of salvation fulfilled in Christ.”

Fr. Babolin said that the faithful should see the statement of the Fourth Lateran Ecumenical Council, the assertions of Paul VI and what is recorded in the Catechism as “three irrefutable points” about the existence of the devil.



  1. Peter Aiello Reply

    Why does Father Babolin have to explain this to the Superior General of the Society of Jesus? How far we’ve fallen if the Jesuits need a lesson on the devil.

  2. Patrick Gannon Reply

    ““(T)he devil and other demons were created by God good in nature, but they themselves through themselves have become wicked,” notes the text of the council.”
    1. An all-knowing god created these beings who were formerly angels, not knowing that they would become the devil and demons? Just how “all-knowing” could he be? Or was this part of his grand plan? Wasn’t that kind of stupid?
    2. Yahweh-Jesus and heaven are supposed to be nothing but love, nothing but goodness, eternal bliss. If this god and his heaven are so wonderful, why on earth (or heaven) would any being turn wicked? In the first place, the prayer says, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” If Yahweh-Jesus’ will is being done in heaven, then the only way the devil could become wicked is if Yahweh-Jesus willed it to be so, right?
    3. Why would an all-powerful being have to even put up with a devil and demons?
    4. How does a devil, which like a soul, consciousness, and god is immaterial, have any impact whatsoever on the material particles that makes up our natural world? If there were magical forces that could do this, we would know about them by now. Miracles cannot happen unless you can manipulate the particles in our world, and we know all the forces that can do so, and there are no other magical actions of particles that require some external force to explain. If these forces could manipulate atoms (break the strong nuclear force that binds atoms), in order to heal tissue, or make statues cry blood, we would already know it.

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