Why as a staunch Catholic I believe the Devil is in Rome.
The Devil and devils:
Many times the scriptures and scholars use the term “devil” to describe any infernal spirit and not just the prince of darkness himself. However, when we say “The Devil” it usually points to an identifiable figure, the Lucifer, the Fallen One, the Accuser. The Devil isn’t omnipresent, he might be able to be at a place or two at the same time since he possesses great power. But he cannot be everywhere at all times. This is an exclusive attribute of God. The Devil, Saints, Angels all share in God’s omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence but in little degrees. But only God is truly Omni-anything.
The Devil and Jesus
Some scholars believe the Devil didn’t know exactly the plans of God regarding the salvation of the world. Even more so the identity of the Christ himself, so he was confused most of the time and God “used” him to make his eternal plans come through.
However, the Devil at some point believed, based on his observations that Jesus was the Christ and so he went ahead to tempt him severally. There’s a reason why the Devil was concerned about this and it is obvious: if he could get the Head to bow to him, the entire world would be his. As his ministry grew and his power became more obvious the Devil became more certain of his identity and made a somewhat permanent camp beside Jesus and his disciples.
Jesus is tempted
The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”Matthew 4:3
Judas stole from the ministry’s treasury:
“He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it”John 12:6
He betrayed Jesus:
Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.AdvertisementMatthew 26:49-50
Judas threw the silver pieces into the temple and left. Then he went and hanged himself.Matthew 27:5
Peter denies thrice
But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” … “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” … “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.Luke 22:54-62
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Why i believe the Devil himself is in Rome:
In the entire history of the Church, the Devil has always been at the very top of things trying to stir the Church away from the Truth, from God. The very Truth himself, Jesus, suffered the same temptations from the Devil who camped beside him and lurked within the college of Apostles to see what damage he could cause. He did succeed to cause some damages, however, God in his infinite power and wisdom extracted several goods from his many evils and in a sense “played” him.
The ultimate evil he inspired men to do was to kill Truth and Goodness himself: Jesus but God made this into the biggest victory for the salvation of the world. The Devil’s victories are always small, but God scores the big ones. So today, the devil still continues to attempt to stir the Church away from the truth, but the question is: will he succeed?
To the Apostles who were unable to see farther than their human eyes at the time, the devil at one time or another seemed to have won God. When Jesus died, the Apostles went about their normal business and buried themselves deep into their usual worries. So deep were they buried that even when Christ appeared and stood before them, their faithlessness didn’t allow them to recognize him until he broke bread. Thomas had to even seek proof since he doubted more than the others. Today, I tell my friends that the devil is in Rome because this is the seat of God’s sacramental presence on earth. The bridge between the Heavens and the Earth, the seat of moral authority in the world and where else should he possibly wish to devote his infernal talents than where he could strike the most blow? He cannot be at all places at once since this attribute is enjoyed by God alone who is omnipresent.
Today, there have been several minor victories enjoyed by the devil which has succeeded in revealing several of the Judases and betraying peters of our times; many cases of sexual abuse and cover-ups, many ongoing and conscious targetting of minors, misuse of power and funds. Where does it end? But again I ask, will he succeed?
Granted these are really horrendous acts perpetrated by those who govern the Body of Christ on earth. The one place where these minors should go to feel safe and welcome. But I do not believe the Devil has succeeded nor can he have the ultimate victory.
God has promised never to leave his Church orphan, he has promised to be with us until the close of age. It is a good thing that the devil still attempts to stir the Church away since this means the Church is still on the right track. Yes many of her members may be individually terrible people, and many of her leaders can become monsters (A minister who sexually abuses anyone deserves even more extreme characterization), but God can never leave His Church. He has the power to keep her in line, he wishes to keep her unblemished and he will keep her spouse pure until that wedding day, the last day when he will come with his pruning fork to separate wheat from chaff.
Yes, Satan is in Rome, he will stand beside the Pope at all times, to see if he can trip the Shepherd and make him fall. He will be at every major meetings to see if the Church can pass on scandalous rules, to see if the Church can really depart from her life-giving doctrines, but we know this is impossible. Since the Church is designed to never go back on her defined teachings.
We keep praying to God, not to rid the Church of the Devil’s temptations (since this is impossible), but to strengthen her members to guard against the influence of the evil one who would do anything to take over his Church.
St Joseph, patron of the Church, pray for us.
Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles, protect and guard the Pope.
St Peter, Prince of the Apostles, pray for your successors and all Bishops.
St Nicholas, patron of Children, protect minors.