The Devil Wears SJ. The Jesuit Superior General: The Devil is a symbol, not a person.

This week brought us Jesuit Thomas Reese, who undermined faith in transubstantiation.  I wrote about that HERE.  And Jesuit James Martin is incessantly sowing confusion about same-sex relationships and the Church’s teaching about homosexual acts.

Now this.

From CNA:

Vatican City, Aug 21, 2019 / 01:44 pm (CNA).- The superior general of the Society of Jesus said Aug. 21 that the devil is a symbol, but not a person.

The devil, “exists as the personification of evil in different structures, but not in persons, because is not a person, is a way of acting evil. He is not a person like a human person. It is a way of evil to be present in human life,” Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, said Wednesday in an interview with Italian magazine Tempi.

“Good and evil are in a permanent war in the human conscience and we have ways to point them out. We recognize God as good, fully good. Symbols are part of reality, and the devil exists as a symbolic reality, not as a personal reality,” he added.

Sosa’s remarks came after he participated in a panel discussion at a Catholic gathering in Rimini, Italy, organized by the Communion and Liberation ecclesial movement.

The Catechism of the Catholic teaches that “Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: ‘The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing.’”

Angels, the Catechism says, are “spiritual, non-corporeal beings.”

They are personal and immortal creatures,” it adds, who “have intelligence and will.”


He’s done this sort of thing before.

See Ed Peters on this. HERE He does all the work, as you can imagine.

The existence of the devil as a personal reality, and not merely as a symbol of evil, is an article of faith (Ott, Fundamentals 126-131; CCC 395, 2851). Denial of an article of faith is an element of the canonical crime of heresy (1983 CIC 751), an act punishable by measures up to and including excommunication, dismissal from the clerical state, and/or loss of ecclesiastical office (1983 CIC 1364, 194).


I am getting really sick of Jesuits.

My sincere apologies and condolences to those men of the Society of Jesus who are sound and faithful, good sons of Ignatius. It is my esteem for what I know the Society has been and could be that pushes me to pick on you. But you guys have to start policing your own. Otherwise, more and more people will be praying for another Clement XIV.

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  1. Amerikaner says:

    What would it take for good Jesuits to break and create a reformed branch of the Jesuits?

  2. maternalView says:

    So Jesus was tempted in the desert by a symbol, a way of acting evil or the evil present in human life???

  3. I guess, if the devil is a symbol of evil, then God must just be the symbol of good.

  4. teomatteo says:

    Maybe the Superior General is gunning to be the Vatican’s official ‘symbologist’.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  5. pbnelson says:

    If the Devil isn’t a real person how does Reese account for following his orders?

    I amuse myself with reflections on how the Spanish Inquisition would have dealt with this peculiar heretic; I expect they would have shored up his belief system with a few short, sharp days of questioning.

    More seriously, if there’s one thing our Holy Father has been solid on, it’s in acknowledging that Satan is a actual, evil person. I sure wish the Pope would discipline this heretic from his own order.

  6. iPadre says:

    “The devil, “exists as the personification of evil in different structures”

    Would one of those structures be the Jesuits? Just asking.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  7. Bob B. says:

    “Satan is not the “dark side” that faces the light of God in a terrible cosmic struggle. He is a fallen creature whom God allows, for God’s own inscrutable purposes, to work woe in the world. We should take the devil with requisite seriousness, but we shouldn’t give this finally uninteresting and pathetic creature too much attention.” (Barron’s book, Catholicism, page 268)
    Now I finally understand….Bishop Barron is a Jesuit!

  8. Gaetano says:

    So the enemies of the Christian are the World, the Flesh, and a “symbolic reality” that “exists as the personification of evil in different structures.”

  9. Benedict Joseph says:

    The Society is rabid and off the leash. They have been for far too long. It is beyond my understanding why those faithful members among them persist in their alliance with a group which has clearly gone over the cliff. Is there a canonical stipulation which would impede a faithful priest from leaving the Society for the diocesan priesthood or a religious order. Years back I was aware of a number of Jesuits who transferred to the Trappists, but I don’t hear now of anyone making a move out while remaining in religious life and the priesthood.

  10. OldProfK says:

    It is beyond my understanding how these men arrogate to themselves the authority to change what the Church teaches.

  11. Kathleen10 says:

    Yeah, they are largely the dissidents, the unbelievers. And they seem to believe they’re the brain trust. Something needs to happen, because they are causing damage, and what they push, it’s not Catholicism. We have priests walking around leading souls to hell with lies.

  12. Chris in Maryland 2 says:

    Ipadre – I am laughing out loud at that one! Thank you!

  13. tho says:

    We have been living in troubled times ever since The Spirit of VII became the mantra of our prelates. It seems as if the religious liberal are trying to destroy our church, while the political liberals are trying to destroy our country. I feel strongly that Our Blessed Lord will raise up a strong traditional prophet who will guide us out of this darkness.

  14. RLseven says:

    “…We should take the devil with requisite seriousness, but we shouldn’t give this finally uninteresting and pathetic creature too much attention.” Barron

    I do think there’s some merit to that statement, and the wisdom in the notion that what we give our attention to can begin to control us.

    The devil is real– what we’ve experienced in the past year in the US makes that all too clear. I recognize it as evil, but I give my attention to the good and holy around us, stories of hope and joy and faithfulness. My attention needs to be on God, knowing that love is the best weapon for evil, not hate or fear. Every day, in every situation, what is the loving thing to do/say?

  15. veritas vincit says:

    This heresy needs to be rooted out of the Society of Jesus before it effectively destroys it.

    I seem to recall St John Paul II taking action against the Jesuits, removing their then superior general in the 1980s, before ultimately reinstating him. I fear the reinstatement, was a mistake.

  16. TonyO says:

    It is my esteem for what I know the Society has been and could be that pushes me to pick on you. But you guys have to start policing your own. Otherwise, more and more people will be praying for another Clement XIV.

    I have known 3 fantastic Jesuit priests. All of them are or would be in their 90’s (or above).

    The good Jesuits simply cannot police the order, the top people in the order are the problem. This has been true now since the mid-1960’s (if not earlier). After 50 years of it, it is no longer plausible that the answer can be found within the order. The pope should suppress the order. Of course, not this pope.

    So, I like the idea of another Clement XIV.

  17. JonPatrick says:

    The devil “exists as the personification of evil in different structures”.
    Sounds a bit like the tendency today to blame “structures” rather than sinful individuals for our problems. For example the “White Male European power structure” that is allegedly responsible for just about everything wrong in the world from global warming to poverty. It actually goes back to Rousseau and the so called Enlightenment, the idea that no one is actually responsible for evil, it is just these mysterious “structures” that are at fault, and all we have to do is eliminate them and we will have a Utopia, heaven on earth.

  18. hwriggles4 says:

    It seems that this way of thinking “the devi as a symbol ” is related to how a large segment of the population doesn’t believe in the existence of “he double toothpicks ” anymore. The watering down and anything goes attitude is a part of our lives today. Even some clergy (both Catholic and Protestant) are afraid to discuss the existence of a devil or hell from the pulpit. I am pleased when I hear Catholic priests (my pastoral administrator and parochial vicar do discuss these issues regularly at my Novus Ordo parish) bring up these issues and reconciliation.

    There’s also a Baptist church in my city that quite a few of my Protestant friends attend that is packed in part because the pastor doesn’t dance around issues like these.

    Last Sunday, one of our newer permanent deacons mentioned truth, which tied into the Sunday readings. This good deacon said that sharing the truth with others does sometimes mean telling people what they don’t always want to hear.

    Sorry, I am not looking for watering down. Got too much of that as a teenager growing up in the 1980s.

  19. ChrisP says:

    I for one don’t want another Clement XIV. He was bullied and harassed by the vicious anti-Catholic, secular Protestant sentiment of the the and by the corrupt Bourbon leadership, esp. in Parma. He should have told them to eat worms as the charges against them were administrative, NOT doctrinal. Arguably, the suppression of Clement could have been the beginning of the end for the Jesuits as they were restored to a different time and mentality.

    Now in 2019 however, the charges are clearly doctrinal. The only statement now seems to be “That which thou dost, do quickly”.

  20. cpdog says:

    To the tune of “Honesty” by Billy Joel.

    If you search for Jesuits
    They’re not too hard to find
    And for that Pope Pius is to blame
    But if you look at Holy Writ
    It might just blow your mind
    Never seems to say just what they claim

    Heresy is such an ugly word
    Means that your beliefs aren’t true
    Heresy is often overheard
    And mostly what I get from you

    I can never find someone
    With “SJ” in their name
    Who seems orthodox that I’ll admit
    But I don’t want some modernist
    With his modernistic claims
    What I want’s to say “Anathema sit!”

    Heresy is such an ugly word
    Means that your beliefs aren’t true
    Heresy is often overheard
    And mostly what I get from you

    I can’t find a premise
    I can’t find a term
    No Thomas anywhere that I do confirm
    Unclear and confusing
    That’s all they’ve really got
    Why don’t they read some Ludwig Ott?

    Now we’re missing clarity
    Their order’s just a mess
    Times up, you know what I mean
    I say with all due charity
    It’s time to re-suppress
    Time to pull a Clement the Fourteen!

    Heresy is such an ugly word
    Means that your beliefs aren’t true
    Heresy is often overheard
    And mostly what I get from you

  21. Semper Gumby says:

    Interesting times.

    A Jesuit is undermining Transubstantiation; another Jesuit states that the devil is a symbol; the Amazon Synod will promote paganism; a “conservative” history professor at Hillsdale College cannot differentiate between the Allies and the Axis; a “conservative” columnist at The Stream cannot distinguish between Allied pilots, Islamist terrorists, and abortionists; and some Catholics are propagandists for socialism, integralism, or the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

    Sowing confusion can be emotionally satisfying and financially profitable.

  22. Legisperitus says:

    Bob B.:

    I think what Bishop Barron was getting at is the fact that Satan is not an “equal but opposite” force to God, as is presented in some kind of Manichean or Zoroastrian dualism. As Barron says, he’s merely a fallen creature, but he has the intelligence and power of his angelic nature which God allows him to use for evil.

    Thus, we always have to be on our guard against him, but I think Barron’s point is — as the late ex-Jesuit Malachi Martin once said in that inimitable Irish way — “the devil is like a bowel movement: sometimes you have to deal with it, but it’s not to be thought about.”

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