Italian exorcist to Jesuit leader: No, the devil isn’t just a ‘symbol’
Lima, Peru, Jun 2, 2017 (CNA/EWTN News).- 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.