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Pope Fluffy and the Devil

Paul Fidalgo has taken to calling Pope Francis I “Pope Fluffy.” Personally, I’ve liked a lot of the things he’s said and done and found him mostly, though not entirely, refreshing. But he apparently has a bit of an obsession with the devil, the most convenient myth in Christianity.

A darling of liberal Catholics and an advocate of inclusion and forgiveness, Pope Francis is hardly known for fire and brimstone.

Yet, in his words and deeds, the new pope is locked in an epic battle with the oldest enemy of God and creation:

The Devil.

After his little more than a year atop the Throne of St. Peter, Francis’s teachings on Satan are already regarded as the most old school of any pope since at least Paul VI, whose papacy in the 1960s and 1970s fully embraced the notion of hellish forces plotting to deliver mankind unto damnation.

Largely under the radar, theologians and Vatican insiders say, Francis has not only dwelled far more on Satan in sermons and speeches than his recent predecessors have, but also sought to rekindle the Devil’s image as a supernatural entity with the forces­ of evil at his beck and call…

“ ‘But Father, how old-fashioned you are to speak about the Devil in the 21st century,’ ” Francis, quoting those who have noted his frequent mentions of the Devil, said last month while presiding over Mass at the Vatican’s chapel in St. Martha’s House. He warned those gathered on that chilly morning to be vigilant and not be fooled by the hidden face of Satan in the modern world. “Look out because the Devil is present,” he said.

The devil, the all-purpose boogeyman used by some Christians to get out of every dilemma and inconsistency and to explain things they can’t explain. And a dangerous one, as well, but not in the sense that they think he is. It’s a dangerous boogeyman because it is used to justify all sorts of barbarism and authoritarianism to chase him down and root him out. Thus the periodic Satanic panics throughout history.

Comments

  1. Crimson Clupeidae says

    You’re right Ed. He’s said a lot of nice things. Problem is, he hasn’t done anything different, or done anything publicly to attempt to get the church to change in any visible way. Where it counts, he is just as bad as his predecessor.

  2. sinned34 says

    I had a Satanic panic this morning. Or at least I thought it was a Satanic panic – it just turned out to be gas.

  3. Pen says

    He wants people to think about the things they could be doing better but being a Catholic autocrat, he rekons ethical discourse will be beyond them? And besides he might have to get down to specifics. And commit himself to positions with consequences his allies won’t like. A nice bit of personification is what’s called for when dealing with the simple. Satan = anything bad that you can think of.

  4. says

    Weird that God would create His own enemy. You’d figure a bug that bad would’ve been found by back when the universe was still in alpha. Reading the initial chapters of His book, I get the feeling that His pitch to get venture capital was excessively optimistic, leading to Him being permanently in Crunch Time, rushing to meet unreasonable deadlines. I mean, hitting the “plants” tombstone by the end of Day 3? Madness!

  5. says

    This is just one more data-point showing that “Pope Fluffy” is almost as much of a lying, obfuscating, cowardly crap-artist as his predecessor. That’s why I’m already so sick of people calling him “new” or “refreshing” or whatever.

  6. gshelley says

    I don’t know that he has actually done anything. Mostly, he’s been a clear improvement on Pope Palpatine, so has looked good

  7. anubisprime says

    Pope ‘Fluffy’ is just an RCC re-branding exercise as a last ditch effort to hang on to their rapidly diminishing victim pot.

    Nothing has or will change in the doctrine…just the linguistic interface’ b’twixt ‘n’ b’tween the magisterium and the sheeples.

    He just sounds a little more ‘with it’ then the last couple of doofi!
    He probably knows when it is day and when it is night.
    But how fuckin’ last century or 20 is the fact that a supposedly grown up intelligent man pees himself at the thought of a supernatural Christian created construct that has never nor ever will exist in this world.

    They created the bogie man now they are pissing themselves that its real… they ended up frightening themselves…how fucking pathetic and toddleresque is that?

    Not mentally disturbed?…you decide!

  8. Artor says

    Hey, elpayoso@4
    Is the Satanic mechanic Hispanic? Or is he the Germanic romantic who worked on the Titanic?

  9. Moggie says

    Surely that new pope smell has worn off by now? He’s been in post fourteen months. It’s time to look beyond the image and ask what concrete changes he’s made.

  10. anubisprime says

    Moggie @ 13

    He’s been in post fourteen months. It’s time to look beyond the image and ask what concrete changes he’s made.

    That easy why he recently…err..no wait…well he did do..oh no no maybe that was not him….but he did…oh wait again…but the faithful really thinks he is god’s pimp on earth…listen I will get back to you on specifics…but hewentandgoneanddoneloadsathings…and his reward is that everyone is being beastly and a hatin’ on the RCC…..

    Not fair …demons gonna git ya!

  11. lanir says

    The “Devil” is a real pain in the ass as a concept. Surely it’s just a coincidence but he somehow seems to acquire traits and ties to groups and peoples that some other asshat wants to get his hate on about. It’s really quite shocking how often that seems to perfectly dovetail with intolerant accusations from the holier-than-thou crowd.

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