Action Alert!

Sin, the Devil, and Pope Francis

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | May 02, 2013

Veteran reporters (myself included) are wrestling with the question of how to cover the homilies delivered by Pope Francis at Mass each day in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. We’re all accustomed to seeing formal statements from the Pontiff, but these daily meditations, delivered extemporaneously, are something new.

So how should these homilies be handled? The Vatican has been releasing summaries, but might eventually provide full transcripts. Meanwhile we’re just watching carefully, and providing coverage of the Pope’s homilies whenever, in our judgment, he says something particularly newsworthy. Which is frequently.

Eventually these homilies may be available in book form, and readers will gain some important insights into the pastoral vision of Pope Francis. For now, just let me make a quick observation:

If you follow the Pope’s homilies, day by day, you’ll be struck by how frequently he mentions sin, the Devil, and the need for regular Confession.

It's not that Pope Francis is a fire-and-brimstone preacher. Far from it; he follows warnings about sin with reminders of God's infinite mercy. Still, he keeps coming back to the Devil. Call him a realist.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: John J Plick - May. 04, 2013 9:36 AM ET USA

    The reality of "the Kingdom" on Earth rests on the reality of the "Cosmic Battle..." Without a Devil there is no warfare, without warfare there is no Cross... Without the Eternal the Church loses focus and stumbles over Her own feet.