What Is the Catholic Church's Official Position on Spiritual Warfare?


Quick Answer

The Catholic Church's position on spiritual warfare is that the devil is an actual spiritual being devoted to corrupting the souls of humans. According to Pope Francis, Catholics should look to the Gospel to discover the best ways to fight against Satan's evil influences in their lives. He rejects the idea that the devil is a myth or a symbol and insists that Catholics accept the duty to take up the fight against him.

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Full Answer

Like Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI argues that the devil is a real person dedicated to human destruction. Pope Benedict criticizes theologians who describe the devil as a symbolic figure and suggests that the more Catholics understand God's holiness, the more they can understand the devil's capacity for evil. Saint Pope John Paul II revealed that the devil is active in today's world, and that Catholics should follow Jesus' example in turning away from him. Pope John Paul II claimed that the devil could speak within people's hearts, tempting them to sin against God with evil suggestions. He went on to say that those who believe in the Gospel must accept the devil as real.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that evil is not an abstract idea, but is embodied in the devil. It refers to the devil as Satan and claims that his goal is to prevent people from reaching salvation. The Catechism also calls Satan "the father of lies," a murderer and a deceiver. It argues that the world is subject to Satan's evil interventions, and that Catholics must remember that Christ has already defeated Satan through the crucifixion. The Church continues to maintain exorcists who banish demons; some of these exorcists claim that the name of the Virgin Mary is a powerful weapon against demons.

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