Ignatius His Conclave

One thing which is certanly orthodox about Pope Francis is his attitude to the Devil. His many references to the Enemy, as a personal being and a wily opponent, are wholly in line with the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 330 & 391). But the same is not true of the head of the Jesuits world-wide.

Fr Arturo Sosa has been clear and very public about his belief that the Devil is not a person but a human construct. “We have formed symbolic figures such as the Devil to express evil,” he says.

Fr Sosa is also famous for his attacks on the reliability of the Gospels. The sayings of Jesus (for example about marriage) are not to be taken “as black and white”, because at the time “no one had a recorder to take down His words.” About these things he has not been disciplined or rebuked. One has to wonder what else in Catholic doctrine Fr Sosa doubts or rejects. Is Jesus, for example, merely a “symbolic figure”? Are heaven and hell simply ideas expressing human hopes and fears? Is the Holy Eucharist a symbolic construct, in the same way as the Devil?

None of these opinions would be new or even original to Sosa. But it is one thing for a senior Jesuit to contradict a Jesuit Pope. And quite another to lead a wholesale onslaught on the Catholic Faith.

Questions need to be asked. In short, we need to know what distinguishes the Superior General of the Society of Jesus from an atheist or a pagan?

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