Pope Francis called for Catholic faithful to pray against the “Great Accuser” Saturday, two days after a former Vatican diplomat again accused him of cover-ups.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano issued a second letter Thursday, accusing Francis of “subtle slander” and renewing his allegation against Francis and at least 32 high ranking church officials of covering up sexual abuse allegations against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
Francis urged Catholics on Saturday to pray for the church to be protected against attacks from Satan “who is always looking to divide us from God and from one another.” (RELATED: Vigano Speaks Out For First Time Since Accusing Pope, Says Francis Is Guilty Of Slander)
Francis characterized Satan as the “Great Accuser, who roams the earth looking for ways to accuse,” according to The Associated Press.
The pontiff’s comments echoed his recent claims against those who brought accusations of scandal against the church and her clerics. Francis said that those who uncovered the sins of bishops, thereby “scandalizing” the Catholic Church, performed the work of Satan. He later doubled down on that claim, and asserted that those who did not offer forgiveness toward church officials for their sins operated in the “logic of the Great Accuser.”
“These days, it seems as if the Great Accuser has been unleashed and has it in for bishops,” Francis said, according to the AP. “It’s true, we’re all sinners, all of us bishops.”
Satan “looks to reveal the sins, so that they are seen, to scandalize the people,” he added.
Francis made no direct references to Vigano in his comments, though the archbishop has interpreted the pontiff’s calls to pray against the “Great Accuser” as attacks on his person and his allegations.
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