The Devil really exists, the International Association of Exorcists (AIE) insisted after the head of the Jesuit order said Satan was just a symbol.
Jesuit Superior General Arturo Sosa Abascal told the annual meeting of the influential Catholic group Communion and Liberation in Rimini, Italy, that “symbols are part of reality and the Devil exists as symbolic reality, not as personal reality”. He reiterated his comments in the Italian magazine Tempi saying that “the devil exists as a symbolic reality, not as a personal reality.”
The AIE was quick to refute the 70-year-old Venezuelan’s claim, saying existence of Satan saying “the real existence of the devil, as a personal subject who thinks and acts and has made the choice of rebellion against God, is a truth of faith that has always been part of Christian doctrine,” the International Association of Exorcists said in a statement.
It added that the remarks by Abascal were “grave and confusing.”
- Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, the leader of the Roman Catholic religious order of the Jesuits. EPA/ALESSANDRO BIANCHI / POOL
The exorcists said they released their statement to provide “doctrinal clarification.”
Citing a long history of Church teaching on the nature of Satan, including several citations from Pope Francis and his recent predecessors, the exorcists’ organization said that Catholics are bound to believe that Satan is a real and personal being, a fallen angel.
“The Church, founded on Sacred Scripture and on Apostolic Tradition officially teaches that the devil is a creature and a personal being, and she cautions those who, like Father Sosa, consider him only a symbol.”