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We’re no match for the Devil, says Pope Francis

Pope Francis said the Devil ‘always pretends to be polite’ (CNS)

Pope Francis has said that human intelligence is no match for the Devil.

“One must never converse with Satan – if you do that, you’ll be lost,” the Pope told an Italian television channel, in remarks translated by the Daily Telegraph.

The Devil, Francis said, is “more intelligent than us. He always pretends to be polite, that’s how he enters your mind, but it ends badly if you don’t realise what is happening in time. [We should tell him] go away!”

The Pope has given several similar warnings. His first homily as Pope quoted Léon Bloy: “He who does not pray to the Lord prays to the Devil.”

In another homily, during morning Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, he said: “The Devil is intelligent: he knows more theology than all the theologians together.”

Pope Francis has also argued that the Devil can tempt humans down a path of materialism. On a 2015 trip to Paraguay, he said in a homily: “Friends, the Devil is a con artist. He makes promise after promise, but he never delivers…

“He makes you want things which he can’t give, whether you get them or not. He makes you put your hopes in things which will never make you happy.”

The Devil tricks us, the Pope said, into thinking “we have to abandon our friends, and never to stand by anyone… He makes you think that your worth depends on how much you possess.”

Pope Francis has given a series of interviews to the Italian Catholic channel, TV2000, reflecting on the Lord’s Prayer.

In a previous edition, he provoked debate by saying translating the Lord’s Prayer as “lead us not into temptation” might be misleading, as it might make people think it is God who tempts us. In fact temptation is the Devil’s work, the Pope said.

Bishops urge ‘outcry and uproar’

Bishops in the Democratic Republic of Congo have asked clergy to toll their church bells every Thursday until elections are held. A statement urged Congolese to “accompany the bells with every kind of outcry and uproar: banging saucepans, blowing whistles and vuvuzelas, and sounding car horns”.

President Joseph Kabila has promised to step down, but has continually put off holding an election.