VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - The head of the Jesuits, who recently denied the existence of the devil as a person, thinks there is a plan that originated in the United States to force Pope Francis to resign.
Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, current superior general of the Society of Jesus, recently said in a speech that forces inside and outside the Vatican are trying to force Pope Francis to resign so that a new pope can move the Church in a different direction:
There are people inside and outside the Church who would like Pope Francis to resign, but the pontiff will not. I believe that the final strategy of these sectors is not so much to "force" Pope Francis to resign, as to affect the election of the next pontiff, creating the conditions [necessary for] the next Pope to discontinue deepening the path that Francis has indicated and undertaken.
Sosa, who comes from Venezuela and is friends with Francis, a fellow Jesuit, does not think the Pope will resign.
He also clarified that he is in favor of the direction Francis has taken and that it is important the Church continue in that direction: "It is essential that this journey continue according to the will of the Church expressed clearly at the Second Vatican Council, of which Pope Francis is a legitimate and direct son."
Sosa seemed to blame President Donald Trump and the United States for this plan to oust Pope Francis and establish a more conservative papacy.
Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the prelate Francis chose to head the Synod of Bishops and who is preparing for the upcoming Amazon Synod, rejected this idea, saying that he did not think much of this talk.
"The Pope is the Pope and leads the Church at this time. Personally, I am not aware of anything else," he said.
Baldisseri shrugged his shoulders and fanned away the notion that this plan to remove Francis developed in the United States and is related to President Trump.
In an interview published Wednesday, Sosa denied the existence of the devil as a person, saying that he is a symbol:
We need to understand the cultural elements to refer to this character [the devil]. In the language of Saint Ignatius, it is the bad spirit that leads you to do things that go against the spirit of God. It exists as the evil personified in different structures but not in people, because it is not a person, it is a way of implementing the bad. He is not a person like a human person. It is a way of evil to be present in human life. Good and evil are in a permanent struggle in human consciousness, and we have ways to indicate them. We recognize God as good, entirely good. Symbols are part of reality, and the devil exists as a symbolic reality, not as a personal reality.
Sosa's commentary on the devil as a symbol and not a personal being contradicts Scripture and Tradition, the two principal sources of Catholic theology, as well as the teaching authority and liturgy of the Church.