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Pope Francis warns Vatican staff an ‘elegant demon’ lurks among them



The Pope has warned Vatican staff to beware the ‘elegant demon’ that lurks in self-righteous Catholics in his traditional Christmas speech.

During his speech, Francis used his annual Christmas greeting to the Roman Curia to put the cardinals, bishops, and priests who work in the Holy See on notice that they are particularly vulnerable to evil.

Francis told attendees that by living in the heart of the Catholic Church, ‘we could easily fall into the temptation of thinking we are safe, better than others, no longer in need of conversion.’

Yet we are in greater danger than all others, because we are beset by the ‘elegant demon’, who does not make a loud entrance, but comes with flowers in his hand,’ Francis told the churchmen in the Hall of Blessings of the Apostolic Palace.

Francis appeared to also want to take a broader aim in this year’s speech at arch-conservatives and traditionalists who have become his biggest critics.

Francis blasted their way of living the faith, insisting that being Catholic doesn’t mean following a never-changing set of strict rules but is rather a ‘process of understanding Christ´s message that never ends, but constantly challenges us’.

‘True heresy consists not only in preaching another gospel, as Saint Paul told us, but also in ceasing to translate its message into today’s languages and ways of thinking,’ Francis said.

Traditionalist Catholics have denounced Francis’ emphasis on mercy and openness to doctrinal wiggle room on issues such as sacraments for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

Some have even gone so far as to accuse him of heresy for some of his gestures and preaching, including allowing ‘pagan’ statues in the Vatican.

Francis also spoke on the need to be vigilant about the work of the devil, picking up a theme he recently discussed during his weekly catechism lessons with the general public.

He told the Vatican bureaucrats it’s not enough to merely condemn evil or root it out, since it often comes back in different guises, stronger than before.

Francis used the term ‘we’ repeatedly, suggesting he includes himself among those in the Vatican who must remain mindful of the devil in their midst.

‘Before, it appeared rough and violent, now it shows up as elegant and refined,’ he warned.

‘We need to realise that and once again to unmask it. That is how these elegant demons are: they enter smoothly, without our even being conscious of them.’