19 November, 2018 - Pope Francis and Satan



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A detail of a former monk's icon currently hanging in Gethsemani's novitiate.

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Br. Paul introduces Dr. Hillis at the start of the presentation.

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Historical theologian Dr. Gregory Hillis recently gave the monks an intriguing talk on Pope Francis and Satan. According to Hillis, associate professor of theology at Bellarmine University, Francis has mentioned Satan during his papacy more than Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI combined.

"His primary concern is with what Satan does to communities," Hillis said. "Namely, he seeks to divide us." That goes for families, monasteries and dioceses as well as the Church as a whole.


Hillis went on to say that the Pope has identified the "terrorism of gossip" as one of Satan's preferred tools. One defense that Pope Francis has employed is silence. The other, Hillis said, is "the unifying nature of dialogue rooted in love of Christ."

The key, he said, is discernment, a particular focus in the Jesuit tradition. The Pope, of course, is himself a member of the Society of Jesus.

Thank you Dr. Hillis for an engaging and lively discussion.


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The monks listen and take notes during the insightful talk. (Even in monasteries no one sits in the front row!)

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