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Pope warns Vatican staff that an 'elegant demon' is lurking among them

Jess Hardiman

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Pope warns Vatican staff that an 'elegant demon' is lurking among them

Featured Image Credit: Agencja Fotograficzna Caro/Alamy

The Pope has warned the Vatican that an ‘elegant demon’ is lurking among them – a nice festive message, I know.

In his annual Christmas greeting to the Roman Curia, Pope Francis warned that Vatican's resident cardinals aren’t immune from evil, arguing that, in fact, that may be especially vulnerable to it.

In the message, issued yesterday (Thursday 22 December) in the Hall of Blessings of the Apostolic Palace, he warned they should be aware that the devil is within them, describing the force as an ‘elegant demon’ that works in those who have a prescriptive, holier-than-thou approach to Catholicism.

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According to the Associated Press, Francis said that by being at the heart of the Catholic Church, they 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."

Pope Francis greets crowds. Credit: Marco Campagna/Alamy Stock Photo
Pope Francis greets crowds. Credit: Marco Campagna/Alamy Stock Photo

Francis stressed it was ‘not enough’ to condemn evil, including ‘the evil that quietly lurks among us’.

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He added: “We need to respond by choosing to be converted.

“Mere condemnation can give the illusion that we have solved the problem, whereas what really counts is making the changes that will ensure that we no longer allow ourselves to be imprisoned by evil ways of thinking, which are often those of this world.”

Earlier this week, Pope Francis demanded that the three 2,500-year-old pieces from the Parthenon are returned to Greece after spending more than a century in the papal collections of the Vatican Museums.

He made the announcement following reported talks between the Greek government and the museum.

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A Greek newspaper reported earlier this month that a deal to return the Parthenon marbles was close, though the Greek government rebuffed those claims, suggesting that a deal was not imminent.

The Parthenon in all its glory. Credit: Jason Knott/Alamy Stock Photo
The Parthenon in all its glory. Credit: Jason Knott/Alamy Stock Photo

In a statement on Friday (16 December), the Vatican said that the Pope would be giving the pieces to the head of the Greek Orthodox Church, Ieronymos II.

They described it as a 'donation' to the archbishop "as a concrete sign of his sincere desire to follow in the ecumenical path of truth."

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The Parthenon is a former temple on the Acropolis of Athens, and significant part of Greek history.

It was completed in the fifth century BC as a temple to the goddess Athena, and its stunning architecture is regarded as one of the greatest examples of ancient Greek sculpture.

Greece's Culture Minister Lina Mendoni thanked Pope Francis 'for the generous decision' in allowing the marbles back into Greece.

Topics: News, Pope Francis, World News, Christmas

Jess Hardiman
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