Pope Francis warns of ‘elegant demon’ lurking among Vatican staff

Pope Francis issued a dire warning to the Roman Curia on Thursday, warning them to remain vigilant about demons lurking in the Vatican.

The remarks were delivered as part of his Christmas address to Vatican-based cardinals – a tradition that Pope Francis has turned into a sort of annual voicing of grievances for Vatican-based prelates.

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Pope Francis exchanges Christmas greetings with the Roman Curia in the Clementina Hall.  21st, 2018, in Vatican City, Vatican.

Pope Francis exchanges Christmas greetings with the Roman Curia in the Clementina Hall. 21st, 2018, in Vatican City, Vatican.
(Vatican Pool/Getty Images)

Pope Francis warned the cardinals present that those who live in the Vatican are often tempted to believe they are more enlightened or spiritually protected than others because of their status and rank in the Church.

“We could easily succumb to the temptation to believe that we are safe, better than others, no longer in need of conversion,” the pope told the cardinals.

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But the Pope chastised that line of thinking with a stern warning, saying: “Nevertheless, we are in greater danger than anyone else because we are possessed by the ‘elegant demon’ who does not step out loud but comes in with flowers in his hand.”

People gather as Pope Francis recites the Angelus from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sept. 11/12/2022.

People gather as Pope Francis recites the Angelus from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Sept. 11/12/2022.
(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

“It is not enough to condemn evil, including the evil that lurks quietly among us,” Pope Francis said. “We must respond by making a choice to convert.”

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He continued, “More condemnation can create the illusion that we’ve solved the problem, when what really matters is making the changes that will ensure we no longer allow ourselves to be imprisoned by evil mindsets that are often that of this world.” “

The Pope quoted Luke’s warning that when an unclean spirit is cast out of a person, he will return with “seven other spirits more wicked than himself.”

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Pope Francis will participate in the annual Christmas Greetings with the Roman Curia in the Clementina Hall on December 1st.  21st, 2019, in Vatican City.

Pope Francis will participate in the annual Christmas Greetings with the Roman Curia in the Clementina Hall on December 1st. 21st, 2019, in Vatican City.
(Vatican Pool/Getty Images)

“Our initial conversion follows a certain pattern: the evil we acknowledge and try to uproot from our lives may leave us, but we would be naïve to think that it will be long gone. Shortly thereafter, it comes back under a new guise. Before it appeared rough and violent, it is now revealed as elegant and sophisticated.”

He concluded that only daily soul-searching and the will to fight evil influences on the mind can stop the cycle of corruption.

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The Roman Curia is the main governing body of the Catholic Church and is made up of cardinals from countries around the world.

Pope Francis speaks on St. August in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican during a mass he celebrated for the newly created cardinals.  30th, 2022.

Pope Francis speaks on St. August in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican during a mass he celebrated for the newly created cardinals. 30th, 2022.
(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope Francis has been an outspoken critic of the Vatican’s misconduct and spiritual corruption since ascending to the throne in 2013.

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In 2015, he sent shockwaves through the worldwide church with a list of 15 ailments tearing the Roman Curia apart, including corruption, power idolatry and clerical careerists.

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