Have you ever met Satan What happened


Christian Faith and Doctrine of Demons *


The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has commissioned a specialist theologian to carry out this study. The Congregation strongly recommends it as a secure basis for reaffirming the statement of the Church Magisterium on "Christian Faith and Demon Doctrine". We are publishing the German translation of the original text in French, which can be found in the French weekly edition of "L’Osservatore Romano".

Over the centuries the Church has repeatedly rejected the various forms of superstition and obsession with fear of Satan and demons, as well as the various forms of cult and degenerate rites of obedience for these spirits (1). It would therefore be unfair to claim that Christianity has forgotten Christ's rule over the world and has made the devil the favorite subject of its preaching by turning the good news of the risen Lord into a message of terror. St. John Chrysostom explained to Christians of the day: “It is no pleasure for us to speak to you about the devil. But the doctrinal statements which he gives rise to will be of use to you ”(2). It would really be an unforgivable mistake, looking at the past, to behave as if salvation had already shown all its fruits, without it being necessary to intervene in the struggle against him of whom the New Testament and the teachers of the speak again and again of spiritual life.

The distress of our day

Even today one could fall into this error. From many quarters the question is asked whether one should not examine the Catholic teaching on this point, namely one should start with the Holy Scriptures. Some believe that it is impossible to take any position, just as if one could just let the question rest. They argue that the books of scripture do not allow one to speak out for or against the existence of Satan and his demons. Far more often, however, the existence of the devil is openly questioned. Some critics believe that they can determine the position of Christ on this matter. They state that none of the master's words far outlines the reality of the demons as proven. Where the existence of the demon world is affirmed, only the corresponding Jewish literature is reproduced, or the passages depend on the New Testament tradition and not on Christ, since they are not part of the central good news, nor promote our faith and thus release us, to give them up.

Others, in turn, far more objective, but at the same time more radical, take the statements of Scripture about demons in their literal meaning; but they immediately add that they are unacceptable in today's world, even for Christians. They also give up these positions. Finally, for some, the idea of ​​Satan, whatever its origin, no longer has any meaning. Since our preaching hesitates to justify the idea of ​​Satan, it loses its credibility and overshadows the preaching of God, which alone only deserves our entire interest. For some as well as for others, the names Satan or the devil are nothing more than personifications that come from myth or have to fulfill some task. Their only purpose is to dramatically underline the influence of evil and sin on humanity. Just a way of speaking that should demythologize our time in order to find a new way for believers, to inculcate on them the obligation to fight with all their might against the evil in the world.

These statements, which are presented again and again with the appearance of scientificity and spread by magazines and certain theological dictionaries, can only confuse the minds. Believers, accustomed to taking seriously the message of Christ and the writings of the apostles, then feel that such views are intended to change public opinion in this area. Those of them who have a knowledge of theological sciences, and especially biblical studies, wonder where this process of demythologizing, which is being initiated in the name of a particular hermeneutic, will lead.

In view of postulates of this kind and in response to the thought process of their own, we must first study briefly the New Testament in order to be able to rely on its testimony and authority on these questions.

The new Testament
and the literature directly related to it

Before we recall the spiritual independence with which Jesus met the ruling opinions of his time, it is important to note that not all of his contemporaries had the same angel and demon beliefs that some seem to ascribe to them today and of Jesus himself would have been dependent. A note with which the Acts of the Apostles sheds light on the polemics brought about by a statement by St. Paul originated among the members of the Sanctuary, informs us that, unlike the Pharisees, the Sadducees accepted "neither resurrection nor angels or spirits"; H. According to some good exegetes, they believed neither in the resurrection nor in angels and demons (3). The view of Jesus' contemporaries about Satan, angels and demons seems to be divided into two completely opposite views. How can one therefore claim that Jesus, and with him the writers of the New Testament, did nothing more than uncritically apply the ideas and practices of their time in exercising and transferring the power of exorcising the devil to others? Certainly, Christ, and even more so the apostles, were children of their time and made their culture their own. But because of his divine nature and the revelation which he had come to impart, Jesus Christ dominated his environment and his time and freed himself from their determining influence. Incidentally, it is sufficient to read the Sermon on the Mount to convince yourself of his spiritual freedom and his faithfulness to tradition (4). When the Lord revealed the significance of his act of redemption, he therefore had to reckon with the Pharisees who, like him, believed in a future world, in an immortal soul, in the world of spirits and in the resurrection. But he also had to take account of the Sadducees, who did not allow this belief. When the Pharisees accused him of casting out the demons with the leader of the evil spirits, he could have evaded their allegations by joining the Sadducees. But by doing so he would have denied his being and his mission. So, without giving up the belief in the spirit world and the resurrection, which he had in common with the Pharisees, he had to renounce them and to no lesser extent also oppose the Sadducees. If one wants to assert today that Jesus' statements about Satan only give expression to a doctrine borrowed from his cultural environment, this appears from the outset to be a view that is very little informed about the time at that time and the personality of the Master. If Christ used this idiom, if he translated it into practice primarily through his saving act, it is because it expresses a doctrine which is at least in part necessary for the knowledge and attainment of the salvation that he has brought .

The personal testimony of Jesus

The most important healings of the possessed were also wrought by Christ at moments which are decisive in the accounts of his healing work. His exorcism posed the question of his mission and his person and gave it an orientation, we sufficiently show the reactions to it that they triggered (5). Without ever making Satan the center of his preaching, Jesus spoke of him only in the obviously decisive moments, and indeed in important declarations. First of all, Jesus began his public ministry by taking it upon himself to be tempted by the devil in the desert. Mark's account is haunting precisely because of its sobriety, as is the account of Matthew and Luke (6). Christ then warned against this adversary in the Sermon on the Mount and also in prayer that he taught his own to admit to the “Our Father”, as many exegetes today (7) who rely on the testimony of numerous liturgies (8). In the parables, Jesus assigned Satan the role of adversary to his preaching (9), for example in the parable of the tares in the father's field (10), Simon Peter announced that the "powers of hell" would try to to overwhelm the Church (11) that Satan would demand to seven him along with the rest of the apostles (12). The moment he left the Upper Room, Christ declared that the coming of “the prince of this world” was imminent (13). In the garden of Gethsemane, when the soldiers grabbed Jesus to capture him, he said that the hour of "the powers of darkness" had come (14). Nevertheless, he knew and explained it in the Upper Room, "that the prince of this world has already been judged" (15). These deeds and statements fit in well with the whole, they repeat themselves again and again and also agree in terms of content .; they are not accidental, and it is impossible to treat them like invented events that need to be demythologized. Otherwise one would have to assume that the consciousness of Jesus, to whom one must certify clarity and self-control before the judges, was haunted by imaginary fantasies in these critical hours and that his word lacked any firmness. This in turn would contradict the impression of the first listeners and readers of his good news. It therefore positively forces the conclusion: Satan, whom Jesus confronted with his exorcism, whom he met in the desert and in the hour of his suffering, cannot simply be the product of the human gift of being able to tell fairy tales and ideas personalize; it cannot be the lost remnant of a primitive cultural language.

Pauline literature

It is right that St. Paul, when he broadly summarizes the situation of humanity before Christ in Romans, personifies sin and death, the terrible power of which he shows. In the entirety of his doctrinal statements, however, it is a. Word that is not the result of a purely literary source, but of his waking awareness of the meaning of the cross of Christ and the necessity of the choice of faith which he demands. On the other hand, Paul does not equate sin and Satan; Paul sees in sin above all that which it is essential: a personal act of man and also the state of guilt and delusion into which Satan tries to push man effectively and to leave it (16). In this way Paul very clearly distinguishes Satan from sin. The apostle who, in the face of "the law of sin which he feels in his members", especially confesses his inability without the assistance of divine grace (17), is the same who urges with the utmost determination to resist Satan (18) not to allow himself to be controlled by him, not to give him an opportunity or to give him up (19) and to trample him underfoot (20). For for him Satan is a personal being, "the God of this world" (21), a cunning adversary who is different from us humans and from the sin that he whispers to us. Like the Gospel, the apostle also sees him at work in the historical course of the world, in what he calls the “mystery of wickedness” (22). He sees the devil in unbelief, who refuses to acknowledge the Lord Jesus (23), and also in the aberration of superstition (24); he sees it in the seduction that threatens the faithfulness of the Church to Christ her Bridegroom (25) and finally in the apostasy at the end of the day, which leads to the adoration of man who takes the place of God (26). What is certain is that Satan induces sin, but he is different from the evil that he causes.

The Secret Revelation and the Gospel of John

The Secret Revelation is above all the great painting in which the power and glory of the risen Christ shines in the testimonies of his good news. It proclaims the triumph of the Lamb who was slain; but one would be very mistaken as to the nature of this victory if one did not see in it the end of a long battle in which Satan and his angels - some different from the others - as well as their earthly followers participate.

It is precisely the Secret Revelation that underlines the mysterious nature of the various names and symbols of Satan in the Holy Scriptures and thus finally reveals their identity (27). The activity of Satan takes place under the eyes of God throughout the centuries of human history.

It is therefore not surprising that in the Gospel of John Jesus speaks of the devil and calls him the "prince of this world" (28). Sure, the influence of the devil on man is internal, but it is impossible to want to see in his appearance only a personification of sin and temptation. Jesus knows that sin means “to be a slave” (29), but he does not, therefore, equate Satan with the slavery and sin manifested in slavery. The devil only exercises moral influence over sinners to the extent that each individual gives in to his whisperings (30). They freely carry out his “wishes” (31) and do “his work” (32). Only in this sense and to this extent is Satan their “father” (33), because there is always a spiritual distance between him and the conscience of man, which separates the diabolical “lie” from the consent given or denied to it can (34), in the same way that there is always between us and Christ the gap between the "truth" which he reveals and introduces to believe and the faith with which we receive this truth.

For this reason, the Fathers of the Church, nourished by Scripture, that Satan and demons are the adversaries of the resurrection, did not fail to remind the believers of their existence and effectiveness.

The general teaching of the fathers

Meliton von Sardis wrote his work "On the Demon" (35) as early as the 2nd century AD, and it would be difficult to find even one of the fathers who would have ignored this question in silence. Of course, the fathers who represented the divine plan of salvation in history, especially Irenaeus and Tertullian, made a special effort to show the work of the devil. Irenaeus and Tertullian then confronted Gnostic dualism and Marcion in the period that followed. According to them it is Viktorin von Pettau and St. Augustine. St. Irenaeus taught that the devil is a "fallen angel" (36) whom Christ, having undertaken the struggle of this adversary against us in his person, had to face at the beginning of his public activity (37). Augustine describes the work of the devil in the struggle of the “two cities”, which have their origin in heaven, when the first creatures of God, the angels, showed their loyalty or unfaithfulness to the Lord in even greater detail and vividness (38); in the community of; Sinner, Augustine saw the mystical “body” of the devil (39), of which St. Gregory the Great in. His. “Moralia” to the book Job Speaks (40). Obviously, the majority of the Fathers with Origines gave up the idea of ​​the sin of unchastity of the fallen angels and saw in their pride - that is, in the desire to rise above their creature existence, to assert their independence and to be mistaken for God - the deepest Reason for their fall. In addition to this offense of pride, many fathers also emphasized the wickedness of these angels towards people. For Irenaeus, the devil's apostasy began with his jealousy at the creation of man. He tried to incite people to rebel against his Creator (41).According to Tertullian, in order to thwart Christ's plan of salvation, Satan aped the sacraments instituted by Christ in the pagan mysteries (42). The doctrine of the fathers essentially adheres to the statements and instructions of the New Testament.

The 4th Lateran Council (1215) and its statement about the demons

It is correct that in nearly two millennia of church history that: ecclesiastical magisterium has made only a few, in the true sense of the word, dogmatic declarations on the doctrine of demons. The reason is probably that there was seldom, in fact only twice, the opportunity to do so. The more important of these declarations comes at the beginning of the 13th century, when a resurgence of the Manichaean and Priscillian dualism made itself felt with the appearance of the Cathars and Albigensians. The dogmatic statement of that time, the formulation of which moves within a familiar doctrinal framework, comes very close to this mentality because it includes the view of the universe and its creation by God: “We firmly believe and confess with a sincere heart ... that God who is one origin of all things, the creator of the visible and the invisible, the spiritual and the physical. In his almighty power at the beginning of time he created both orders of creation out of nothing in the same way, the spiritual and the physical, i.e. H. the angelic world, the earthly world and then the human world, which in a sense embraces both, since it consists of spirit and body. For the devil and the other evil spirits were created by God according to their nature to be good, but they have become bad by themselves. But man sinned at the suggestion of the devil ”(43).

The core of this statement is sober. With regard to the devil and demons, the council is content to state that they are creatures of the only God. They are not inherently evil, but rather they became so through their own free will. Neither their number, nor the cause of their fall, nor the extent of their power are given. These questions, which do not concern the dogmatic problem, have been left to the discussion of scholastic theology.

The statement of the council, however, remains of fundamental importance despite its succinct brevity, since it represents a pronouncement of the most important council of the 13th century and is clearly emphasized in its creed, which historically is only slightly preceded by the declaration against the Cathars and Waldensians (44 ) and this is related to the condemnation that had been pronounced against Priscillianism a few centuries earlier (45). This creed therefore deserves special attention. It uses the usual structure of the dogmatic creeds and can easily be classified under them, beginning with the Council of Nicea. According to the cited text, from our point of view, the problem is summarized in two interrelated and equally important topics for faith: The statement about the devil, with which we are primarily concerned, follows a statement about God, the Creator of all things, the "visible and invisible", that is, the corporeal beings and the angels.

The first theme of the council:
God, the creator of the "visible" and "invisible" beings

The statement about God the Creator and the formula with which it is expressed are of particular importance for our range of questions, because they are so old that their roots go as far as the teaching of St. Paul are enough. Indeed, by glorifying the risen Christ, the apostle declares that this Christ exercises his dominion over all creatures "in heaven, on earth and under the earth" (46), "in the world now and in the world to come" (47 ). Paul goes on to speak of the pre-existence of Christ and teaches that he "made everything, in heaven and on earth, beings visible and invisible" (48). This doctrine of the creation of the world soon gained importance for the Christian faith, because Gnosis and Marcionism sought to bring down the doctrine of creation for a long time, even before Manichaeism and Priscillianism. The first creeds therefore regularly state that "the visible as well as the invisible beings" were all created by God. This teaching was expressly stated by the Council of Nicea and Constantinople (49) and the Council of Toledo (50). It was read aloud in creeds that the major churches used at the baptism service (51). It was also used in the great Eucharistic Prayer of St. James of Jerusalem (52), St. Basil recorded in Asia Minor and Alexandria (53) and the other churches of the Orient (54). This teaching can be found among the Greek fathers since Irenaeus (53) and also in the “Expositio fidei” of St. Athanasius (56). In the west she meets us at Gregor von Elvira (57), at St. Augustine (58), at St. Fulgentius (59) and others.

At a time when the Cathars in the West and the Bogomils in Eastern Europe were reviving the Manichaean dualism, the Creed of the 4th Lateran Council could do nothing better than to revive this declaration and its formula, which has always been of fundamental importance. Soon afterwards the explanation and formula of the Second Council of Lyons (60), the Council of Florence (61) and Trent (62) were repeated. They also found their way into the constitution Dei Filius of the First Vatican (63), with the same terms used by the 4th Lateran Council of 1215. It is therefore a doctrinal statement of fundamental importance and a fixed doctrine of faith which the Lateran Council under the guidance of Divine Providence has particularly emphasized in order to connect with it its statement about Satan and the demons. The council has thus shown that the doctrine of demons, which in itself is significant, fits into the larger context of world creation and belief in angelic beings.

Second theme of the council: the devil

1. The text

As for the Council's statement about demons, it is far from being merely a circumstantial addition, in the manner of a theological inference or deduction. On the contrary. It appears as an established tenet that has been accepted for a long time. This is already shown by the wording of the text. After the statement about the creation of all things, the document does not move on to the statement about the devil and demons as if to a logically inferred conclusion. It is not written there, "As a result, Satan and demons were created to be inherently good beings," as would have been necessary had it been a new doctrine derived from the previous one. On the contrary, it presents the incident with Satan as "evidence of the previous statement, as an argument against dualism. The document therefore says:" Because Satan and demons were by their nature created as good beings ... “In short, the statement that concerns it appears to be an uncontested statement of Christian consciousness. This is an important point in the document and, given the historical circumstances, it could not have been otherwise.

2. The history of the teaching statement:
The positive and negative formulations of the statement (4th-5th century)

Since the fourth century the Church has taken a stand against the Manichean doctrine of the two equally eternal and opposing principles (64). In the East as in the West she has firmly advocated the doctrine that Satan and the demons were by their nature created as good beings There is a dominion of evil that does not go back to a ground of being which is either of itself or was created by God ”(65).

The devil was seen as a creature of God who was good and radiant in origin like light, but which unfortunately did not abide in the truth on which it was founded (Joh 8, 44), but had rebelled against the Lord (66). Evil was therefore not in his nature, but in an act that was free and dependent on his will (67). Statements of this kind - the content of which can be found in the East with St. Basil (68), St. Gregorius von Nazianz (69), at St. John Chrysostom (70), with Dydimus of Alexandria (71) and in the west with Tertullian (72), with Eusebius von Vercelli (73), with St. Ambrosius (74) and St. Augustine (75) could read - could possibly adopt a fixed dogmatic form. They are also found in the form of a magisterial condemnation or creed.

The work “De Trinitate”, dedicated to St. Ascribed to Eusebius von Vercelli, the truth is expressed with firmness in the form of the following spells:

“When someone confesses that the nature in which the fallen angel was created is not the work of God, but that he exists out of himself and still ascends to the point that he acknowledges that he will find his reason for being in himself that is under the spell. "

"If someone confesses that the apostate angel was created by God with a depraved nature and does not say that he received evil out of himself through his own will, he is under the spell."

“If someone confesses that the angel of Satan created the world - far be such a belief! - and has not declared that every sin is his invention, let him be under the spell ”(76).

The representation in the form of spells was not an isolated case at that time. It can also be found in the commonitorium dedicated to St. Augustine and which was written with a view to the apostasy of the Manicheans. This teaching placed the ban on “one who believes that there are two natures who derive their origin from two different principles. One nature is good, it comes from God, the other is bad and was not created by him ”(77).

However, this doctrinal statement was much preferred to be expressed in the direct and positive form of a statement of faith. Delhi. Augustine says at the beginning of his work "De Genesi ad litteram" as follows:

“Catholic teaching requires that we believe that the Trinity is one God who created and formed all beings that exist and insofar as they exist, in such a way that every creature, be it spirit beings or corporeal beings, Or to put it briefly in the words of the Holy Scriptures: be it visible or invisible, it does not belong to the divine nature but was created by God out of nothing ”(78).

Likewise, the First Council of Toledo in Spain declared that God is the Creator of "all visible and invisible beings, and that besides Him there is" no divine nature, angel, spirit and power that could be considered God " (79).

At the end of the 4th century, the Christian creed - as it was taught and lived - had the two dogmatic statements on this point, the positive and negative, which we eight centuries later at the time of Innocent III. and the 4th Lateran Council.

St. Leo the Great

In the meantime, these dogmatic statements did not go out of order. In the 5th century, Pope Leo the Great's letter to Turibius, Bishop of Astorga - whose authenticity cannot be doubted - spoke about it in the same tone and with the same clarity. Among the heresies of the Priscillians condemned by him, there is also the following: “The sixth note (80) reports that they assert that the devil was never good and that his nature is not the work of God, but that he is from him Chaos and darkness has arisen because he has no author of his being, but he himself is the principle and substance of all evil, while on the other hand true faith, the Catholic faith, confesses that the substance of all creatures, both spiritual and physical , is good and that evil is not a nature, since God, the Creator of the universe, only created what is good. Therefore, the devil himself would be good if he had remained in the state in which he was created. Unfortunately, since he has made bad use of his natural advantages and has not remained in the truth (Joh 8, 44), he (no doubt) has not changed into an opposite substance, but has separated himself from the highest good to which he should have clung ... ”(81).

This doctrinal statement (beginning with the words "the true faith, the Catholic faith, confesses ..." to the end) was considered to be so significant that it was included in the additions made to the book in the 6th century with the same words "De ecclesiasticis dogmatibus" have been added, which is ascribed to Gennadius of Marseilles (82). Finally, the same doctrine becomes authoritative in the work of St. Fulgenlius affirms “De fide seu de regula fidei ad Petrum”, where the need is underlined to “mainly believe” and “firmly believe” that everything that is not God is God's creature and that this is the case with all beings “Visible and invisible”, the case is “that part of the angels went astray and willingly turned away from their Creator” (83). It is therefore not surprising that in such a historical context the “Statuta Ecclesiae antiqua” - a canonical compilation of the 5th century - was also included among the questions intended to test the Catholic faith of the candidates for the episcopate: “Whether the devil is naturally bad or became so through his free will” (84), a formula that can be found in the creeds published by Innocent III. were imposed on the Waldensians (85).

The first council of Braga (6th century)

So the teaching was general and definite. The numerous documents which it expresses, of which we have cited the most important, form the doctrinal background against which the first Council of Braga stands out in the middle of the sixth century. Against this background, Chap. 7 of this assembly not as an isolated text, but as a synthesis of the teaching of the 4th and 5th centuries on this question and above all the teaching of Pope Leo the Great: “Who says that the devil is not initially a good angel from God was created and is by its nature not a work of God, but claims that he has emerged from darkness and has no creator, but is himself the principle and substance of evil, as it is Manichean and Priscillian doctrine, that is excluded ”( 86).

The appearance of the Cathars (12th and 13th centuries)

For a long time the concrete constitution of the creature and the free act of will through which the devil fell have also been part of the express faith of the Church. It was sufficient for the 4th Lateran Council to include these statements in its creed without having to document them, since this was a clearly recognized truth of faith. This inclusion, which from a dogmatic point of view would have been possible earlier, had now become necessary because the Cathar heresy had made some old Manichean errors its own. Therefore, between the 12th and 13th centuries, many creeds had to hurry to reaffirm that God is the creator of "visible and invisible" beings and the author of the two testaments, and to more precisely determine that the devil is not by nature because it is bad, but because of a free choice (87). The ancient dualistic conceptions, which had found their way into extensive doctrinal and spiritual movements, thus represented a real danger to the faith in southern France and northern Italy. In France, Ermengaud von Beziers had to write a treatise against the heretics, “who say and . believe that the present world and all visible beings were created not by God but by the devil ”, and that a good and almighty God and an evil God, namely the devil, exist (88). In northern Italy, a converted former Cathar, Bonacursus, called for vigilance and defined the various doctrines of the sect more precisely (89).Shortly after his intervention, the "Summa contra haereticos", which for a long time was ascribed to Praepositinus von Cremona, indicates even better the influence of dualistic heresy on the teaching of that epoch for our problem if it begins the exposition on the Cathars in the following way :

“Almighty God created only the invisible and incorporeal (beings). As for the devil, whom this heretic calls the god of darkness, he created the visible and physical (beings). Having said this, the heretic adds that there are two principles of things: the principle of good, namely God Almighty, and the principle of evil, the devil. He further asserts that there are two natures: a good one, that of incorporeal (beings) created by Almighty God; on the other hand, a bad one, that of the physical (beings) created by the devil. The heretic who expresses himself in this way was formerly called Manichaeus, today a Cathar ”(90).

Despite its brevity, this summary is significant because of the density of its content. We can still complete it today by referring to the "Book of Two Principles" written by a Cathar theologian shortly after the 4th Lateran Council (91). This small sum claimed for militant supporters of this side, dealing with the details of the argument and invoking the Holy Scriptures, refuting the doctrine of the one Creator and justifying the existence of two opposing principles through biblical texts (92) . In addition to the good God, it is written there, "we must necessarily acknowledge the existence of another principle, namely that of evil, which acts in a pernicious manner against the true God and against his creation" (95).

The significance of the decision of the 4th Lateran Council

At the beginning of the 15th century, these statements were far from being mere theories of intellectual experts, but corresponded to a number of erroneous beliefs lived and disseminated by a multitude of small, ramified, organized, and active communities. The Church had a duty to intervene and vigorously reaffirm the teachings of the preceding centuries. Pope Innocent III did this by inserting the two aforementioned dogmatic statements into the Creed of the 4th Lateran Ecumenical Council. This was officially read out to the bishops and approved by them. When asked in a raised voice: "Do you believe these (truths) on all points?", They answered by unanimous acclamation: "We believe (them)" (94). In its entirety, then, the Council document is “de fide”. Because of its nature and form, which are those of a creed, each of its main points has the same dogmatic value.

An obvious error would be made to require that each paragraph of a creed contain only one dogmatic statement. That would mean using a hermeneutics for his interpretation that z. B. would be valid for a decree of the Council of Trent, where usually each chapter deals with only one dogmatic theme: necessity; to prepare for justification (95), the truth of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist (96) etc. The first paragraph of the 4th Lateran Council, on the other hand, sums up in “the same” number of lines as the chapter of the Council of Trent on “the gift of perseverance ”(97) brought together a multitude of statements of faith, some of which were nicely defined: About the oneness of God, the Trinity and the equality of persons, the simplicity of their nature, the coming forth of the Son and the Holy Spirit. The same thing happens with regard to creation, “especially in the two sections that concern the question of the spiritual and physical beings created by God and the creation of the devil and his sin. It acted :Here, as we have established, there are just as many points which have been part of the teaching of the Church since the fourth and fifth centuries. In inserting them into its creed, the council did nothing other than solemnly affirm that they belonged to the common good of faith.

The existence of demonic reality and the statement of its power are not only based in these more specific documents, but also find a further, more general and less rigorous expression in the pronouncements of the councils, wherever they describe the situation of man without Christ.

The common teaching of the popes and the councils

In the middle of the 5th century, shortly before the Council of Chalcedony, the “Tomus” Pope Leo the Great gave Flavius ​​the victory over death and over the devil who, according to the Epistle to the Hebrews, ruled over death (98) as determined one of the goals of the salvation economy. When the Council of Florence later spoke about salvation, it biblically presented it as a liberation from the rule of the devil (99). The Council of Trent declares, by adopting the teaching of St. Paul sums up that sinful man "is subject to Satan and death" (100). In redeeming us, God has “snatched us from the power of darkness and placed us in the kingdom of his beloved Son, where we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins(101). Committing a sin after baptism means "surrendering to the rule of Satan" (102). This is, in fact, the original and universal faith of the Church, attested from the first centuries in the liturgy of Christian initiation, when, shortly before baptism, the catechumens renounced Satan, confessed their faith in the Most Holy Trinity and embraced Christ, theirs Savior, consecrated (103).

For this reason, the Second Vatican Council, which was more interested in the presence of the Church than in the doctrine of creation, did not fail to “call for vigilance against the work of Satan and the demons. Like the Councils of Florence and Trent, it recalled with the Apostle that Christ “delivered us from the power of darkness” (104). By the constitution Gaudium et spes in the manner of St. Paul and the Apocalypse sums up the Scriptures, she says that our story, the whole story, “is an uphill battle against the forces of darkness, a battle that began at the beginning of the world and, according to the word of the Lord, until last day will last ”(105). Elsewhere, the Second Vatican Council repeats the exhortations of the Letter to the Ephesians "to put on the armor of God in order to be able to withstand the devil's intrigues" (106).

Because, as the same constitution reminds the laity, we must "fight against the dark rulers of the world and the evil spirits" (107). Finally, it is not surprising that the same council, where the church intends to present it as the kingdom of God that has already begun, refers to the miracles of Jesus and cites the exorcisms for this very purpose (108). It was precisely in this context that Jesus uttered the familiar word: “So the kingdom of God has come to you” (109).

The evidence from the liturgy

As far as the liturgy is concerned, which we have spoken of on various occasions, it is a special testimony because it is the concrete expression of the faith lived. But we must not ask her to provide information on our curiosity about the nature of demons, their species and their names. The liturgy is content, in keeping with its task, in emphasizing their existence and the dangers that threaten Christians through them. Based on the teaching of the New Testament, the liturgy offers many direct indications for this, as it reminds us that the life of the baptized is a struggle against the world, the flesh and demonic beings, one by the grace of Christ and in the power of his Spirit guided (110).

The meaning of the new rituals

This liturgical evidence, however, must be used with caution today. On the one hand, the oriental rituals and sacraments, with their later decoration and their complex demonology, threaten to mislead us. On the other hand, it is precisely because of these changes that the Latin liturgical documents, which have been revised many times over the course of history, invite us to draw equally careful conclusions. Our ancient rituals of public penance emphatically expressed the devil's work on sinners. Unfortunately, these texts, which have survived to our day in the “Pontificale Romano” (111), have not been in use for some time. Before 1972 one could also pray the ecclesiastical dying prayers, which reminded of the horrors of hell and the last onslaught of Satan (112); these characteristic texts have now also disappeared. The special office of the exorcist is currently, if not yet completely abolished, reduced to an occasional service and can de facto only be exercised with the permission of the bishops (113), without a special rite for its execution is. Such a regulation does not, of course, mean that the priest no longer has the power to exercise the exorcism, nor that he is no longer allowed to perform it. Nevertheless, this obliges us to state that, by no longer assigning specific action to this office, the Church no longer recognizes the importance of exorcisms as they had in the first centuries. This development deserves to be considered.

Nevertheless, we must not conclude from this that faith in the liturgical realm has waned or even changed. The Roman Missal of 1970 continues to reflect the Church's belief in the intervention of demonic forces. As before, the liturgy of the first Sunday of Lent reminds the faithful of how Jesus conquered the tempter: the three synoptic accounts of his temptation are reserved for the three cycles A, B, C of the Lent readings. The Proto-Gospel, in which the victory of the descendants of women is announced over those of the serpent (gene 3, 15) is read on the 10th Sunday of the annual cycle B and on the Saturday of the 5th week. On the feast of the Assumption of Mary and in the Comune of the Most Blessed Virgin, section 12, 1-6 of the Apocalypse is read, which describes the threat of the dragon against the woman who was to give birth. The discussion of Jesus with the Pharisee about Beelzebub (Mk 3, 20-35) can be found under the readings of the already mentioned 10th Sunday of the annual cycle B. The parable of the seed and the weed (Mt 13, 36-46) is read on the Tuesday of the 13th week. The announcement of the defeat of the prince of this world (Joh 12, 20-33) is read on the 5th Sunday of Lent in annual cycle B and during the week as well Joh 14, 30. Appears from the writings of the apostles Eph 2, 1-10 on Monday of the 29th week; Eph 6, 10-20 in the Comune des Saints and on Thursday of the 13th week. 1 Joh 3, 7-10 is read on January 4th; the feast of St. Mark offers the first epistle of Peter, which depicts the devil in search of his prey, which he intends to devour. These quotations, which need to be increased to be complete, testify that the most important biblical texts about the devil are always part of the official readings of the Church.

It is true that the ritual for the Christian initiation of adults has been changed on this point and no longer invokes the devil in an authoritative tone. Yet one turns to God with the same intention in the form of a prayer (114), which is a less pathetic but equally effective mode of expression. It is therefore wrong to claim that the exorcisms have been abolished by the new baptismal ritual. The error is so obvious because the new ritual for the catechumenate has even inserted "smaller" exorcisms before the usual, so-called "larger" exorcisms, which are spread over the entire duration of the catechumenate and were unknown in the past (115) .

So the exorcisms are preserved. Today as yesterday they ask for the victory over "Satan", "the devil", "the prince of this world" and "the forces of darkness". The three usual "scrutines", during which the exorcisms take place as before, have the same negative and positive purpose as before: "to deliver from sin and from the devil" and at the same time to "strengthen in Christ" (116). The celebration of infant baptism also preserves whatever is said about it as an exorcism (117), which does not mean that the Church regards these children as possessed by Satan; yet she believes that they, too, need the redemption of Christ for all effects. Before baptism, every person, child and adult, bears the mark of sin and the influences of Satan.

As for the liturgy of private confession, it speaks less of the devil than it used to. But the communal celebrations of penance have taken up an ancient prayer that mentions Satan's influence on sinners (118). In the ritual of the sick, as we have already mentioned, the prayers for dying no longer underline the troubling presence of Satan, but when the anointing of the sick is administered the priest prays that the sick “may be freed from sin and all temptation” (119). The holy oil is seen as a "protection" for body, soul and spirit (120). Without mentioning hell and the demon, "the prayer" Commendo te "nevertheless indirectly indicates their existence and work when Christ is asked to save the dying and to include him in the number of his" sheep "and" his "elect . This expression is obviously intended to avoid shock in the sick and his family, but in no way denies the belief in the secret of evil.

In short, the Church's position is clear and firm in teaching about demons. It is true that over the centuries the existence of Satan and demons has never been made the subject of any explicit statement by their Magisterium. The reason for this is that the question has never been asked in that form. The heretics and the believers, alike relying on Scripture, agreed to acknowledge its existence and its most important malevolent deeds. Therefore, today, when the reality of demons is called into question, it is necessary - as we have said earlier - to refer to the constant and universal faith of the Church and to its main source, the teaching of Christ. Indeed, it is in the teaching of the Gospel and in the midst of lived faith where the existence of the world of demons is revealed as a dogmatic fact. Today's discomfort, which we pointed out at the beginning, therefore not only calls into question a secondary component of Christian thought, but touches the constant faith of the Church, her way of understanding salvation and, first and foremost, even the consciousness of Jesus himself. That is why Pope Paul VI., Speaking recently of this “terrible, mysterious and frightening reality”, state with authority: “Anyone who refuses to acknowledge its existence is leaving the realm of biblical and ecclesiastical teaching; likewise whoever turns it into a self-contained principle that does not originate from God like any creature, or who explains it as a pseudo-reality, as a conceptual and imaginative personification of the unknown causes of our evils ”(121). Neither the exegetes nor the theologians should ignore this warning.

We repeat, therefore, that the Church, while still emphasizing the existence of demons today, does not intend to return to the dualistic and Manichaean speculations of earlier times nor to offer a reasonably acceptable substitute. She just wants to stay true to the gospel and its demands. It has never, of course, allowed man to discharge himself of his responsibilities by blaming the demons for his own fault. The Church did not hesitate to oppose such an evasion, where it surrendered, and to speak with St. John Chrysostom to say: "It is not the devil but the own negligence of men that is the cause of all their failures and all the evils that they lament" (122).

In this regard, Christian teaching, with its resolute defense of freedom and the greatness of man and its emphasis on the omnipotence and goodness of the Creator, shows a yielding. She has always condemned in the past, and will always condemn, that one too carelessly invokes demonic influence as an excuse. It has rejected both superstition and magic and denied any doctrinal surrender to fanaticism and any renunciation of freedom to power. What is more, when speaking of a possible interference from Satan, the Church has always given room for critical scrutiny, as with miracles. In this way it demands caution and caution. It is easy to fall victim to the imagination, to be misled by inaccurate reports that either pass on clumsily or are misinterpreted. In these, as in other cases, it is necessary to discriminate and pay due attention to the research and its results.

Nevertheless, true to the example of Christ, the Church is of the opinion that the apostle Peter's exhortation to be “sobre” and vigilant is always relevant (123). In our day it is certainly advisable to beware of a new "high". But the knowledge and power of technology can also be intoxicating. Today people are proud of their discoveries, and often rightly. In our case, however, is it certain that his analyzes have clarified all the phenomena which are characteristic of and indicate the presence of the demons? Is there no longer a problem at this point? Have the hermeneutic analysis and the study of the fathers eliminated the difficulties in all the texts? Nothing is less certain. Certainly in other times there was a certain simplicity in the fear of meeting a demon at the crossroads of our paths. But is one not just as simple-minded today in the expectation that our methods will soon give the last word on the deep layers of consciousness, where the mysterious relationships between soul and body, between the supernatural, the extra-natural and human, between reason and revelation, meet one another penetrate? Because these questions have always been viewed as extensive and intricate. Our methods today, like those of our ancestors, have limits that they are unable to surmount. Modesty, which is also an excellent characteristic of the intelligence, must uphold its rights and remain in the truth. For this virtue allows the Christian - if it also takes special account of the future - to give space now to the contribution of revelation, in short: faith.

Indeed, it is faith to which the apostle Peter refers us when he invites us to "stand firm in faith" against the devil. Indeed, faith teaches us that the reality of evil "is a living, spiritual, deceived and seductive being" (124). But he can also give us confidence by letting us know that the power of Satan cannot exceed the limits set by God. He also assures us that if the devil is able to tempt us, he can still never force our consent. Above all, faith opens the heart to prayer, in which it finds its victory and its coronation and makes us triumph over evil in the power of God.

It is certain that the reality of demons, concretely attested by what we call the mystery of evil, remains a riddle that surrounds Christian life even today. We do not know much better than the apostles why the Lord allows it, nor how He puts it in the service of His plans. It could happen, however, that in our civilization, which pays homage to secular horizontalism, the unexpected violent outbursts of this mystery convey a somewhat more sensitive feeling for its understanding. They oblige people to look further into the distance, more upwards and behind the immediate evidence. Through the threat and the prepotency of evil that hinder our path, they allow us to recognize the existence of something beyond and therefore to turn to Christ in order to hear from him the good news of the salvation offered us as a grace.

* L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly edition in German, number 27, July 4, 1975, pp. 6-8 (first part), number 28, July 11, 1975, pp. 8-10 (second part).

* * *


1) The strength of the church in relation to superstition is already explained in the severity of the Mosaic Law, even if this was formally justified from the connection between superstition and demons. So condemned Ex 22, 17 readily to death those who practiced magic; Lev 19, 26 and 31 forbade magic, astrology, necromancy and divination, and Lev 20, 27 added the necromancy; Dtn 18, 10 simultaneously outlawed fortune tellers, astrologers, magicians, sorcerers, sorcerers, interpreters of signs and those who banish spirits and question the dead. In the Europe of the high Middle Ages, many superstitious customs of paganism still survived, as can be seen from the speeches of St. Caesarius of Arles and St. Eloi emerges as well as from the book De correctione rusticorum by Martin from Braga, from the lists of superstitious customs of the time (cf. PL 89, 810-818) and from the books of penance. The First Council of Toledo (Denz.-Sch., No. 205), then that of Braga (Denz.-Sch.459) condemned astrology, as St. Leo d. Size in the letter to Turibius of Astorga (Denz.-Sch., No. 483). The 9th rule of the Council of Trent forbids the practice of chiromancy, necromancy, etc. (Denz.-Sch., No. 1859). Magic and sorcery in turn caused a large number of papal bulls (Innocent VIII, Leo X, Hadrian VI, Gregory XV, Urban VIII) and many decisions by regional synods. Regarding magnetism and spiritism, one will refer primarily to the letter of the Holy Office of August 4, 1856 (Denz.-Sch., No. 283-285).

2) De diabolo tenlatore, Homily II, 1, PG, 49, 257-258.

3) Acts 23, 8. In connection with the Jewish truths of faith or the angels and the evil spirits, nothing forces the unspecified word “spirit” to be restricted to merely designating the spirits of the dead; the term is also used for the spirits of evil, i. H. for the demons. This is the opinion of two Jewish authors (G. F. More, Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era, Vol. I, 1927, p. 68; M. Simon, Les sectes juives au temps de Jesus, Paris 1960, p. 25) and a Protestant (R. Meyer, T.W.N.T., VII, p. 54).

4) When Jesus declared, “Do not believe that I came to abolish the law or the prophets; I did not come to pick it up, but to lead it to completion ”(Mt 5, 17), he clearly expressed his appreciation for the past; and the following verses (19-20) confirm this impression. But his condemnation of adultery (Mt 5, 31), the law of retaliation (Mt 5, 38) etc. emphasize his total independence more than the desire to take over the past and lead it to perfection. The same must be said with more reason of his condemnation of the Pharisees' adherence to the tradition of the ancients (Mk 7, 1-22).

5) Mt 8, 28-34; 12, 22-45. Although various interpretations are admitted which every synoptic gives to the exorcism of the devil, one must nevertheless admit their broad agreement.

6) Mk 1, 12-13.

7) Mt 5, 37; 6, 13. Cf. Jean Carmignac, Research on “Notre Pere”, Paris, 1969, pp. 305-319. Incidentally, this is the general explanation of the Greek and some Western Fathers (Tertullian, St. Ambrosius, Cassian). But St. Augustine and that Libera nos the Latin Mass were based on an impersonal interpretation.

8) E. Renaudot, Liturgiarum orientalium collectio, 2nd vol. (ad locum missae); H. Denzinger, Ratus orientalium, 1961, 2nd vol., P. 436. This also seems to be the explanation that Paul VI. followed at his address in the general audience of November 15, 1972, because there one speaks of evil as a living and personal principle (L’Osservatore Romano, 16.11.1972).

9) Mt 13, 19.

10) Mt 13, 39.

11) Mt 16, 19 understood in this way by P. Jouon, M. J. Lagrange, A. Medebielle, D. Buzy, M. Meinertz, W. Trilling, Jeremias etc. It is therefore not to be understood that some today Mt 16, 19 aside to dwell on 16, 23.

12) Lk 22, 31.

13) Joh 14, 30.

14) Lk 22, 53; see. Lk 22: 3 suggests the evangelist is believed to understand this "power of darkness" in an impersonal way.

15) Joh 16, 11.

16) Eph 2, 1-2; 2 thes 2, 11: 2 Cor 4, 4.

17) Gal 5, 17; Rom 7, 23-24.

18) Eph 6, 11-16.

19) Eph 4, 27; 1 cor 7, 5.

20) Rom 16, 20.

21) 2 Cor 4, 4.

22) 2 thes 2, 1.

23) 2 Cor 4, 4 quoted by Paul VI. in the already mentioned speech.

24) 1 cor 10, 19-20; Rom 21-22. This is practically the interpretation given in Lumen gentium, No. 16 is given: "Deceived by evil, people often became vain in their thoughts, exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and served creation more than the Creator".

25) 2 Cor 11, 3.

26) 2 thes 2, 3-4, 9-11.

27) Acts 12, 9.

28) Joh 12, 31; 14, 30; 16, 11.

29) Joh 8, 34.

30) Joh 8, 38.44.

31) Joh 8, 44.

32) Joh 8, 41.

33) ibid.

34) Joh 8, 38. 44.

35) J. tassels, Initiation aux Pères de l’Église, Vol. I, Paris 1955, p. 279 (= Patrology, Vol. I, p. 246).

36) Adv. Haer., V, XXIV, 3, PG, 7, 1188 A.

37) Ibid. XXI, 2, PC, 7, 1179 C-1180 A.

38) De Civitate Dei, Vol. XI, IX, PL, 41, 323-325.

39) De Genesi ad litteram, Vol. XI, XXIV, 31, PL, 34, 441-442.

40) PL, 76, 694; 705, 722.

41) St. Irenaeus, Adv. Haer., IV, XI, 3, PG, 7, 113 C.

42) De praescriptionibus, Chap. XL, PL, 2.54; De jejuniis, Chap. XVI, ibid. 977.

43) “Firmiter credimus et simpliciter confitemur ... unum universorum principium, creator omnium invisibilium et visibilium, spiritualium et corporalium, qui sua omnipotenti virtute simul ab initio temporis, utramque de nihilo condidit creaturam, spritualem et corporalem, angel et mund videlem, angelicam videlem deinde humanam quasi communem ex spiritu et corpore constitutum. Diabolus enim et daemones alii ad Deo quidem natura creati sunt boni, sed ipsi per se facti sunt mali. Homo vero diaboli suggestione peccavit ... ”(C.OE.D. = Conciliorum Oecumenicorum Decreta, Ed. I.S.R. Bologna 1973, 3, p. 230; Denz.-Sch., Enchiridion symbolorum, No. 800).

44) The first in chronological order is the Creed of the Synod of Lyon (1179-1181), spoken by Valdèz (Ed. A. Dondaine, Arch. Fr. Pr., 16, 1946; then that which Durandus of Huesca took before the Bishop of Tarragona in 1208 (PL, 215, 1510-1513), and finally that of Bernardo Primo in 1210 (PL,216, 289-292). Denz.-Sch., No. 790-797 compares these documents.

45) In the Council of Braga (560-563) in Portugal (Denz.-Sch., No. 451-464).

46) Phil 2, 10.

47) Eph 1, 21.

48) Col 1, 16.

49) C.OE.D. Pp. 5 and 24; Denz.-Sch., No. 125-150.

50) Denz-Sch., No. 188.

51) In Jerusalem (Denz.-Sch., No. 41), in Cyprus (reported by Ephiphanius of Salami na (Denz.-Sch., No. 44), in Alexandria (Denz.-Sch., No. 46), in Antioch (ibid. No. 50), in Armenia (ibid. No. 48) etc.

52) PE (Prex Eucharistica, Ed. Hänggi-Pahl, Friborg 1968), p. 244.

53) PE, Pp. 232 and 348.

54) PE, Pp. 327, 332, 382.

55) Adv. Haer., II, XXX, 6, PG, 7, 818 B.

56) PG, 25, 199-200.

57) De fide orthodoxa contra Arianos: in the works dedicated to St. To be attributed to Ambrosius (PL, 17, 549) as well as Febadius (PL, 20, 49).

58) De Genesi ad litteram liber imperfectus, 1, 1-2, PL, 34, 221.

59) De fide liber unus, III, 25, PL, 65, 683.

60) This creed, which was made by the Emperor Michael Paleologus and is preserved in the files of this council by Hardouin and Mansi, can easily be found in Denz.-Sch. Find # 851. The C.OE.D. of Bologna leaves it out without giving a reason (at the First Vatican Council, however, the relator of the Deputatio fidei in this regard, Mansi, Vol. 52, 11M3 B).

61) Session IX: Bulla unionis coptorum (Bull of the reunification of the Copts), C.OE.D. P. 571: Denz.-Sch., No. 1333.

62) Denz-Sch., No. 1862 (missing from C.OE.D.).

63) Session III: Consiitutio "Dei Filius", 1st chapter: C.OE.D., Pp. 805-806; Denz.-Sch., No. 3002.

64) Mani, the founder of the sect, lived in the 3rd century CE. At the beginning of the following century the resistance of the fathers to Manichaeism asserted itself. Ephiphanius devoted a long treatise to this heresy and refuted it (Haer. 66, PG, 42, ä-172). St. Athanasius speaks about this when the opportunity arises (Oratio contra gentes, 2, PG, 25, 6 C). St. Basil wrote a little treatise on this: Quod Deus non sit auctor malorum (PG, 31, 330-354). Didymus of Alexandria is the author of a book (Against Manichaeos (PG, 39, 1085-1110). In the West, after his conversion, Augustine systematically fought against Manichaeism, which he had adopted in his youth (cf. PL, 42).

65) Oratio 40. In sanctum Baptisma, Par. 45, PG, 36, 424 A.

66) The fathers interpreted verses 7s 14, 14 and Ez 28.2 in this sense, in which the prophets denounced the pride of the pagan kings of Babylonia and Tire.

67) “Do not tell me that wickedness has always existed in the devil; at first he was free from it; it is a matter of a quality of his being that was added later ”(St. John Chrysostom, De diabolo tentatore, Homily II, 2, PG, 49, 260).

68) Quod Deus non sit auctor malorum (That God is not the author of evils), 8, PG, 31, 345 C-D.

69) Oratio 38. In Teophania, 10, PG, 36,320 C-321 A; Oratio 45. In sanctum Pasha, ibid., 629 B.

70) See no.67 above.

71) Against Manichaeos, 16: indicates in this sense Joh 8, 44 (in veritate non stitit), PG, 39.1105 C; see. Enarratio in epist. B. Iudae, Verse 9, ibid. 1814 C - 1815 B.

72) Adversus Marcionem, II, X, PL, 296-298.

73) Cf. the paragraph that starts at the first of the canons de Trinitate, follows.

74) Apologia proph. David, I, 4, PL, 14. 1455 C-D; in psalm 118, 10, PL, 15, 1363 D.

75) De Genesi ad litteram, Book XI, XX-XXL 27-28, PL, 34, 439-440.

76) “Si quis confitetur angelum apostaticum in natura, qua factus est, non a Deo factum fuisse, sed ab se esse, ut de se illi principium habere adsignet, analhema sit.

Si quis confitetur angelum apostaticum in mala natura a Deo factum fuisse et non dixerit eum per voluntatem suam malum concepisse, anathema illi.

Si quis confitetur angelum Satanae mundum fecisse, quod absit, et non indicaverit (judicaverit) omne peccatum per ipsum adinventum fuisse ”(De Trinitate VI, 17, 1-3, ed. V. Bulhart, CC, S.I., 9, pp. 89-90; PL, 62, 280-281).

77) CSEL XXV / 2, pp. 977-982; PL, 42, 1153-1156.

78) De Genesi ad litteram liber imperfectus, I, 1-2, PL, 34, 221.

79) Denz.-Sch., No. 188.

80) Namely the 6th note of the memorandum that the Bishop of Astorga sent to the Pope as rapporteur.

81) “Sexta annotatio indicat eos dicere quod diabolus numquam fuerit bonus, nee natura eius opificium Dei sit, sed eum ex chao et tenebris emersisse: quia scilicet nulluni sui habeat auetorem, sed omnis mali ipse sit principium atque substantia: cum fides vera, quae est catholica, omnium creaturarum sive spiritualium, sive corporalium bonam confiteatur substantiam, et mali nullani esse naturam; quia Deus, qui universitatis est conditor, nihil non bonum fecit. Unde et diabolus bonus esset, si in eo quod factus est, permaneret. Sed quia naturali excellentia male usus est, et in veritate non stait (Joh 8, 44), non in contrariam transit substantiam, sed a summo bono, cui debuit adhaerere, deseivit...” (Epist. 15; VI. Cape., PL, 54, 683; see. Denz.-Sch., No. 286; the critical text that B. Volman OSB only has punctuation variations.

82) "Cap. IX: Fides vera, quae est catholica, omnium creaturarum sive spiritualium, sive corporalium bonam confitetur substantiam, et mali nullam esse naturam: quia Deus, qui universitatis est conditor, nihil non bonum fecit. Unde et diabolus bonus esset, si in eo quod factus est permaneret. Sed quia naturali excellentia male usus est, et in veritate non stitit, non in contrariam substantiam transit, sed a summo bono, cui debuit adhaerere, discessit ”(De ecclesiasticis dogmatibus, PL, 58, 995 C-D). But the original review of this work, which is appended to the works of St. Augustine is published, this chapter does not have (PL, 42, 1213-1222).

83) De fide seu de regula fidei ad Petrum liber unus, PL, 65, 671-706. “Principaliter tene” (III, 25, col. 685 A); “Firmissime ... tene” (IV, 45, col 694 C).“Pars itaque angelorum quae a suo Creatore Deo, quo solo bono beata fuit, voluntaria prorsus aversione discessit ...” (III, 31, col. 687 A); “... nullam que esse mali naturam” (XXI, 62, col. 699 D-700 A).

84) Concilia Gallica, 314-506, CC, SL, 148, ed. Ch. Munier, Pp. 165, 25-26; still in the appendix of Ordo XXXIV in: M. Ardrieu, Ordines romani, Vol. III, Lovanii 1951, p. 616.

85) PL, 215, 1512 D, A. Doudaine, Arch. Fr. Pe. 16 (1946) 232; Denz.-Sch., No. 797.

86) Denz.-Sch., No. 457.

87) See no.44 above.

88) PL, 204, 1235-1272. See E. Delaruelle. Dict. Hist. et Geogr. Eccl. Vol. XV., Col. 754-757.

89) PL, 204, 775-792. The historical context of northern Italy is well described by Fr. Ilarino da Milano. Le eresie medioevali (XI.-XVth centuries) in: Grande Antologia filosofica, Vol. IV, Milano 1954, pp. 1599-1689. The work of Bonacursus is studied by the same Fr. Ilarino da Milano: The “Manifestatio heresis Catarorum quam fecit Bonacursus” according to the cod. Ottob. lat. 136 of the Vatican Library, Aevum 12 (1933) 281-333.

90) “Sed primo de fide. Contra quam proponit sententiam falsitatis et iniquitatis, dicens Deum omnipotentem sola invisibilia et incorporalia creasse; diabolum vero, quem deum tenebrarum appellat, dicit visibilia et corporalia creasse. Quibus predictis addit hereticus duo esse principia rerum: unum boni, scilicet Deum omnipotentem: alterum mali, scilicet diabolum. Addit etiam duas esse naturas: unam bonam, incorporalium, a deodorant omnipotente creatam; alteram malam, corporalium, a diabolo creatam. Hereticus autem qui hoc dicit antiquus Manicheus, nunc vero Carharus appellatur ”(Summa contra haereticos, Chapter I., Ed. Josephi N. Garvin and James A. Corbett, University of Notre-Dame 1958, p. 4).

91) This treatise, which was first discovered and edited by Fr. Antoine Dondaine OP, has recently been published in the second edition: Livre des deux principes. Introduction, texts critique. traduction, notes et index, by Christine Thouzellier. S. Chr. 198, Paris 1975.

92) L. c. Par. 1, pp. 160-161.

93) ibid., Par. 12, pp. 190-191.

94) “Dominus papa summo mane missa celebrata et omnibus episcopis per sedes suas dispositis, in eminentiorem locum cum suis kardinalibus et ministris ascendens, sancte Trinitatis fidem et singulos fidei articulos recitari fecit. Quibus recitatis quesitum est from universis alta voce: "Creditis haec per omnia?" Responderunt omnes: "Credimus." Postmodum damnati sunt omnes heretici et retrobate quorundam sententie, Joachim videlicet et Emelrici Parisiensis. Quibus recitatis iterum quesitum est: “An reprobatis sententias Joachim et Emelrici? At illi magis invalescebant damnando: Reprobamus (A new eyewitness Account of the Fourth Lateran Council, published by St. Kuttner and Antonio Garcia y Garcia, in: Traditio 20, 1964, 115-128, especially pp. 127-128).

95) Sess. VI, Decretum de justificatione, Chapter V, C.OE.D., P. 672; Denz.-Sch., No. 1525.

96) Sess. XIII, I. Chap., C.OE.D., P. 693; Denz.-Sch., No. 1636-1637.

97) Sess. VI., XIII. Cape., C.OE.D., P. 676; Denz.-Sch., No. 1541.

98) Denz.-Sch., No. 291; the formula will be adopted from the V Session, Chapter 1, of the Council of Trent (C.OE.D., P. 666; Denz.-Sch., No. 1511).

99) Sess. XI, Bulla unionis coplorum, 1347-1349.

100) Sess. VI, I. Chap .: C.OE.D., P. 671; Denz.-Sch., No. 1521.

101) Col 1, 13-14, cited in the same decree, III. Cape.: C.OE.D., P. 672, Denz.-Sch., No. 1523.

102) Sess. XIV, de poenitentia, Chapter I., C.OE.D., P. 703, Denz.-Sch., No. 1668.

103) This rite appears as early as the 3rd century in the apostolic tradition (Ed. B. Botte, Chapter 21, pp. 46-51) and in the 4th century in the liturgy of the apostolic constitutions, VII, 41 (Ed. F.-X. Funk, Didascalia et Constitutiones Apostolorum, Vol. I, 1905, pp. 444-447).

104) Ad gentes, No. 3 and 14 (note the quotation from Col 1, 13 and the comments on No. 14).

105) Gaudium et spes, No. 37 b.

106) Eph 6, 11-12, highlighted in Lumen gentium, No. 43 d.

107) Eph 6, 12, also highlighted in Lumen gentium, No. 35 a.

108) Lumen gentium, No. 5 a.

109) Lk 11, 20; see. Mt 12, 28.

110) C. Vagaggini OSB, Il senso teologico della liturgia. Saggio di liturgia teologica generale, Roma 1965, 4, XIII. Cape., Le due città, la liturgia e la lotta contro Satana, Pp. 346-427. Egon von Petersdorff, De daemonibus in liturgia memoratis. [Angelicum XIX (1942, pp. 324-339); Demonology, I. Demons in the world plan. II. Demons at work, Munich 1954-1957.

111) Read the Ordo excommunicandi et gradendi and especially the admonition: “Quia N. diabolo suadente ...”. Pontificale Romanum, 2nd edition Ratisbona 1908, pp. 392-398.

112) We quote from the prayer Commendo te ...: “Ignores omne, quod horret in tenebris, quod stridet in flammis, quod cruetat in tormentis. Cedat tibi teterrimus satanas cum satellitibus suis ... ”.

113) In Par. IV of the Motu Proprio Ministeria quaedam stated: “The offices to be kept in the Latin Church and which have been adapted to today's needs are two, namely those of Lecturer and des Acolytes. The duties that were previously entrusted to the subdiacon are now entrusted to the lecturer and the acolyte, and therefore there is no longer a higher degree of ordination of the subdiaconate in the Latin Church. However, nothing stands in the way that, according to the judgment of the Bishops' Conference, the acolyte may also be called a subdeacon in some places ”(AAS 64, 1972, p. 532). In this way the office of exorcist has been abolished, but it is not intended that the corresponding powers can be exercised by the lecturer or the acolyte. The Motu Proprio only declares (p. 531) that the Bishops' Conferences hold the offices of Ostiarius, of Exorcists and des Catechists can be requested.

114) The transition to the form of prayer only takes place after “experiments”, which in turn are followed by deliberations and discussions Consium followed.

115) Ordo initiationis christianae adultorum, Edit. typ. Roma 1972, No. 10i, 109-118, pp. 36-41.

116) Ibid., No. 25, p. 3; and No. 154-157, p. 54.

117) So it has been since the issue: Ordo baptismi parvulorum, Edit. typ. Roma 1969, p. 27, no. 49 and p. 85, no. 221. The only innovation is that this exorcism is in prayer form, oratio exorcismi, and that immediately the unctio praebaptismalis follows (ibid., No. 50); but these two rites, exorcism and anointing, each have their own final formula.

118) In the new one Ordo Paenitentiae, Edit. typ. Roma 1974, one will find the prayer in the 2nd appendix Deus humani generis benignissime conditor (Pp. 85-86), which, despite slight modifications, is identical to the prayer that has the same beginning, des Ordo reconciliationis poenitentium of Maundy Thursday (Pontificale Romanum, Ratisbona 1908, p. 350).

119) Ordo unctionis infirmorum eorumque pastoralis curae, Edit. Type. Roma 1972, p. 33, no.73.

120) Ibid., P. 34, no. 75.

121) "Padre nostro ... liberaci dal male ”, Address to the general audience on November 15, 1972 (L’Osservatore Romano, November 16, 1972). The Holy Father had expressed the same concern in his homily the previous June 29th (“Essere forti nella fede”, L’Osservatore Romano, June 30 / July 1, 1972, pp. 1-2).

122) De diabolo tentatore, Homily II, PG 49, 259.

123) 1 petr 5, 8.

124) Paul VI, ibid.