[Catholic News Agency] The superior general of the Society of Jesus said Aug. 21 that the devil is a symbol, but not a person.
The devil, “exists as the personification of evil in different structures, but not in persons, because is not a person, is a way of acting evil. He is not a person like a human person. It is a way of evil to be present in human life,” Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, said Wednesday in an interview with Italian magazine Tempi.
“Good and evil are in a permanent war in the human conscience and we have ways to point them out. We recognize God as good, fully good. Symbols are part of reality, and the devil exists as a symbolic reality, not as a personal reality,” he added.
Sosa’s remarks came after he participated in a panel discussion at a Catholic gathering in Rimini, Italy, organized by the Communion and Liberation ecclesial movement.
It seems to me that downplaying the importance of Satan reduces the responsibilities of the Church in fighting him. For me, I believe Satan is a real “person.” The Bible tells us that when Jesus returns to earth, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire. While this could be symbolic, I choose to believe this is the “real” imprisonment of a “real” entity in a very unpleasant place.
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