DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     August 23, 1999     vol. 10, no. 158

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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Ethnic Cleansing, Modern Gulags, Auschwitz, "Diabolic Circles"

        VATICAN CITY, AUG 20 (ZENIT).- John Paul II's catechesis on evil and the Devil sparked great interest in the media, as did his previous talks on Heaven, Purgatory and hell. With the talks, the Pontiff is preparing Christians to celebrate the Jubilee Year 2000. These thought-provoking Christian teachings have been received as "revelations" by some of the media.

        In speaking about satan on August 18, the Pontiff explained that, although he was absolutely vanquished by Christ, his seducing presence continues to be felt in our days. In statements to Vatican Radio, theologian Fr. Stefano De Fiores went more deeply into this topic, which not a few consider something of the past.

        "Today, Christians cannot go around with their eyes closed, seeing only good in the world: they must also discover the roots of evil and the way these proliferate," he said.

        "At present, theologians are speaking about 'diabolic circles,' in other words, concentrations of evil in the world, which cannot leave Christians and men of good will with a easy conscience," Fr. De Fiores said.

        According to theologian De Fiores, these "diabolic circles" consist "first and foremost, in abandoning God, and in violence, discord, divisions, the use of means of power ... power, having, (and) knowing -- are raised almost to the level of idols. Faced with these modern 'gulags,' Auschwitz, the ethnic cleansing of our time, we cannot fail to see this diabolic power which has a name -- Satan's."

        This is what explains many dramatic incidents of evil in the world. "Satan camouflages himself, trying to make good seem evil and vice versa," De Fiores added.

        Because of these phenomena, attested by contemporary theology, one can understand the Pope's teachings on the eve of the year 2000. "The Church must live a new Pentecost, a new deluge of the fire of love, that is, the Spirit must be manifest and, with Mary's help, a quality leap must be made in the Church, which means that Christians must be saints, and help the Church by a greater awareness of the duty of evangelization, in order that the whole world will be led to Christ." ZE99082001

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

August 23, 1999       volume 10, no. 158


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