When we read that a cardinal asked young seminarians to sleep with him, thus corrupting them before they became ordained, and when we read that a few Pennsylvania priests used sacred objects like the crucifix to molest their victims, we cannot plausibly say that this is simply the work of men gone bad. No, it is the work of the devil. What other source would provoke such monstrosities?
The Apocalypse (12:7-9) speaks of Satan as the one who “seduceth the whole world.” Jesus referred to Satan as the Father of Lies who perverted the truth. The Catholic Catechism says Satan’s “seductive voice” seeks to turn us against God.
If Satan tempted our Lord in the desert, he is surely capable of tempting the clergy, and sometimes winning. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen put it well when he said, “Satan stations more devils on monastery walls than in dens of iniquity, for the latter offer no resistance.”
Demands for accountability matter, but without prayer, this crisis will not be resolved.