Devil's Advocate

By Bill Maher

I once theorized that Pope Francis was a sensible guy who deep down inside was, if not a straight-up atheist, at least a guy who didn't believe in demons and angels and all that hocus-pocus. Well, seems I was wrong. According to The Washington Post, Francis can't stop talking about the Prince of Darkness. And not just in an abstract sense; he has "sought to rekindle the Devil's image as a supernatural entity with the forces of evil at his beck and call."

Just recently, the Vatican held its largest convention of exorcists ever. And I thought Comic-Con was weird.  

As one Swiss exorcist explained, "Once you hear a Satanic growl, you never forget it. It's like smelling Margherita pizza for the first time. It's something you never forget."

So why would a progressive like Francis want to push the Satan angle? My guess is that it's a calculated effort to make the Church more appealing in Latin America and Africa, where the idea of demonic possession is pretty mainstream stuff. If Francis can work both the social justice and the protection from Satan angles simultaneously, he can really bring up the quarterly numbers.

In related news, the Vatican told the UN that over the past ten years it has defrocked 848 priests and sanctioned 2,572 others with lesser penalties (like staying away from kids, or having to say the 6 a.m. mass).