The Pope has claimed the Devil is a real person who is more intelligent that mortals.
In a strong television interview, Pope Francis insisted Satan was not a fictitious character but rather a real being with dark powers.
The pontiff regularly refers to the Devil in his sermons in the Vatican and routinely praises exorcists for their work in combating evil.
‘I’m convinced that one must never converse with Satan – if you do that, you’ll be lost.
‘He’s more intelligent than us, and he’ll turn you upside down, he’ll make your head spin.’
‘He always pretends to be polite – he does it with priests, with bishops. That’s how he enters your mind.
‘But it ends badly if you don’t realise what is happening in time. We should tell him, “Go away”,’ according to the Telegraph.
It comes just days after the Argentinian Pope said he wants to change the interpretation of ‘Our Father’, the best known prayer in Christianity.
The pontiff said the Roman Catholic Church should adopt a better translation of the phrase ‘lead us not into temptation’ in the Italian version of the Lord’s Prayer.
He said the current phrasing, which is the same in English and many other languages, suggests that it is God who has a choice to lead us into temptation or not.
He said this was the work of Satan, not God.
‘That is not a good translation, because it speaks of a God who induces temptation’,’ the pope said in a television interview last Wednesday night.
Francis said the Catholic Church in France had opted for a different phrasing, which worked around this particular issue.
The French translation uses the phrase ‘do not let us fall into temptation’ as an alternative, which, the Pope said, implies that the fault would be human.
He indicated that it or something similar should be applied worldwide.
The prayer is part of Christian liturgical culture and memorised from childhood by hundreds of millions of people within all branches of the religion – both Catholic and Protestant.
It is a translation from the Latin vulgate, which was translated from ancient Greek, which was in turn translated from Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus.
Liturgical translations are usually done by local Churches in coordination with the Vatican.