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Satan’s Attack On The Church – What You Can Do!

“The Catholic Church —  and I am a life-long member — has disgraced itself beyond belief. If evidence should be revealed that a Cardinal was implicit in this cover-up, he should be indicted. I’m having trepidation as I prepare to attend Mass this morning. I’m afraid that if my pastor reads The Cardinal’s BS letter, I shall have to walk out and, maybe, forever!”

“As someone who has left the perverse Catholic Church I can only urge all to boycott this corrupt religion. The very fact they are ‘celibate’ attracts pedophiles and homosexuals to the order. Catholicism is inherently flawed and evil because of this. Look to other Christian faiths for true religion.”

-online comments to February 2011 Philadelphia Inquirer articles about the priestly abuse investigation.

As a Catholic evangelist, it is impossible for me to ignore the damage caused by the priestly abuse crisis.  It is the type of story embraced by the mainstream media and a favorite “water cooler” conversation at the office.  As evidenced by the above quotes, the fallout from this tragedy has shaken people’s faith, caused them to stop donating to the Church or, in some cases, to leave the Catholic Church entirely.  As demonstrated by the recent news coming out of Philadelphia, it is a story that will not die.  If we take Jesus at His word, we know that the Church will never disappear (Mt 16:18), but there is no doubt that she is being damaged.  As Catholics, what can (and should) we do in defense of our Church? 

As ludicrous as it sounds, I propose that we start by getting to know Satan!  In understanding who he is and what his goals are, we’ll be able to better defend against his attacks on our Catholic Church.  No matter what you may hear or read, the devil is very much involved in all of the evil that is taking place in the Church.

Scripture tells us clearly that Satan is a liar (Gen 3:4-5, Lk 4:6, Jn 8:44).  While not able to force us to sin, he will use any means to convince us to do evil.  He even had the audacity to use Scripture (Mt 4:6) when trying to tempt Jesus!  The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) describes him as “the one who throws himself across God’s plan and His work of salvation accomplished in Christ (CCC 2851)”.  As a lover of evil, what does Satan enjoy?

He loves when babies are murdered through abortion.  He especially enjoys the fact that he fools people into thinking that killing the unborn is a “choice.”  He rejoices when he convinces men and women to sin mortally by looking at pornography.  It’s even more of a joy to him when the sin results in the breakup of a family.  Speaking of families, Satan is overjoyed when he sees divorce and child abuse.  All kinds of crime, especially murder, make him very happy.  However, nothing thrills the devil more than when he convinces a member of the clergy to sin, especially publicly.  Furthermore, if that sin involves the abuse of a child or homosexuality, that’s even sweeter to Satan.  Perhaps the only thing that could add to his enjoyment is when that sin by an ordained minister leads others to criticize or leave the Church entirely.  That’s exactly what the devil wants.  As someone who wants to stop our salvation, he will do anything he can to ensure we separate ourselves from the vehicle of that salvation, the Church!

Unfortunately, we often play right into his hands and unintentionally help him to damage the Church.  Instead of focusing on the fact that Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church as a necessary vehicle for our salvation, we “bad mouth” and condemn the Church.   We refer to the perpetrators (accused or convicted) as “monsters”, cry for their heads, condemn the bishops for making bad decisions and refuse to contribute to the Church.  We speak and let others speak of the Church as a corrupt organization run by “power hungry” men.  Fueled by our anger and outrage, we fail to realize that our words may cause others to leave the Church, putting their salvation in jeopardy.  When we condemn “The Church”, we fail to recognize that there is a difference between “The Church” and her individual members.  When one of her members (including members of the Church hierarchy) sins, it is not “The Church” who sins, but the individuals!

What then is the correct response to these horrible crimes committed by members of the clergy?  Should it just be ignored?  The first thing we need to remember is that we should not depend on the mainstream media to give us the true story of these Church scandals.  While some of the information is undoubtedly true, often times the accusations are partially or completely false.  What good does it do for us to focus on the alleged details and share them with others?  If the topic arises at the workplace or in our social circles, we could redirect the conversation and state that the Church is a Heavenly institution and was founded by Christ.  Scripture tells us that the Church is the “pillar and foundation of truth” (1 Tm 3:15).  While this means that the Church cannot teach error, it does not mean that the individual members of the Church hierarchy cannot sin.  Until Christ comes again in glory, the Church on earth (including the clergy) is made up of imperfect sinners. We could also remind others that the vast majority of priests and bishops are good, holy men.  Although the media would like us to think otherwise, the percentage of individuals involved in these horrific acts is very small. 

Additionally, we must pray daily for our Catholic clergy.  St. Peter reminds us that “the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for (someone) to devour” (1 Pt 5:8).  If that “someone” is a priest or bishop, that is a special prize to Satan.  If we criticize our clergy without praying for them, shame on us!   

We must also keep in mind that when we criticize the Church (or her clergy), we criticize Christ.  As evidence, I ask you to recall the words of Our Lord to Saul (a.k.a. St. Paul) of Tarsus on the road to Damascus.  Before he went on to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, Saul was a notorious persecutor of Christians.  He didn’t even know Jesus, as evidenced by his question to the Lord, “Who are you, sir?”  Christ’s response should send chills up and down the spine of anyone who speaks negatively about any member of the Church hierarchy, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9.5).  Outside of the sheer ingratitude of criticizing the Savior of the world, anyone who speaks poorly about Jesus (or His Church) should become familiar with His words in Matthew 10:32-33!

I want to be absolutely clear that I am in no way recommending that we cover up any illegal acts committed by members of the Catholic clergy or ignore the horrible agony experienced by the victims.  If you or someone you know is the victim of abuse by a member of the Catholic clergy, you should immediately report the issue to the police.  However, I am asking you to remember how happy Satan is when the Church is damaged in any way.  The devil hates Jesus, hates the Church and hates everything good.  He despises it when, instead of spreading venomous stories about our Church and her Magisterium, we defend her Divine goodness.  Pray for the clergy, pray for the victims, pray for the Church’s leaders, pray for the any members of the press who distort the truth for publicity.  By doing so you will help to thwart Satan’s efforts to damage the Church…and that’s a GOOD thing!

2011 Gary Zimak)


Gary Zimak is the founder of Following The Truth Ministries (http://www.followingthetruth.com), a lay apostolate created to assist Catholics in learning more about their Faith. He is a regular guest on EWTN Radio’s “Son Rise Morning Show”, Ave Maria Radio’s “Catholic Connection with Teresa Tomeo” and appears frequently on several other Catholic radio programs.  In addition to writing for CatholicLane. Mr. Zimak hosts a daily program on BlogTalkRadio and posts frequently on his blog, Facebook and Twitter.  He is a member of Catholics United For The Faith and the Knights of Columbus and resides in New Jersey with his wife Eileen and twin daughters, Mary & Elizabeth.


  • An important thing to remember about evil is, it just isn’t very interesting. Everything the Devil cooks up has been the same old same old for 100,000 years, all the way back to the Garden. He tempts us with what we already have: God always intended for Adam and Eve to become “like Him”; the lure of pornography is precisely for a sort of sexual fulfillment that we can already possess in marriage, and so on. Do you remember the White Witch’s temptation of Edmund when he came to Narnia? She told him she could make him a king. He already was a king by the hand of Aslan!

    The best thing we can say about the work of the Devil is “Move on, there’s nothing to see here.” Give him time and he will hang himself by his own rope. He, a mere creature of subatomic stature compared with Our Lord, is in way over his head with Jesus. We shouldn’t care what he is up to, beyond being alert to the danger. His reign is finished, and we’re the winners.

  • noelfitz

    This is a powerful article and augurs well for CatholicLane.

    We have to remember that the Catholic Church is a holy Church made up of unholy people.

    Recently Cardinal O’Malley and the Archbishop of Dublin, Archbishop Martin, led a service of repentance in Dublin.

    All of us are sinners, so humility and repentance are appropriate.

    I am reminded reading this of Romans 8:35:

    ‘Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?’

    Please look at http://www.irishcatholic.ie/site/content/liturgy-repentance-pro-cathedral-dublin-february-20-2011 8:35–36.

  • Michael Benesch

    We need to stop viewing the body as Catholic, Pentecostal, protestant, etc… we are all brothers if we truly follow the gospel and teachings of Christ.

    • The Catholic Church has the Truth. The rest do not.

      • Michael Benesch

        The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. The same Spirit by which I have spoken in tongues, have been able to resist temptation and crucify my sinful desires, by which I long to do good and not evil, by which the fruits of the Spirit have come. I am a child of God through Jesus Christ, and long to obey his commands and do his work. This didn’t happen through a church (although church is where i first heard it and believed that Jesus is the Son of God and received His Holy Spirit) It happened through faith, through receiving His Holy Spirit, and reading His word and applying it to my life. So, if we are all truly born of God now, and not of the devil, let us love one another and come together as the family that we are.

        • The Catholic Church is the only true religion, Jesus Christ (the second person of the Blessed Trinity) founded it Himself. Without the Eucharist you have no life within you.

  • Noel Fitzpatrick

    Jacob,

    most people have some truth, while the Catholic Church has the fullness of truth, but this does not mean that all Catholics are know-alls. Even I have been known to be wrong!!!!!

  • Sparky

    I think the majority of people see the idea of a being like Satan as some superstitious nonsence but I think the old boy is hard at work and that he is relentless and that he has power to corrupt and that however many Catholic priests he seduced with sex and lust there are many more priests who held to their vows in spite of the vile efforts Satan used to confuse or corrupt them so I find it hard to condemn anyone as Pope Francis suggested, Who am I to judge? But, I’ve been down that road where all I thought of was seduction of women and my mind was on sex constantly but by the grace of God the feelings left. The tempter works hard to destroy man’s good heart and tries to make him feel anger and hatred towards God when God holds out his hands and offers love. Many people are struggling with Satan’s torments every day but I remember the words of Christ when he told Satan to get behind him. Christ is God so he has the power to rebuke Satan but we mere mortals must struggle against evil as the soul destroying desease it is. We must forgive ourselves and our fellow sinners. I love and pray for the Catholic Church but I don’t judge people or cry our for punishment of a group of priests that were blinded to the good and became wrapped up in evil doings. They are human and were as much victims as the children they abused and seduced and damaged. Their acts were perverse but so was the evil one who got into their heads.
    I see the patient hand of God in my life but I also see his guidance to try to turn me from evil. We are surrounded by boredom in the modern world and what we see around us is people trying to find the meaning of life in sex of whatever kind and feel the shallowness it brings. I feel myself drawn back to the so called fun life and again see the stupidity of an absurd existence and talking about God’s love seems trite but that is where mankind is at. We look at the heavens and see nothing and all about us is glory. I am listening to God as are others I know who see Satan as nothing more than a pain in the ass. He’ll take a child and get the child into drugs and watch as the child dies from a drug overdose and think he has won some victory over the love of God and man but all he is is a piece of amoral garbage.
    People see what they want to see and the atheists see nothing but superstition in religion but for those that can hear the Father and Christ and the Holy Spirit and sense the extasy to come behind the mystery the time is coming when Satan will be no more and the tears we shed because of his presence will be turned to joy. We are Job and we have free will to love the God that gave us that free will or to sell our souls for fame or riches or whatever our tempter offers and still God continues to forgive and love us and the jealous one curses man and God because he has no love and knows that we will be in the presence of God and his eternal love and Satan will be cast out into damnation forever.