|'Misunderstood, decent all-round chap': Satan|
Ned: "There's certainly been a great deal of controversy surrounding your involvement in public life, the life of the Church and almost everything since time began. Firstly, how are you doing, Satan?"
Satan: "Hi Ned, yes, I'm just great. Good thanks. Perfect. Fantastic. Couldn't be better, thanks. On top of the world. If I felt any better than this, I'd be God."
Ned: "You seem remarkably pleased with yourself."
Satan: "This is me being humble."
Ned: "Great. Right. Er. Well, this is a remarkable day in Catholic journalism, I think we can all agree, and this interview rounds up a series of interviews with people who are thought to be 'enemies' of the Church. Would you count yourself as fitting that bill?"
Satan: "No, no not at all and I certainly wouldn't say that these people you've interviewed are 'enemies' of the Church either. They are, after all, my disciples. For a long time now, people have thought I was an 'enemy' of the Church, but they just don't understand me. I want to help the Church. It needs, you know, to get with the 21st century and there are many now inside the Church, as well as outside, who agree with me. Modernisation - that is the key for a good Catholic Church in this century - one that doesn't offer any language that may offend anyone. People are tired of being offended. They need hope - not language that pushes them away. We have to help people and share. It's all about love."
Ned: "But the Church is about Jesus, isn't it?"
Satan: "Wasn't it Jesus's teaching to be nice and never say anything offensive? I think it was. He told people not to judge. Bishops are really good at doing this, especially in your country, with a few exceptions. Ecumenism too - by which I mean bringing people into an umbrella religion in which everyone can agree - that's really important to me, though, of course, it need not be under the Catholic Church. I want to bring all people together. I get such a bad press, but I do a lot of great work in the Church for the sake of the kingdom. I'm not just involved in the production of Hollywood films, you know! I have workers who work in different aspects of the Church's life and mission. Bishops, priests and cardinals who maybe don't tell people about sin and salvation, Confession and the Eucharist, living well and dying a holy death, but do tell people about other good things, being nice, sharing with others - as well as nuns who just let it all hang out. Have you heard of a group called 'Call to Action'?"
Ned: "That was your doing?"
Satan: "Of course! My work inside the Church is even more important to me than my work outside of the Church in people's personal lives, in the media, Government, politics, the social sciences and various lobbying groups at an international, national and local level. Obviously, I want to help a lot of people outside the Church, but inside the Church, really changing it - change that we can believe in - that's my big thing at the moment. It's really quite an obsession for me. It's what really keeps me awake."
Ned: "They say you never sleep."
Satan: "Well, you know. No rest for the wicked!"
Ned: "Oh, go on with you, you old rascal! But some critics of your influence in the Church suggest that what you really want to do is crush the Church, you know, because its a threat to your mission. They say you are bad - "Evil" - the very essense of evil itself. All you want to do is drag souls to Hell for all eternity out of your hatred for God."
|St Michael and a Demon sharing banter|
Ned: "Yes, but the Church's teachings are 'infallible' and revealed by Almighty God. They cannot be changed because they are from God."
Satan: "What is right for one person is not always right for all. What is wrong for one person is not always wrong for all. There are always important exceptions and I think we all know that Jesus did not like people who stuck to 'rules'. He always condemned the Pharisees. Isn't it wrong that a woman can't assert her reproductive rights? Isn't it wrong that a man and a man can't share a love together in marriage? Isn't it wrong that when a person is terribly ill that they cannot make a choice - a free choice - to end their own life to end suffering or that of someone else who is suffering? These are all questions that the Church has an outdated answer to. It has to change. I know my time is short, but I'm going to do all I can to convince those inside and outside the Church that my way is the right way."
Ned: "But what about Hell. Isn't it true that you want to drag souls to Hell forever and separate them from God eternally?"
Satan: "Ned, Ned, Ned. Trust me, if there was a Hell and people's souls were there, wouldn't that mean that God isn't love after all? Didn't St John say 'God is love'? Are you going to tell me that God would send any of his children to Hell, or even his angels? I'm good, God is good, we are all on the same page, all fighting for justice and peace on Earth."
Ned: "But I've been told by others to say a prayer to St Michael the Archangel after I've met you and before because they say you shouldn't talk to the Devil. Some people say its dangerous."
Satan: "Oh, he an I are good friends, I wouldn't say that prayer if I were you. That stuff is just fable. We all get along. We're all angels, right?"
|David Cameron: Working for the 'programme'|
Satan: "Well, obviously I'm working hard through different agencies to bring the World into a new system of morality and Government that will work for the people and bring people freedom. I've always been into freedom ever since I first had that first dispute with Almighty God. Don't worry - that all turned out okay. We're talking again now. Governments are starting to realise that love is love and men and women love people of the different sex and some love people of the same gender. They're realising that people have evolved to love people of the same-sex. Love and freedom - that's my message. This is obviously the same as Jesus's message. People have to have the freedom to love who they want to love and the freedom to love them in marriage or not. I've got a lot of supporters on this and slowly but surely Governments are working in concert to get with the programme."
Ned: "But what about those who cannot go along with the 'programme'?
Satan: "Look, you can't please everyone. There will always be some people who resist a new Order - a new way of looking at things, a new vision, a bold vision of love and freedom. Above all, there will always be some people who resist the idea of equality. What I'm bringing to the world is equality. We all deserve to be equal."
Ned: "I'm sorry, I hate to persist with this, but what about those who disagree with your big idea?"
|The Devil on the Latin Mass: 'Not my cup of tea'|
Ned: "The UN?"
Satan: "The UN is about peace, justice and harmony, right? What better a global organisation to enforce a new era of equality and peace? I think we can all agree to disagree on certain matters and I think its really unlikely that the changes in law won't go incredibly smoothly. Remember, you still have equality laws in your country and in an equal world all people of different views - their views - even if they are cherished views that are really important to them - will be respected. It's all about human rights, see, everyone living side by side, happy and in peace."
Ned: "Just one last question. Do you like the Latin Mass?"
Satan: "It's not really my cup of tea to be honest. I prefer Mass to be a celebration of the Church community. Can a Church community celebrate the Last Supper and enjoy the meal with Jesus if he is not facing the congregation? I don't think so. That said, liturgy isn't my strong point and you know what Jesus said about 'rules'. All those Vestments. What a get up! Does Jesus like such things? I really doubt it, not the poor humble man of Nazareth! Do you really want all that Latin back? I mean, it doesn't make sense!"
Ned: "Well, I think we're going to have to draw this interview to a close. Obviously there is loads more we could talk about but that concludes our series of interviews with 'enemies' of the Catholic Church. This was a great idea by the editorial team to give free and unbiased column inches to disciples of Antichrist and to top it all off with an interview with their leader is really the icing on the cake. Thanks, Satan."
Satan: "Thank you, Ned. Before I go I'd just like to take the opportunity to tell your readers: Don't forget to subscribe to The Tablet for just £86 per year. The Tablet: For all your weekly Catholic news and opinion needs..."