SEVILLE, Spain, SEPT. 28, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The demonologist of the Diocese of Rome says it is important to distinguish between the devil and evil.
Last week theologian Monsignor Corrado Balducci opened the academic year of the ABC Cultural Hall of Seville, with an address entitled “The Devil: Who He Is, His Existence, His Activity, Diagnostic Criteria and Therapy.”
The monsignor referred to an “erroneous concept” of the devil’s nature, where he is confused with evil. “Evil is an abstract concept,” but the devil exists as “an autonomous being, and he cannot be considered as Evil, but as an evil,” said the monsignor, as reported by the newspaper ABC.
Monsignor Balducci described devils as “angels who have freely become evil … spiritual beings who have nothing material about them.”
The theologian explained that the evil angels “were aware of their situation and of their possibilities to know. While the majority praised the Creator, others focused on their own nature, self-sufficient, with no need for God.” Their worship of self led them to “renounce the Supreme Being and become immersed in hatred of God,” he said.
To emphasize the existence of the devil, Monsignor Balducci said that Satan is mentioned about 300 times in the New Testament — “much more than the Holy Spirit.”
Regarding cases of seeming demonic possession, the monsignor said: “There are very few who are possessed.”
“If the devil takes possession of the body, the soul cannot carry out its activities. In the case of possession, the devil acts, not the individual,” he added.
The theologian criticized the images of possession given by the movies. In “The Exorcist,” he said, “the girl seemed catatonic — something that has nothing to do” with being possessed.