Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Beelzebub

Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “devil,” was captioned “That pope chap really believes in the devil!” and came with the email note, “The Pope really believes in the devil, and angels, as this nicely pitched Reuters article explains.

I’ll remind you of the immortal quote by the Alabama philosopher Delos McKown:

“The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.”

(The source of the quote can be found here.)

For those of you who praise the “progressive” Pope Francis, here’s an excerpt from the Reuters report (my emphasis):

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The devil is alive and well and working overtime to undermine the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis says.

In fact, the pope is so convinced that Satan is to blame for the sexual abuse crisis and deep divisions racking the Church that he has asked Catholics around the world to recite a special prayer every day in October to try to beat him back.

“(The Church must be) saved from the attacks of the malign one, the great accuser and at the same time be made ever more aware of its guilt, its mistakes, and abuses committed in the present and the past,” Francis said in a message on Sept. 29.

Since he was elected in 2013, Francis has made clear that he believes the devil to be real. In a document in April on holiness in the modern world, Francis mentioned the devil more than a dozen times.

“We should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea. This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable,” he wrote in the document.

Nope, it’s not the priests who are abusing children: they’re merely the puppets of. . . . can it be?. . . Satan.

So much for the new “liberal” Vatican.


  1. W.T. Effingham
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    The second to last sentence of PCC(E)’s comments of this post are optimal if one reads it aloud in one’s best impersonation of Dana Carvey’s Church Lady.

  2. ian Clark
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I wish Monopoly money was real too.

  3. Michael Fisher
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    The same devil that disappears naughty priests to new parishes in faraway climes, shifts parish funds around so guilty dioceses are poorer on paper, pays off witnesses, discredits the abused, settles out of court, insulates the Vatican city state legally from the actions of their agents outside the walls, massively underpays taxes. The Church has been at this Machiavellian game for hundreds of years & they are just purple robed mafia. Start at the top & invade Vatican City, arrests & seizures of records – the Hague for a series of public trials. Strip them of all assets.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted October 10, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Hear, hear!

      Since Vatican City – despite the Roman advice to separate secular state and religion- is a state, can ICC look at its crimes? That these crimes are global in scope should also figure in.

    • rickflick
      Posted October 10, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Nicely put. Especially, “Strip them of all assets.”

      Time Magazine:

      Bankers’ best guesses about the Vatican’s wealth put it at $10 billion to $15 billion. Of this wealth, Italian stockholdings alone run to $1.6 billion, 15% of the value of listed shares on the Italian market. The Vatican has big investments in banking, insurance, chemicals, steel, construction, real estate.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted October 10, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the info. TBH that figure for assets seems low – the vast library alone must be worth a billion. Vatican City is quite large at nearly half a square kilometre of prime real estate – mostly gardens SOLD! to that Muslim sheikh for $550,000,000 – just sign here your excellence.

        The total annual tax relief just in the USA for religious twaddle is $80,000,000,000! Catholic Charities USA nets $4,300,000,000 year & I bet a bigly portion ain’t going to the poor.


        • rickflick
          Posted October 10, 2018 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

          “a bigly portion ain’t going to the poor.”

          No. If it was there wouldn’t be any poor.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Jesus is sampling Verbal from The Usual Suspects.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 10, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Who was, in turn, sampling Baudelaire.

    • Geoff Toscano
      Posted October 10, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      That was a great movie, when we didn’t know what we now know about Kevin Spacey.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 10, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, the real Kevin Spacey turned out to be a lot more like the miserable-prick Kevin Spacey of Swimming with Sharks. 🙂

      • Posted October 11, 2018 at 3:43 am | Permalink

        The movie hasn’t changed.

      • Posted October 11, 2018 at 3:44 am | Permalink

        Otr have they re-edited it to remove Spacey? I’d imagine it wouldn’t make a lot of sense after that.

  5. Greg H
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    If the Catholic Church is the best God can do, I’m really embarrassed for him.

  6. Christopher
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Could make for a snazzy new musical: “The Devil is Alive and Well and Living in the Vatican”, with just a few changes in the lyrics of “La Bourrée du Célibataire”…

    • Christopher
      Posted October 10, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Come to think of it, the song “Fils de…” still kinda fits.

    • Curt Nelson
      Posted October 10, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Spring time for Satan eternally…

  7. eric
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Nope, it’s not the priests who are abusing children: they’re merely the puppets of. . . . can it be?. . . Satan.

    Being more cynical, I interpret ‘Satan is responsible for the church’s pedophile scandals’ to mean he thinks the Evil One is responsible for victims coming forward and for any information leaks, and he’s praying that God will intervene to prevent other victims from stepping forward/more information coming out.

    • darrelle
      Posted October 10, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Yeah, cynical but I’m right there with you. Especially given one of the monikers for Satan the Pope used, “The Great Accuser.”

      • Diane G
        Posted October 13, 2018 at 12:49 am | Permalink

        Yeah, what’s up with that?

        • darrelle
          Posted October 15, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

          Oh, you know. No matter how sinful you’ve been, genocide, inquisitions, flock-fleecing or even facilitating child rape on a world wide scale, all you’ve got to do get righteous is pray to Jesus for forgiveness. And that pisses Satan right off. Yet another thing I have in common with Satan.

  8. W.T. Effingham
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    The former cardinal that Archbishop Vigano referred to made a simple mistake. He misunderstood the meaning of the word “seminarians” .

  9. mikeyc
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    errr…”The greatest trick the devil every pulled…”?

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted October 10, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      “Beating him back” doesn’t seem like the best choice of words either.

    • Mark R.
      Posted October 10, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Edit, edit, edit…

  10. TJR
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Catholic priests are the puppets of Satan.

    Yes, exactly.

    The Catholic church is the best evidence we have for the existence of Satan.

  11. Frank Bath
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Let’s be clear: The Roman Catholic Church is the very devil.

  12. JohnE
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    So god condemned Lucifer (“Satan”) to hell, but somehow Satan remains free to leave hell anytime he wants and wander around the Earth for the purpose of “tempting” people to do wrong(including Jesus, according to the Bible)? God isn’t powerful enough to make his punishment of Satan stick (and keep him in hell), but Satan is powerful enough to implement a plan to have god tortured and killed by convincing Eve to eat the “forbidden fruit”? It’s hard to believe that an omniscient god didn’t see it coming, and that an omnipotent god didn’t prevent that from happening (unless god is some kind of masochist)!

    Yep, all makes perfect sense.

    • darrelle
      Posted October 10, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      His omnibenevolence probably got it the way. Couldn’t bring himself to be mean to Satan.

    • rickflick
      Posted October 10, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Of course God could destroy Satan in an instant. But, he decided not to because of a complicated plan that’s one of the great mysteries of the Church. The Pope knows full well what the mysteries are, but he’s not saying. Probably something involving free-will, which you need to freely accept Jesus as your savior. You just gotta believe. Do the angels exist? You have to believe it.

  13. Mark R.
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    The farce that is religion apparently has no limits. How convenient to have an invisible, non-existent, all-powerful scapegoat to blame one’s crimes on.

  14. Ricardo
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    If I remember correctly what I was taught at Catholic school, the Pope has no other choice but to say he believes the Devil is real. It is one the tenants of Catholic faith. If he really believes it, that’s another story.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 10, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      This one really seems to. He also believes more strongly in possession that any modern pope ever has. There has been a new emphasis on exorcism since Francis was elected, and the number of exorcists has increased hugely. More and more priests are being trained in the practice every day.

  15. CAS
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Always good to have someone to pin the blame on! I wonder what the Devil will make the Church do next?

  16. Mike Cracraft
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    So…a new defense for abusive priests:
    “The Devil Made Me Do It !”

  17. CP
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    An Australian protest party released a pertinent video a couple years ago:

    • CP
      Posted October 10, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Sorry for the embedded video. I didn’t refresh my memory of “Da Roolz!” before sending…

  18. L
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Interesting – when woman do the “evil” act, that is a murderous act. But when men do it, it is just the devil commanding them…

  19. Posted October 10, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I’ve often wondered why so many of my otherwise honest and decent fellow atheists embrace dangerous and destructive leftist ideologies. When someone as authoritative as the Pope suggests a reason for this anomaly, I think we must assume he is “credible” until proven otherwise.

  20. phoffman56
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    “The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.”

    I like that quote a lot.

    But these days it should be quickly added that one uses “invisible” in a very liberal, but definitely scientific, sense.

    The existence of atoms and more elementary particles is probably a good example.

    These days I’ve been reading David Reich’s recent book on the exciting discoveries in the last 8 years or so on archaic DNA (e.g. of Neanderthals and Denisovans as well as Sapiens). Title is “Who we are and where we came from”, IIRC.

    A striking example here to me is the deduction of the existence of an entirely new big-brained homo from around a million years ago. Their existence is deduced from properties of various genomes, but not of theirs because no fossils have appeared at all. And it’s via conjectures of cross breeding with Denisovans (maybe Neanderthals too, I can’t remember), conjectures needed to explain a combination of other statistical DNA stuff. So these new guys (a word I always use for both sexes) are pretty far from visible with our eyes, assuming this deduction remains solid, and that no skeletal fossils have been found, so certainly no direct archaic DNA. He calls them super-archaic. The way these scientists seem to be progressing, by the time a fossil appears, they’d likely get hold of the DNA, despite how far back in time.

    • phoffman56
      Posted October 11, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Sorry, IDn’tRC!

      Harvard’s David Reich’s book is “Who we are and how we got here”.

    • Diane G
      Posted October 13, 2018 at 12:56 am | Permalink

      I guess we can assume an enlarged meaning of invisible here, one that means “we have no proof of.”

  21. Tom Besson
    Posted October 10, 2018 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    The Louvin Brothers have a record album called “Satan is Real”. How much more proof do we need? If you’re not familiar with this album, check out the album cover art work.

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