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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis asks to pray against the division sown by the devil

In August, Pope Francis took an exceptional measure. He asked Catholics to begin a period of prayer and penance for scandals of sexual abuse and cover-ups. 

In October, he once again asked Christians to pray in a special way. This time for an intention indirectly linked to the previous one: he asked to pray for unity.

The scandals have reinforced discordant voices in the Church. Therefore, while faced with the risk of more divisions the pope has asked for a special petition. 

In October, a month traditionally dedicated to the Virgin, he requests Christians to pray the rosary every day and ask Mary and St. Michael the Archangel “...to protect the Church from the devil, because he always tries to separate us from God and come between us.”

The pope already pre-announced his intention a few weeks ago, when on September 11 in his morning Mass he preached this homily.

“In these times, it seems like the Great Accuser has been unchained and is attacking bishops. True, we are all sinners, we bishops. He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people. A bishop’s strength against the Great Accuser is prayer, that of Jesus and his own, and the humility of being chosen and remaining close to the people of God, without seeking an aristocratic life that removes this unction. Let us pray, today, for our bishops: for me, for those who are here, and for all the bishops throughout the world.”

During 2018 it has been an intense period in Rome. Out of the 34 Chilean bishops who placed their office at the disposal of the pope because of their poor management of cases of sexual abuse, Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of seven. 

Between June and August, the focus was on the United States. Pope Francis expelled the former Archbishop of Washington from the College of Cardinals and discovered the magnitude of the Pennsylvania report.

In Ireland, he apologized for the abuses and cover-ups committed by members of the clergy and on his way back from the trip he encountered a string of criticisms published by the former nuncio in Washington, Carlo Maria Viganò.

The ex-diplomat has made serious accusations against Pope Francis and other high officials of the curia since the time of John Paul II.

These are two prayers to pray after the rosary:

 Sub Tuum Praesidium 

We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls.