by our Rome correspondent "BEWARE of the devil" Pope John Paul warned at last Wednesday's general audience, "who is always present in the world and, in his evil challenge to God, is a menace to man".
The Pope said he spoke of the devil as a preparation for the struggle which will take place "in this last phase of salvation history".
He reminded the 10,000 at the audience that the devil was called by a variety of names (including "antichrist", "Prince of the world", "Beelzebub", "Temptor"). He recalled the Devil's power over men through influence on his imagination and superior faculties and through what is often called "diabolic possession".
Pope John Paul said that it is not always easy to discern what is preternatual in such cases, but asserted that the battle against evil is always fought with prayer.
Interviewed by the Rome daily La Repubblica about the Pope's statements, the Jesuit deputy editor of the monthly review Civilta Cattolica, Fr Giuseppe de Rosa, said that the devil did not have names because he did not represent anything, "he had been defeated by Christ". De Rosa said the Pope had probably wanted to remind men of the presence of evil among them.