Pope Francis met today with the cardinals in the Clementine Hall and spoke a bit about his predecessor, saying that Benedict XVI "“lit a flame in the depths of our hearts.” The New York Times reports:
After a day on Thursday when he seemed to bring a new and more frugal tone to the Vatican, Francis spoke to the cardinals — the so-called princes of the church — urging them to persevere and find ways to spread word of their faith around the world.
“Let us not give in to pessimism, to that bitterness that the devil offers us every day,” he said. But he offered no direct allusion to the myriad challenges facing the Vatican from a series of sexual abuse, financial and other scandals swirling around the church, overwhelming Benedict’s papacy.
The reference to the devil comes a day after his first homily, in which the newly elected pontiff said, "When we do not profess Jesus Christ, the saying of Léon Bloy comes to mind: "Anyone who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil." When we do not profess Jesus Christ, we profess the worldliness of the devil, a demonic worldliness." An emerging theme of the young pontificate seems to be that of spiritual battle against the devil, expressed in direct, simple language. Also: