Pope Francis is blaming Satan for the ongoing sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church.
Speaking to the crowd gathered at St. Peter's Square on Sunday, October 7, 2018, Huffington Post reports that the Holy Father has called for daily prayers to save the church from the devil.
The pontiff encouraged Catholics to pray every day throughout the month to Michael the Archangel in order to "counter the attacks from the devil who wants to divide the Church."
The Holy Father initially asked for prayers towards the end of September. On September 29, 2018, the Vatican released a statement disclosing that the Pope has also called for Catholics to say three different specific prayers for the church to be "saved from the attacks of the malign one, the great accuser."
Catholics worldwide have been asked to pray the Rosary every day during the "Marian month of October," in order "to protect the church from the devil, who is always looking to divide us from God and from one another."
This appeal comes as more accusations of sexual misconduct and cover-ups by clergy and church officials keep coming out. Recently, there have been allegations of sexual abuse by priests in , the U.S. and Chile.
Cardinal defends Pope Francis amid sex abuse scandal
A top Vatican official named Marc Ouellet has shown his support for the pontiff after Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Vatican's former ambassador to Washington, accused Pope Francis and other church officials of a cover-up.
In an 11-page document shared in August, he asked the pope to resign for knowing about the sexual misconduct by now-former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and doing nothing about it.
Reacting to this claim, Cardinal Ouellet penned an open letter which was issued on this Sunday. In the three-page letter, he accused Archbishop Vigano of starting a "political frame job devoid of real foundation" adding that the claims against the pontiff were "calumny and defamation."
He also asked the archbishop, who is in hiding, to come out, writing, "Come out of hiding, repent for your revolt and return to better feelings towards the Holy Father instead of worsening hostility against him."
Cardinal Ouellet concluded, "May God allow a prompt reparation of this flagrant injustice so that Pope Francis can continue to be recognized for who he is: a true shepherd, a resolute and compassionate father, a prophetic grace for the Church and for the world. May the Holy Father carry on, full of confidence and joy, the missionary reform he has begun, comforted by the prayers of the people of God and the renewed solidarity of the whole Church, together with Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary!"