This just in - Gabriele Amorth is the head of the Vatican's exorcism office (link
In other news.... the Vatican has an exorcism office
Holy S, who knew? I used to watch a fair amount of the ghost hunting shows and they would always toss in the disclaimer that the church doesn't officially acknowledge exorcisms. I had always assumed that even they knew that this kind of stuff was hokey and made up and that it made them look really, really silly. Well... I gave them too much credit (something I've never done before and can't imagine doing again).
This article reads like something from the Onion. It seemed like a good place for some fun.Father Gabriele Amorth, 85, who has been the Vatican's chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as "cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon".
I don't think the Pope would appreciate being referred to as "the Demon".
But seriously... 70,000? That's a lot of alcoholics, kid touchers Mitch Albom readers that didn't want to take responsibility for their own actions. Everyone should just relax - your sins were already paid for so you don't have to seek any other relief.He claimed that another example of satanic behaviour was the Vatican "cover-up" over the deaths in 1998 of Alois Estermann, the then commander of the Swiss Guard, his wife and Corporal Cedric Tornay, a Swiss Guard, who were all found shot dead. "They covered up everything immediately," he said. "Here one sees the rot".... There have been unconfirmed reports of a homosexual background to the tragedy.....
This is classic religous-speak. First, you blame your bad on someone else (once again, why bother? The sin is paid for). Then you try to tie the wrongdoing into some other act (proven or unproven) that the church says is immoral. After all, much of the world's problems are because of gays and atheists.Father José Antonio Fortea Cucurull, a Rome-based exorcist, said that Father Amorth had "gone well beyond the evidence" in claiming that Satan had infiltrated the Vatican corridors.
As if we needed another example of a holy man misreading "evidence".....Father Amorth told La Repubblica that the devil was "pure spirit, invisible. But he manifests himself with blasphemies and afflictions in the person he possesses. He can remain hidden, or speak in different languages, transform himself or appear to be agreeable. At times he makes fun of me."
Had he tossed in "and he's a man of wealth and taste" I would have accused him of ripping off the Stones.He said it sometimes took six or seven of his assistants to to hold down a possessed person.
Those damn altar boys kept being possessed. (You had to see this one coming)He said that hoped every diocese would eventually have a resident exorcist. Under Church Canon Law any priest can perform exorcisms, but in practice they are carried out by a chosen few trained in the rites.
Oh great - the Catholics are going to have their own version of a stimulus plan to create jobs. Just what we need - another unproductive member of society.Father Amorth was ordained in 1954 and became an official exorcist in 1986. In the past he has suggested that Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were possessed by the Devil. He was among Vatican officials who warned that J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels made a "false distinction between black and white magic".
That's pretty amazing - the Catholic Church had official relations with Hitler for just about all of his reign. The only Nazi that was excommunicated by the Church was done so because he committed the sin of divorce.
And who better than to make the distinction between black magic and white magic than a holy man? I would go with Carlos Santana but that's just me.He approves, however, of the 1973 film The Exorcist, which although "exaggerated" offered a "substantially exact" picture of possession.
How ironic - one work of fiction authenticating another.In 2001 he objected to the introduction of a new version of the exorcism rite, complaining that it dropped centuries-old prayers and was "a blunt sword" about which exorcists themselves had not been consulted. The Vatican said later that he and other exorcists could continue to use the old ritual.
Ah yes, our old friend prayer. The all-knowing one must have chosen not to intercede until you prayed/begged Him to do so. He was just whistling in the graveyard...errr... minding his own business until you pointed out his mistake. Makes sense.
And I wonder what the "blunt sword" was. I'm picturing some kind of really cool weapon that showed up in an ACME box, not unlike what Wile Coyote used to use to catch the Roadrunner. Unlike Wile, the exorcists always get their man...errrr... demon.
On a side note, I wonder if the Vatican has a big entrapment center like the Ghostbusters had? The good thing is that since they are their own (infallible) nation they do not have to worry about some prickless government type coming down to shut down their grid. Can you imagine 70,000 demons being let loose at one time? It boggles the mind.
I know that some of you are reading this and laughing at how silly the Catholics are when compared to your sect. Just remember that these kinds of beliefs can in fact be "validated" in the good book and are no less believable than the talking snakes, burning bushes and big floods that your book believes."I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
- Stephen RobertsLink
to the original (better formatted) article.