The devil did it


The pope’s consigliere says it’s the devil who’s making things hot for them.

In a rare interview with the Italian Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana, Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state, accused the media of “intentionally ignoring” the good things the Church does while dwelling on scandals.

Yeah the good things! Like telling people condoms cause Aids! Like trying to stop people using any kind of birth control ever! Like trying to make hospitals promise never to save a woman’s life if it requires an abortion – never ever ever. Like excommunicating anyone who tries to ordain a woman. Like saying no no no no no no women can never be priests because they are women. Good things!

Bertone branded as false the image of the Vatican as a place of intrigue and power struggles, saying: “The truth is that there is an attempt to sow division that comes from the Devil”.

Nothing to do with any faults in the institution itself or its way of thinking about the world – such as claiming that problems are the work of the devil.

 

Comments

  1. says

    “The truth is that there is an attempt to sow division that comes from the Devil”.

    No. This is not a ‘truth’, of the same order as say, the statement that ‘night follows day’. This is merely hypothesis, an assertion yet to be proven.

    How to prove it? Well a photo or two of the alleged Devil whispering in the ear of a cardinal or two would be a start, but still not conclusive. A statement signed by the alleged Devil confessing to divisive activities hatched and plotted with malicious intent would still have problems, because the alleged Devil is allegedly a notorious liar. Likewise a statement signed by the alleged Devil denying any such activities or intent: see above.

    Perhaps this then:

    “Whatever truth there is to the rumour that there is an attempt by somebody to sow division, that alleged shit-stirrer may or may not be the alleged Devil”.

    Ah, now we’re getting somewhere.

    Hold the front page!

  2. JJ7212 says

    Nice one, Ian! lol Talking about the rationality ol’ Beelzebub in plain English is just too funny!!

  3. David says

    I suppose having an imaginary friend is only one imagining away from having an imaginary enemy.
    2.22 am and im wondering if FTB induced sleep deprivation is starting to affect me

  4. Wowbagger, Vile Demagogue says

    Why don’t interviewers ever call them on this ‘Devil’ nonsense? All they need to do is ask them the obvious questions – ‘if the Devil exists and is as powerful a trickster as you claim, how do you know anything is real? What if who people thought was Jesus was just the Devil in disguise*, turning people from the true path of Judaism?’ – they’d stop using it as an excuse.

    *Since this makes a lot more sense than what Christians actually believe.

  5. JJ7212 says

    Hey! Look over there! It’s the Devil! …just kidding. Made ya look.

    This whole Satan thing is getting out of hand. I keep losing Facebook friends because I have literal ‘demons in my head’. Even my mom says the Devil is possessing me. The most hilarious part of religion is Hell. I mean, if I go to jail, the person who keeps me there is the good police man, right? Why is Lucifer in charge of Hell instead of God himself? Doesn’t make sense. Should we put Charles Manson in charge of our prison system?

    The best part about attending youth group in the 80’s was watching christian videos telling us how rock music is from the Devil. They bad mouthed Ozzy, Slayer, and even Led Zeppelin! I remember video taping that Geraldo Rivera episode about Satan. It thought that was cool cause it showed a bunch of teenagers headbanging! The best sermon a preacher can give is about the Devil. It just doesn’t get more entertaining than that! lol

  6. MosesZD says

    THey do very little good considering their revenues. I read they spend something like 3% or so of their revenues in charitable works. The rest goes for churches and living the high-life.

    OTOH, the amount of evil they do by lying about AIDs, among their many evil works, is inexcusable.

    Now some of the associated entities, like Catholic Charities are great as far as their expenditures go. But in the grand scheme of things I don’t think they’re the big drain on the coffers.

  7. Chris Lawson says

    “Like excommunicating anyone who tries to expresses any reason to ordain a woman.”

  8. Chris Lawson says

    A megachurch pastor called Creflo Dollar? Sounds like maybe he is the Devil.

  9. NateHevens says

    I’m going to do a blog on this one myself, but I thought you’d want to see it, Ophelia. I’d like to attempt to bring it to PZ Myer’s attention, as well…

    It’s tangentially related to your blog, actually, only this time, instead of blaming Satan, this person is blaming “militant atheism” and “soft socialism”. This Paul character even throws in a little “subtle” bigotry at the end, for good measure.

    http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=332369

  10. Shoe says

    In a rare interview with the Italian Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana, Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state, accused the media of “intentionally ignoring” the good things the Church does while dwelling on scandals.

    Stephen Fry said it well:
    I suppose I’m slightly disappointed that … should say “oh, I knew they’d bring up condoms and child rape and homosexuality.” It’s a bit like a burglar in court saying “you would bring up that burglary and that manslaughter, you never mentioned the fact that I gave my father a birthday present.”

  11. Sastra says

    Bertone branded as false the image of the Vatican as a place of intrigue and power struggles, saying: “The truth is that there is an attempt to sow division that comes from the Devil”.

    Ah, but the image of the Vatican as a place of rampant superstition and blame shifting, that image may be branded as true. The devil is in those niggling little details.

  12. Albert Bakker says

    Strange that. It was the Catholic Church who used to run around and cremate people alive in front of a bunch of cheering Catholics after torturing them to confess that the Devil made them do things. Didn’t they invent waterboarding to get the confessions? It’s still a very useful technique I understand to reliably retrieve confessions. Can’t remember who told me that? Sam Harris? No I don’t think so. Anyway, it’s encouraging to see that the Catholic Church revised it’s opinion on these matters otherwise we would see a spectacle of auto da fe’s all around Vatican city.

  13. says

    Let me try another approach.

    These people claim to have God on their side. An infinitely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, infinitely good God. The Church is supposedly the ally of God, an agent of his will. God would never turn his back on those who are truly following his will. What does all this mean?

    Clearly, that the Church has fallen from God’s grace.

    Why might that be?

  14. Brigadista says

    It doesn’t matter whether you call them on any of these things, the infinitely everything god, the invisible devil, the imaginary malevolent influences that somehow always seem to get the better of a supposedly all-powerful force, they’ll just tell you that it’s god’s will. And why should they give you any proof when you can’t prove that it’s not true?

    And anyway, you’re just the devil in disguise …

  15. Stewart says

    I was waiting for this. I mean literally. A few days ago I was saying to myself “How come they haven’t yet said it’s all the work of the Devil?” Not just in general, as usual, but specifically about these internal Vatican crimes. With them it’s never “We’re sorry, it is our fault, we are/were wrong. Something evil happened and that evil actually did come, as can be incontrovertibly proven, from us.” No, everyone else is always to blame and when that becomes such an obvious lie that not even they can use it anymore, voila!, the Devil must bear responsibility for their wrongdoing. I can’t resist saying it: these scandals will probably lead to a few more atheist bloggers converting to Catholicism. Try and resist the temptation, Ophelia (of course, I understand in advance that if you cannot ultimately resist, it won’t be your fault, but Satan’s).

  16. Bill Yeager says

    A few days ago I was saying to myself “How come they haven’t yet said it’s all the work of the Devil?

    Oh they already did that – and how!
    http://voices.yahoo.com/popes-exorcist-blames-devil-child-abuse-catholic-5632678.html

    Pope’s Exorcist Blames Devil for Child Abuse by Catholic Priests
    The Pope’s chief exorcist. . .Father Gabriel Amorth, aged 84, has performed more than 70,000 ‘exorcisms’ in his 24-year career . . . says ecclesiastical sex abuse of children shows ‘the devil’ is at work in the Vatican in Rome.

    “The devil is invisible” he said. “He is a pure spirit. But in the people he possesses he can be seen through pain and blasphemies. He can also remain hidden. Sometimes he makes fun of me but I have to say I enjoy my work.” He added that he uses “six or seven assistants” who help him hold down people he claims are possessed by demons. He keeps ”nails and glass that they spit out in a little bag” he says. “From the mouths of the possessed people all sorts of things come out, bits of metal as long as a finger, rose petals. I have to have help holding them down.”

  17. Stewart says

    Bill, thanks for the link, but I was aware of that and had taken it into account. That’s why I made the distinction between generally in the past (such as the one you brought up) and specifically, meaning this time, about Vatileaks. It’s descended almost to the level of sketch comedy, where one character punches another in the face, says “Sorry, that wasn’t me, that was the devil” and then does it again five seconds later. Or to put it another way, the Catholic Church seems to be pulling out the Devil more and more often as what it hopes will be accepted as a “Get Out of Hell Free” card.

  18. sailor1031 says

    At least when you shut down a jet engine the whining stops…..but never with these assholes!! So I’m confusd now – is there devil-caused division in RCC Inc,s boardroom or is there no devil-induced division in RCC Inc’s boardroom despite the devil’s best efforts? Inquiring minds want to know.

  19. Stewart says

    The thing the whole world should really do at this point is take them at their word and declare they will have nothing more to do with an organisation that admits that its shots are being called by the Devil.

  20. quoderatdemonstrandum says

    Stewart,

    You will recall that during the Paedophile scandal various “Princes of the Church” denied the scandal and blamed:

    1) Satan
    2) the media
    3) gossip
    4) Jews
    5) Homosexuals
    6) the sexual liberation of the 1960s
    7) lack of knowledge that child rape was wrong
    8) “Enemies of the Church”, and, wait for it,
    9) lascivious children who “tempted” priests.

  21. quoderatdemonstrandum says

    no idea how that emoticon got in there. I’m not an emoticon kind of guy.

  22. SAWells says

    I think you typed 8 and then a bracket and triggered an autoreplace for “sunglasses smiley”. Whoever wrote the blog software here clearly didn’t anticipate people writing numbered lists that go up to 8.

  23. Deepak Shetty says

    the Vatican’s secretary of state, accused the media of “intentionally ignoring” the good things the Church does while dwelling on scandals.

    Looks like this is a message that has been given to the priests to chant as well. Two weeks ago , I was at a catholic mass where the priest spent one line saying – Bad things have happened which are inexcusable and then spent the next fifteen minutes ranting about how Catholics number 1.8 billion , how much good the catholic church does, the hospitals , the schools, the charity – how you cannot bad mouth a family if it has a single black sheep – and every family has them etc etc. Clueless.
    On the plus side , the lay people seemed bored. Then again the only person I’ve seen pay attention to what the priest says is me because I count how many time the priest says stupid stuff.

  24. Buford says

    #17 Doing 70,000 exorcisms in 24 years is an average of 8 exorcisms every single day. I don’t think that is possible, given the procedure. Methinks he is mistaken unless he does them to the crowds in Vatican Square.

  25. Stewart says

    @ 21:

    I do indeed recall their blame list.

    Buford:

    Is the 8 exorcisms a day the only thing you find unbelievable about all this?

  26. baal says

    One thing I like about atheists is that they don’t seem to invoke the Devil (or other super-naturalisms) to explain away their bad behaviour. Of course, being human, they do use a host of other deflections.

    Also, I’ve yet to see evidence that the church does more good with the cash and wealth for the poor than modern NGOs do. Said the other way around, with their huge overhead, I don’t think the church is the right place to have good works done.

  27. quoderatdemonstrandum says

    , I was at a catholic mass where the priest spent one line saying – Bad things have happened which are inexcusable and then spent the next fifteen minutes ranting about how Catholics number 1.8 billion , how much good the catholic church does, the hospitals , the schools, the charity – how you cannot bad mouth a family if it has a single black sheep – and every family has them etc etc.

    I have encountered this “excuse” as well. I find extraordinary that anyone could say it aloud and not be embarrassed, not feel ashamed and not feel dirty.

    The proper family analogy is this: rich dad is a pilar of the community, member of the school board, on the board of the country club, owns a successful business that has been in town since its founding in 1783. His son is a paedophile, he has raped children in the community. Dad knows this; the community doesn’t. Dad packs his son off to boarding school out of State, then University in London. Dad thinks of himself as a good guy and does good deeds, he donates money to local charities, volunteers as a Boy Scout troop leader, leads fundraisers for the local school and is an unpaid board member of the local hospital. A local socio-economically deprived family accuses son of raping their 7 year old. Dad then checks his son’s computer and destroys all the evidence of the email communication grooming the child and the thousands of photos of children being abused. Dad offers to pay for therapy and give the family $500,000 if they will just keep it quiet. The family don’t think anyone will believe them, they take the deal. When the state legislature tries to extend the statute of limitations for children victims of paedophiles, Dad realizes that more accusers could come forward in future and has a word with the Congressmen who are members of his country club and ensures it isn’t passed.

    That is how a family is like the catholic church.

    In this family, the “Father” would be hauled into court for obstruction of justice, as an accessory after the fact and conspiracy in child abuse.

  28. eric says

    @26:

    how you cannot bad mouth a family if it has a single black sheep – and every family has them etc etc. Clueless.

    Yep, clueless. The presence of black sheep is only a minor reason why people are angry with the church. The major reason is that the supposed “white sheep” hide the black sheep from their congregants and from the police. Hiding the black sheep pretty much makes you a black sheep, even if you are a white sheep in every other way.

  29. 'Tis Himself says

    But isn’t The Big Guy In The Sky™ supposed to be protecting the Church. Is TBGITS™ sleeping on the job? Is the Devil too powerful for TBGITS™ to control? Does TBGITS™ not care what happens to his church? Or is it some mealy-mouth apologist can’t think of another excuse for the immorality of his organization?

  30. says

    I like it how the churchmen always think that those few good things they sometimes probably may have done automatically erase all the bad things. “Well yeah, there have been cases of sexual harassment, rape, or even murder amidst our clergy, but hey, forget that, our church once organised a meal for the poor!”

  31. Randomfactor says

    God would never turn his back on those who are truly following his will.

    Read Job lately? He’s betting again.

  32. 'Tis Himself says

    Dubravko J. #35

    I like it how the churchmen always think that those few good things they sometimes probably may have done automatically erase all the bad things.

    It’s like a person convicted of murdering his parents wants mercy because he’s an orphan.

  33. blamer says

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_teaching_about_the_Devil#Roman_Catholic_views

    Father Gabriele Amorth, the chief exorcist of the Diocese of Rome, warned about ignoring Satan, saying, “Whoever denies Satan also denies sin and no longer understands the actions of Christ”.

    He also said that Satan is active in such current media as the Harry Potter books and films.

    Umm what. Oh metaphorically… right?

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that the Church regards the Devil as being created as a good angel by God, and by his and his fellow fallen angels choice fell out of God’s grace.

    Satan is not an infinitely powerful being. Although, he was an angel, and thus pure spirit, he is considered a creature nonetheless. Satan’s actions are permitted by divine providence.

    Riiight. Me thinks thy mind doth anthropomorphise too much.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_teaching_about_the_Devil#Roman_Catholic_views

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