Cool headline in the Telegraph –
Decline of religious belief means we need more exorcists, say Catholics
Well of course they do. Jobs for the boys, eh?
Then there’s the subhead –
Decline of religion in the West has created a rise in black magic, Satanism and the occult
Oh it’s our fault? I beg to differ. I think you can see it rather as a common taste for made-up spooky stuff, that can go either with religion or with black magic and the rest of the silly menu, or even, adventurously if not orthodoxly, both.
The decline of religious belief in the West and the growth of secularism has “opened the window” to black magic, Satanism and belief in the occult, the organisers of a conference on exorcism have said.
The six-day meeting in Rome aims to train about 200 Roman Catholic priests from more than 30 countries in how to cast out evil from people who believe themselves to be in thrall to the Devil.
To train them? It’s so technical that they need training?
The conference, “Exorcism and Prayers of Liberation”, has also attracted psychiatrists, sociologists, doctors and criminologists in what the Church called a “multi-disciplinary” approach to exorcisms.
Giuseppe Ferrari, from GRIS, a Catholic research group that organised the conference, said there was an ever growing need for priests to be trained to perform exorcisms because of the increasing number of lay people tempted to dabble in black magic, paganism and the occult.
“We live in a disenchanted society, a secularised world that thought it was being emancipated, but where religion is being thrown out, the window is being opened to superstition and irrationality,” said Mr Ferrari.
As opposed to the Catholic church and its “teachings,” which have nothing to do with superstition and irrationality. Hmmm.
In the popular imagination, exorcisms evoke images of black-clad priests holding aloft silver crucifixes while trying to rid frothing, wild-eyed victims of Satanic possession.
The Church tries to play down the more lurid associations but at the same time insists that the Devil exists and must be fought on a daily basis.
Which is to say, the church wants everything. It wants its dignity, so it tries to play down the more lurid stuff, but at the same time, it also wants its authority and power, which depend wholly on the gap between church “teachings” and observable reality, so it insists that the Devil exists. The result is risible in the extreme.
Pope Francis has frequently alluded to the Devil in his homilies and addresses since being elected to succeed Benedict XVI last March.
In a homily this week, he said that the Devil was behind the persecution of early Christian martyrs, who were murdered for their faith. The “struggle between God and the Devil” was constant and ongoing, he said.
Bollocks, Frank. It’s all bullshit, the Hollywood version and your version.