That zany pope. One minute he’s saying friendly things about evolution and gravity and shit, and the next he’s sharing the love with exorcists. Exorcists.
Just in time for Halloween and against an unspecified “steady increase” of demonic possession, Pope Francis thanked exorcists for showing the church’s “love for those possessed” by the devil.
About 300 exorcists from around the world attended a convention in Rome last weekend (Oct. 25-26) and their spokesman later expressed concern about the number of people turning to Satanism and the occult.
In a message sent to the Rev. Francesco Bamonte, who heads the International Association of Exorcists (known as AIE), Francis urged the experts to demonstrate “the church welcomes those suffering from the devil’s work.”
See, that’s silly, because there is no “the devil.” And it’s maleficent, because thinking there is such a thing as “the devil” can motivate people to do horrendous things to real people, including torture and murder. The pope shouldn’t be encouraging people to take that harmful bullshit seriously. The pope has a big microphone, and a lot of listeners who think they are obligated to accept every word he says as both true and binding.
Without citing specific numbers, AIE spokesman Valter Cascioli told Vatican Radio there has been a “steady increase” in the number of people turning to demonic practices and they are left suffering from serious spiritual and psychological damage.
“We are living in a particularly critical time in history, where urgency, superficiality, exasperated individualism, secularization seem to almost dominate our culture,” Cascioli said.
Ah there it is again – the linkage of “demonic practices” and secularization. Charming.
“The battle against evil is becoming more of an emergency. We are calling for major vigilance.”
Against secularization, and human rights (that’s what Catholics mean when they grumble about “individualism”). That’s what Catholics consider “evil.” Not the torture of children, not child-rape by priests, not the imprisonment of women who have committed no crime, but secularization and human rights.
And that’s where the pope finds his friends.