left biblioblography: Allegories Gone Wild: Crazy Catholics Raising Hell

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Allegories Gone Wild: Crazy Catholics Raising Hell

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

exorcismIs there in all the religious literature of the world anything more grossly absurd than this?
These devils, according to the Bible, were of various kinds – some could speak and hear, others were deaf and dumb. All could not be cast out in the same way. The deaf and dumb spirits were quite difficult to deal with. St. Mark tells of a gentleman who brought his son to Christ. The boy, it seems, was possessed of a dumb spirit, over which the disciples had no control. “Jesus said unto the spirit: ‘Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee come out of him, and enter no more into him.’” Whereupon, the deaf spirit (having heard what was said) cried out (being dumb) and immediately vacated the premises. –
Robert Ingersoll

I recall having read William Peter Blatty’s ‘The Exorcist’ prior to watching the movie. I couldn’t tell you if the book was any good: the subject matter tends to overshadow items such as facts, reality, etc.

The thought of having one’s identity co-opted, or infringed upon, is a very real fear for many people. As such, those crazed assholes in Italy are trying to make a comeback piggybacking on people’s ignorance.

Rise of the exorcists in Catholic Church

Dioceses across Italy, as well as in countries such as Spain, are increasing the number of priests schooled in administering the rite of exorcism, fabled to rid people of possession by the Devil.

Fabled being the operative word.

The rise in demonic cases is a result of more people dabbling in practices such as black magic, paganism, Satanic rites and Ouija boards, often exploring the dark arts with the help of information readily found on the internet, the Church said.

People are ‘dabbling’, but the smart ones figure that all this is snake oil.

The increase in the number of priests being trained to tackle the phenomenon is also an effort by the Church to sideline unauthorised, self-proclaimed exorcists, and its tacit recognition that belief in Satan, once regarded by Catholic progressives as an embarrassment, is still very much alive.

The entire Holy Cee is an embarrassment to humanity.

The trend comes four decades after the 1973 release of The Exorcist, the American horror film based on the demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl and attempts to exorcise her by two priests.

‘Based on a true story’ if I recall rightly.

The diocese of Milan recently nominated seven new exorcists, the bishop of Naples appointed three new ones a couple of years ago and the Catholic Church in Sardinia sent three priests for exorcism training in Rome, amid concern that the Mediterranean island, particularly its mountainous, tradition-bound interior, is a hotbed of occultism.

Yes because of course feeding the hungry is a poor second to fighting off imaginary spirits.

In Spain, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, the archbishop of Madrid, chose eight priests to undergo special training in May to confront what he described as “an unprecedented rise” in cases of “demonic possession”. The Church in Spain was coming across many cases that “go beyond the competence of psychologists” and they were occurring with “a striking frequency”, the archbishop said.

This ‘unprecedented rise’ is simply a blend of overpopulation and under-education. These eight priests would have better served taking psychology courses. I have very little hope that these nitwits can ascertain what is considered competent by a psychologist’s standards.

“Diabolical possessions are on the increase as a result of people subscribing to occultism,” said Fr Francesco Bamonte, the president of the Italy-based International Association for Exorcists. “The few exorcists that we have in the dioceses are often not able to handle the enormous number of requests for help,” he told La Repubblica last month.

I wonder if any of these idiots ever heard of Munchausen’s Syndrome

The association was founded in 1993 by Fr Gabriele Amorth, who served as the Vatican’s chief exorcist and claims to have conducted thousands of exorcisms.

Yeah thanks for nothing, asshole.

He has written several books on the subject, including The Last Exorcist — My Fight Against Satan.

The lyrics to Billy Idol’s ‘Dancing with myself’ spring to mind for some unknown reason.

A controversial figure, he has claimed that yoga is “evil” because it leads to a worship of Hinduism and other Eastern religions.

Evidence suggests that most religious people don’t even understand the word ‘worship’. Or ‘reality’, for that matter.

During the papacy of Benedict XVI he said that the sex abuse scandals which engulfed the Church in the US, Ireland, Australia and other countries were proof that the Antichrist was waging a war against the Holy See.

A spiritual ‘Evil Empire’? How droll.

The Church insists that the majority of people who claim to be possessed by the Devil are suffering from a variety of mental health issues, from paranoia to depression. Priests generally advise them to seek medical help.

Substitute ‘majority’ for ‘all of the’.

But in a few cases, it is judged that the person really has been taken over by evil, and an exorcism is required.

Such loosely defined terminology – all of us atheists likely have been ‘taken over by evil’.

The need for exorcisms is “rare, very rare”, said Fr Vincenzio Taraborelli, a priest in a church which lies just a few hundred yards from the Vatican. “In the cases where a mental illness is apparent, we try to send them to a doctor.”

Wait – not more than a few paragraphs ago, we were told that demonic possession was a rising tidal wave of growing force, and now it’s rare?


“People come to me thinking that with an exorcism they can resolve all the problems they have in their lives. A child is doing badly at school? With an exorcism we can make him study. They see exorcists as a last resort. Out of 100 people that I receive, there will be one who has need of me as an exorcist.”

Knock that number down to zero. Nobody needs an exorcist.

“Demonic” possession manifests itself in people babbling in languages foreign to them, shaking uncontrollably and vomiting nails, pieces of metal and shards of glass, according to those who believe in the phenomenon.

There’s that accomodationist lingo again – ‘believe’. Hell, I don’t care what people believe. Produce facts.

They must undergo the official Catholic rite of exorcism, which involves a consecrated priest invoking the name of God, as well as various saints and the Archangel Michael, to cast out their demons. The growth in the number of priests being trained is “a response to public demand, but it’s also about quality control”, said John Allen, an expert on the Vatican from the National Catholic Reporter.

So…a bunch of people shaking water around, invoking non-existent characters? What fun.

“There are all these guys, some of them priests, who have set themselves up as exorcists. A lot of it is fairly dodgy theologically — they are self-appointed exorcists running around purporting to be acting on behalf of the Church.

Awwwww…is somebody stealing your scam? Poor baby.

“Now there is an attempt to ensure that all this is done in accordance with the Church’s official teaching. The hierarchy don’t want it going on outside the official channels.” Monsignor Bruno Forte, a theologian and the archbishop of Chieti-Vasto, said the Church teaches that evil exists and that in extreme cases it can take possession of a person.

Bruno Forte: a con artist who can’t get a real job.

“God has the power to beat his adversary, but Satan never ceases to work. There are people who experiment with subjection to the Devil, even a state of diabolical possession, for which the help of an exorcist can be necessary,” he told La Repubblica.

Really, this is most illogical: if this ‘gawd’ character can whup ole Scratch, why bother going to the matt? Seriously. Every lie we were taught claimed that ‘gawd’ could just reach down and wipe de debbil from the planet, leaving nothing but a greasy smear. All the texts have him getting his ass beat by the on high. So is this devil guy a complete moron?

“When Christians recite the Our Father prayer, they ask for delivery from evil. In every diocese the bishop chooses one or two priests to act as exorcists — they have to be well balanced and discreet.

Discreet because without their frocks, they could be tossed in the booby hatch. Well balanced? Obviously they’re not.

Belief in black magic and Satanism may have been spread by the internet, but there has been a streak of popular superstition in the Catholic Church for centuries. “I’m not sure it ever really went away,” said Mr Allen. “After the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s, there was a great deal of embarrassment among 'enlightened’ Catholics about exorcisms and other aspects of the supernatural. It was seen as a medieval anachronism.

In the 21st century, there’s a huge GOB of embarrassment that any of this is still going on.

“But at the grassroots level there has always been a very strong streak of popular religion, a fascination with the occult and the powers of the Devil.

Yeah. Amid the brain-dead.

In May it was claimed that Pope Francis had performed an exorcism during a Mass in St Peter’s Square.

Television images show him laying his hands on a wheelchair-bound man, who appears to go into convulsions with his mouth open before slumping down into his chair. The encounter was shown by TV2000, a channel owned by the Italian bishops’ conference, which quoted experts as saying that there was no doubt the Pope had performed an exorcism.

Or it could’ve been an epileptic fit. Nobody really knows who this guy is – and he still claims to be possessed. Typical. Some schmoe comes out of nowhere and starts claiming he has a mystical insight and/or disease. Does anybody vet this guy? No, he creeps in under the radar by announcing his/her ‘belief’. Belief is ubiquitous and over-rated. It is no commodity.


During a Mass in November in the Casa Santa Marta, the Vatican residence where he lives, he said that although “God created man to be incorruptible”, the Devil entered the world and there are those “who belong to him”.

Aye caramba – the contradictions are enough to buckle the knees of weaker men. Incorruptible? Are you serious?

At a Mass days before, he talked of the dangers of worldliness, warning that: “When we think of our enemies, we really think of the Devil first, because it’s the Devil that harms us. The Devil enjoys the atmosphere, the lifestyle of worldliness.”

It’s just as Sturgeon’s law says: "Ninety percent of everything is crap." For the Catholic Cee, I’d say that the percentage is 100%.

Till the next post then.

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