Great… back to the Dark Ages where we blame personal and social problems on supernatural entities instead of effectively dealing with harsh reality. How is that helpful?
The “Pope Francis effect” has been credited with encouraging a resurgence in faith among rank-and-file Catholics but it has also had a more unexpected consequence – a boom in the demand for exorcisms.
The Argentinian pontiff’s fire-and-brimstone language and frequent references to the Devil have helped propel belief in Beelzebub back into the mainstream of the Catholic Church, where once it was an embarrassment.
Dioceses in the UK, Italy, Spain and elsewhere have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of people claiming to be possessed and have responded by training more priests in the dark arts of how to perform exorcisms.
The article goes on to give lip service to recognizing mental illness which we’ve heard before. I’ve yet to see good evidence that ANY situation is caused by demons instead of natural causes. It’s easy to blame a supernatural cause because you can’t test it; by definition, it operates outside natural laws and so no rules apply. It’s belief based and so anything goes.
The “Exorcism and Prayers of Liberation” week-long seminar at Regina Apostolorum in Rome, a university sponsored by the Legionaries of Christ religious order, runs this week covering anthropological and social context of “Satanism” and the processes of exorcism. According to this Catholic news source, this event is not officially endorsed by the Vatican. But because of the content, it draws a lot of media attention. One additional tidbit in this piece is that Rev. Gabriele Amorth, a perennial media hound regarding Catholic exorcism practices is nor ever was a Vatican official or the Pope’s “exorcist”. But it plays that up, announcing that the world needs more superheroes like him to fight off the dangers from Harry Potter and yoga.
It’s been obvious that the Satanic Panic is still going on in its own way. Watch for a surge in witchcraft accusations next.
A return to superstition and Scriptures aren’t helpful in a time where we need reason, human compassion and science-based treatments that actually work in the long run. It isn’t as easy to fix social problems and psychological issues so we blame the devil? Thanks, Pope Frank!