Pope fueling trend to blame the Devil

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?

‘Pope Francis effect’ leads to exorcism boom – Telegraph.

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!

More stories on “exorcism”

  9 comments for “Pope fueling trend to blame the Devil

  1. busterggi (Bob Jase)
    April 14, 2015 at 8:53 AM

    Someone has to get blamed (barring personal responsibility via free will which the RCC has apparently abandoned) and it can’t be the boss – it never is.

  2. ScienceMonkey
    April 14, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    This is the same group that blamed the molestation scandal on the psychological mentality of the world in the 1960s. The “study” conducted for the church by John Jay College surveyed living priests to get their data for the report so it was no surprise that the peak of issues occurred in the 1960s. They surveyed the accused. That was their data source for their report on molestations by priests. Yup.

    I was raised a catholic in one of the worst diocese (Joliet, IL) in the country for molestation issues. The worst offender got three years despite aggressive action by the Illinois AG and is out of jail collecting his pension. The bishop, despite being caught lying about his actions, retired with honors.

    But then again, it wasn’t their fault. It was Jimi, the Stones, and Dylan. But it wasn’t really them either. It was the devil that made them do it.

    My parents still wonder why I won’t let my children inside a catholic church.

  3. One Eyed Jack
    April 14, 2015 at 11:14 AM

    Exorcisms give priests the opportunity to feel like bad asses. Taking confessions, lighting candles, and counting rosaries are rather mundane, but casting out daemons — that’s some Friday night movie hero stuff.

    Sure, I’m saying this tongue-in-cheek, but there is truth to it. When you believe your god is actually granting you magical powers to battle hell-spawn, that’s a bit of a machismo ego boost. I’m sure more than a few priests get a superhero buzz from this work. Beats spending all day mumbling to yourself in Latin.

  4. One Eyed Jack
    April 14, 2015 at 11:17 AM

    To have a good guy, you need a bad guy. Without the bad guy, the good guy is just a guy. True BelieversTM need the devil to be real.

  5. Perry
    April 14, 2015 at 12:49 PM

    “…. this event is not officially endorsed by the Vatican.”

    But it doesn’t discourage it either. When the movie The Exorcist first came out I was living in the Philippines, where Catholicism is rife. Outside each theater showing the movie was a life size cardboard cut-out of the Pope with a direct dire quote about the devil being real.

    Like One Eyed Jack said, they need the devil to be real for their god to be real.

  6. CLamb
    April 14, 2015 at 2:21 PM

    What makes you think the RCC has abandoned the idea of free will? Their teaching on exorcism makes it clear than possession cannot occur without an invitation from the possessed.

  7. stamen
    April 14, 2015 at 6:04 PM

    I have watched the rise of exorcism stories in the media, on the back of supernatural wave, well before Pope Francis arrived. I think he is just riding the wave. He has a difficult juggling act, whether to liberalise the church to try to slow the hemorrhaging of Western Catholics, or to emphasise the conservative aspects to appeal to the developing world where the Church is still strong. I think, in the long run, the more the Church plays up the weirder superstitious bits, the the less relevant it will seem to Western Christians.

  8. Bill T.
    April 16, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    Plenty good to say about this Pope. Also plenty to be less than happy about.

  9. Lee
    April 16, 2015 at 9:47 PM

    Am I living in the year 2015? For an incredible array of reason humans just cannot let go of irrational thought. We are in it for the long haul unfortunately. Think I will burn my neighbor because I think she is a witch.

Comments are closed.