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The Devil is in the Vatican - Input Junkie
March 13th, 2010
03:43 pm

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The Devil is in the Vatican
Interview with the Vatican's chief exorcist.....
Father Gabriele Amorth, 85, who has been the Vatican's chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as "cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon".

He added: "When one speaks of 'the smoke of Satan' [a phrase coined by Pope Paul VI in 1972] in the holy rooms, it is all true – including these latest stories of violence and paedophilia."

I wish I could be sure he meant paedophilia, rather than people saying that paelophilia happens.

A humorist possessed by a spirit of mockery gets hold of the story, also does arithmetic.

Links thanks to jonquil.

(15 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:dcseain
Date:March 13th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
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Satan is of G-d, so of course he's in the Vatican, like, duh!
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From:nancylebov
Date:March 13th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
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Being of God doesn't mean being ominpresent.

I go back and forth about the hyphen. It's more polite to observant Jews to use it (I think-- do they care if non-observant Jews use a hyphen?), but we're talking about Catholics, and they use an 'o'.
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From:dcseain
Date:March 13th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
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By Roman Catholic theology, you are correct.

By my understanding of Judeo-Christian writings, i personally opine that the Abramahic Lord is bipolar, and that it is not possible to separate the Lord of Light from the Lord of Dark, but that is tangential to the topic at hand.

I have become accustomed to using the hyphen inLJland, regardless of context, but point taken.
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From:nancylebov
Date:March 13th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
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If the Abrahamic Lord is bipolar, the Jewish version is a case of Him being an unpredictable hazard to humans. Satan is a much more minor player than in Christianity.
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From:dcseain
Date:March 13th, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC)
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Agreed.
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From:madfilkentist
Date:March 13th, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC)
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It's very disturbing that the Catholic Church still employs exorcists. It's abuse of sick people.
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From:osewalrus
Date:March 14th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC)
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I keep thinking of the Witch Smeller from Prachett & Gaiman's Good Omens.
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From:agrumer
Date:March 13th, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC)
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who has been the Vatican's chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt with 70,000

25 years = 9,131 days

That's an average of seven or eight cases of demonic possession to deal with every day, assuming no days off.

Hm, on the other hand, he may be including cases he worked on as a lower-ranked exorcist. That'd bring the average down, but it's still a lot.
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From:madfilkentist
Date:March 14th, 2010 01:16 am (UTC)
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According to this article, "a simple exorcism is performed at every baptism." These are presumably preventive exorcisms, giving the baby demon shots. So it sounds as if most exorcisms don't involve actual demonic possession.
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From:thnidu
Date:March 14th, 2010 03:36 am (UTC)
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If he has a staff of exorcists reporting to him, he may be counting all exorcisms done by them. And we're presumably reading a translation of his words rather than the (Italian?) original. He could have said something that would be better translated as "I have overseen" or "... been responsible for ..." or something like that.
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From:agrumer
Date:March 13th, 2010 11:14 pm (UTC)
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You might also want to look at this interview with Amorth from 2000. It sounds like he's mostly pissed off that exorcists aren't really taken seriously within the Vatican.
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From:osewalrus
Date:March 14th, 2010 12:58 am (UTC)
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OK, not to defend Catholic doctrine overmuch, but whereas we Jewish folk don't have to believe in demonic possession, Catholics are sort of stuck. The Gospels describe Jesus as casting out demons, and for most of Church history demons have been an approved part of the theology.

It doesn't help that Catholic theology holds that there is an independent Satan as a source of evil who is at war with God. As a result, from a theological standpoint, the notion of demonic possession and demonic temptation is absolutely embedded in the theology.

While one can certainly find references to such think in Jewish writings, nothing prevents us from treating them metaphorically. The Tanach (Old Testament) doesn't go in for possession (the closest is Saul, to whom God sent an "evil spirit." The Hebrew word ruach does not, however, mean supernatural spirit but is generally translatable as being more like mood. (I'm having some difficulty here capturing the right nuance in English.))
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From:nancylebov
Date:March 14th, 2010 01:13 am (UTC)
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I don't know whether Catholics are therefore obligated to believe that demonic possession continued to be possible after the Gospels.

I'm sure that Catholics don't believe Satan is an independent power. In their theology, nothing is independent from God. However, Satan is in rebellion (I suppose with permission because of free will) rather than being G-d's prosecuting attorney.
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From:agrumer
Date:March 14th, 2010 05:36 am (UTC)
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What do you mean by "independent" here?
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From:fidelioscabinet
Date:March 14th, 2010 03:51 am (UTC)
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"Why, this is Hell, nor am I out of it."

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
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