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Monday, February 21, 2005

Vatican University Teaches Exorcism Course!

The Pontifical Academy "Regina Apostolorum"university has begun offering an exorcism course for priests in Rome for the princely sum of $235 Yahoo News reports.

The course was conceived by the Legionaries of Christ, a powerful, wealthy and conservative order founded in Mexico in 1941 that is described as being close to Pope John Paul II. The order is fighting allegations of sex abuse against its founder, Marcial Maciel, who stepped down recently.

Well, it's tough to judge an order just based on allegations of sex abuse these days since its so rampant among priests.

[Revernd Paolo] Scafaroni said the aim of the course to prepare priests and seminarians "to distinguish real cases of diabolic possession from mental problems so they can be referred to exorcists."

The reverend Francesco Bamonte, exorcist in the pope's own diocese of Rome, said he handles only a score of cases of diabolic possession a year, and relies on assistants to filter out requests for his services, "otherwise I would be swamped with requests from people who have no need of me."

Yeah, I assume it's really diffiult to separate those people whose insanity just makes perfect sense from those wacky behavior could only be the result of being possessd by demon.

In its 1999 ritual on exorcism, the Vatican recognized certain signs of diabolic possession, such as the ability to speak foreign or ancient languages that had never been learned, or reactions of repugnance toward symbols such as the Christian cross. [Gabriele Nanni, 46, the diocesan exorcist from the northern city of Modena] said exorcists seek to drive out demons through prayer rather than the incantations,rites and magic formulas of popular mythology. "It's sorcerers who do that, not us," he said.

So let me get this straight. If you're acting kind of deranged and if you get annoyed when someone shoves a crucifix in your face, you're possessed by a demon? Right, makes perfect sense to me. Is that an endorsement for sorcerers as an alternative to exorcism by the way?

You would think the Catholic church would be trying to distance itself from this kind of fringe religious activity, but apparently not. The Vatican updated the ritual on exorcism in 1999! Well, now you know where the church's priorities lie.

God is so going to smite my wise ass one day.


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