Monday, June 10, 2013

Demon, Out

They say the pope performed an exorcism on some guy from Mexico. Just out there, in front of God and everyone (heh), whilst walking through St. Peter's Square. I don't think he did.

Not because I don't believe in exorcisms, mind you. But because I believe if the pope is in fact an exorcist, he would not be so irresponsible as to carry one out off the cuff in public, without any level of preparation. I'm fairly confident in saying that no exorcist worth his salt would do such a thing. 

 Also, evidently, the man who the pope prayed for says he's still possessed, and will be so long as abortion is legal in Mexico City.

Now, far be it for me to think I know more about demonic possession than the guy who's demonically possessed, but if you say you're possessed by demons because God wants to send the world a message about sinners passing an abortion law......well, yeah. I mean sure, it's possible to really read into the book of Job and think of Satan as doing God's works (I guess he has to be, if God made him in the first place), or you're probably actually say, schizophrenic or some other mental illness. "I have a message that only God says I can give, with X condition".

This is actually an important facet of modern exorcism (to the Catholic church, anyway): it is necessary to determine that the patient is not, in fact, simply mentally ill. This is one reason (I think) people in movies and things always have such a terrible time getting the Church to help them. If just anybody who was all "lol, possession" could get an exorcism, it diminishes the weight of the matter. The Bart Simpsons of the world would amuse themselves by filling out the web form and getting priests to come to their house. It's also an unfortunate facet of some peoples' mental illness that they think God is punishing them, or the Devil is speaking to them, or has done something to their children.

People of other religious affiliation are apparently not so fastidious, as we hear tales of autistic children dying at the hands of misbegotten exorcists. These are not, I will hasten to point out, Catholic exorcisms, but rather Born Again flavored instead. This isn't to say that there has never been a death in a Catholic exorcism; the case of Anneliese Michel comes to mind. The movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose is based on her case, and really what got me interested in the niceties of all this to begin with. See, I am Catholic, but grew up in the 80's. Mass was not in Latin, and Sunday School was, regrettably, a little more like Catholic Arts and Crafts other than the years where we were taking a sacrament. They didn't tell us a whole lot of the "good stuff" (not unlike history class in school, really). I can make a nice rosary, at least.

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