Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Shut Up, Satan! 

"[The devil is not a myth but a] personal being who assails us."
"We should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea."
"This mistake would leave us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable."
Gaudete et Exsultate, Pope Francis 
Photo: Getty

"It's important to differentiate between psychopathic illnesses, neurasthenia, pathologies [to tell the difference between those mental illnesses like the bipolar spectrum and actual possession of the devil, requiring priestly intervention by skilled and experienced exorcists]."
"Satan you can recognize."
"Ah, you can see it immediately [when an exorcism has succeeded in casting out evil spirits from a host body for success results in one possessed] keeping three or four men busy [leaping about frantically, to rising with a] joyous smile."
"Pray without interruption."
"There are priests who carry out exorcisms on their mobile phones. That’s possible thanks to Jesus."
Cardinal Ernest Simoni, instructor in master-class exorcism
Cardinal Ernest Simoni (Getty Images)
"Priests pray with people on the phone to calm them down, but if you are not there you cannot control the physical aspects [considering the possessed exhibit superhuman strength, and] vomit nails and shards of glass [during the ritual]."
"Some exorcists say it is effective. Whether it is orthodox or correct, I couldn’t say."
Professor Giuseppe Ferrari, exorcist course organizer, Pontifical Regina Apostolorum University, Rome
Priests from all over the Catholic world attending a master class in exorcism take careful notes as they make an effort to discover how they may be useful in casting out demons, hateful spawn of Satan, who invade helpless peoples' bodies, confuse their thinking and make life utterly miserable for the faithful. Instructor Cardinal Simoni explains fasting can help occasionally those who are possessed. There are, however, occasions, when tough words are required to make an impact on the devil deserving of "shut up, Satan".

Some three hundred Roman Catholic priests converged on Rome to attend the 13th annual weeklong "Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation" course whose purpose is to recruit and train flocks of exorcists to meet the demand of frantic people who cannot live any longer in the absolute control of an evil invasion.  In Italy alone, half a million faithful requested exorcisms in the past decade; triple earlier demands for help from above.
Father Aldo Bonaiuto, one of the Vatican's team of anti-occult priests, conducted exorcism lessons in 2012 at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Atheneum in Rome, Italy. Credit: Franco Origlia/Getty
Anthony Barrett, a British priest based in New York, feels he knows what is partially responsible for the uptick in possessions: "Demand is growing, absolutely. I think it is partly due to the Internet which makes it [Satanism] so accessible. Films and television programs are also a factor. There's a fascination." And of course, atheism is also responsible, confusing people, alienating them from their faith, causing their violent paroxysms of self-doubt and denials.

The International Association of Exorcists has been recognized formally by the Vatican since 2014. Its 250 members are kept up-to-date on best practices in confronting the wily devil. But there is also an undercurrent of disturbing belief murmured among the discreet holding similar views, that under Pope Francis the church has strayed from its former conservative view of Catholic values.

"More than anything, chastity", is an indispensable aid to success in exorcism, Cardinal Simoni responded in answering queries put to him by priests anxious to learn the secrets of his own successes. The good cardinal, an exemplar in successful exorcisms over the years, rescuing the faithful from the depths of their own depravity brought on by Satan's confidence, has, he admits, conducted cellphone exorcisms "one hundred, one thousand times".

Father Andres Cardenas, a 36-year-old priest from Colombia, gave warning of his own experience -- that black magic can be transmitted through screens, demons entering the body "through the back of the brain". Traumas, such as those occasioned by sexual abuse can render an innocent soul vulnerable to homosexuality, aligned with demons who incite to suicidal or violent reactions, so that only a solid base in understanding exorcism is capable of chasing them away.

The following course, led by Archbishop Luigi Negri, was titled "Exorcism as a Ministry of Mercy and Consolation Amid the Bewilderment of Contemporary Society". Those in attendance for the afternoon session heard the good Archbishop warn of the dark forces they would encounter: "The actor of this evil -- this diabolical and evil entity, is greater than any single man".

Focus on witchcraft at exorcists’ summit signifies a paradigm shift
A set of witchcraft artifacts. (Credit: Wikimedia.)

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