Sunday, November 21, 2010

Who Knew?

NEW YORK -- Citing a shortage of priests who can perform the rite, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops are holding a conference on how to conduct exorcisms.

The two-day training, which ends Saturday in Baltimore, is to outline the scriptural basis of evil, instruct clergy on evaluating whether a person is truly possessed, and review the prayers and rituals that comprise an exorcism. Among the speakers will be Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, and a priest-assistant to New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

"Learning the liturgical rite is not difficult," DiNardo said in a phone interview before the conference, which is open to clergy only...

...The full exorcism is held in private and includes sprinkling holy water, reciting Psalms, reading aloud from the Gospel, laying on of hands and reciting the Lord's Prayer. Some adaptations are allowed for different circumstances. The exorcist can invoke the Holy Spirit then blow in the face of the possessed person, trace the sign of the cross on the person's forehead and command the devil to leave.

This is truly good stuff. Who knew it was so easy? Shake a little water, a little blow..., say "scram." I know of teenagers who were harder to get to move out.

I get the faith thing, I really do. Don't have it, sadly or not, but I get it. But this? Believing in possessions and little rituals to treat it? Really? I simply can't connect such belief with sanity. I mean, geez, people, we're talking Satan here. Beelzebub, the dark one, evil disincarnate. Why would he waste his time possessing a person if it were so easy to force him out? Is some priest, maybe even a little tired from a hard day's child molesting, more powerful than The Devil himself? After a two-day course? That's all it takes?

I have to assume there's no lab time, no possessed people caged in a basement somewhere, to be brought out for the final exam. I admit I felt ready to do lap choles after a half-day course that ended by separating a couple of pigs from their gallbladders; but this seems so much more, what, biblical. Apocalyptic. I'm thinking a week at least. Maybe half a lifetime of good deeds and a miracle or two.

A two-day course. And they're serious! Doesn't it make the whole possession/devil belief a little embarrassing? Even more than it already was?


  1. Here's the official guide to exorcism. Nota Bene: "avoid in the course of the rite everything that savors of superstition."

    Here's another old favorite which many of us may have seen.

    This is a classic of the genre.

  2. Thanks, Sam. I like Pat Condell, a brave man in these times.

  3. Wow, way to go out on a limb, bustin the Catholic's Balls...
    Course, now you'll have to deal with those thousands of Catholic Suicide Bombers...oh yeah, there aren't any..
    and you left out a big one, HITLER WAS CATHOLIC!!!!!!!!!!!!
    and he wears that stupid hat, and doesn't believe in abortions for Minorities..
    Well actually he doesnt believe in them for anyone, no matter, your race, your color, or your creed.
    And what's a "Creed" anyway, I know, "Look it Up", Jeez you sound like my Old Man, except he doesnt have early Alzheimers, he's just an A-hole.
    seriously, wouldn't it have been easier for everyone if he'd called 9-11 at Chappaquidick?
    Easier for Mary Jo Kopeckney anyway...


  4. Let's cut through the crap here; if it will work on Sarah Palin, I'm all for it!

    Can't hurt to try, but could they immerse her in a TUB of Holy Water, for about an hour - maybe?

    Then, see if she floats (made of wood)- you get it, right?


  5. Sid, I used to like Pat Condell until one of my wingnut family members sent me a link to his screed on the "Ground Zero Mosque," which was quite frankly a pack of lies, including the whopper that it was going to be opened on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attack.

    I can't say I've been able to enjoy his videos since then.

  6. Pieter: I saw that video, too, and had the same reaction. Disappointment. But his earlier ones are really good. So I guess I just ignored the Mosque one. Probably shouldn't have.


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