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Pope declares war on "the occult", sets up "exorcism squads"

Squirminator2kSquirminator2k they/themNorth Hollywood, CARegistered User regular
edited December 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
From The Daily Mail[/quote]:

The Pope has ordered his bishops to set up exorcism squads to tackle the rise of Satanism.

Vatican chiefs are concerned at what they see as an increased interest in the occult.

They have introduced courses for priests to combat what they call the most extreme form of "Godlessness."

Each bishop is to be told to have in his diocese a number of priests trained to fight demonic possession.

The initiative was revealed by 82-year-old Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican "exorcistinchief," to the online Catholic news service Petrus.

"Thanks be to God, we have a Pope who has decided to fight the Devil head-on," he said.

"Too many bishops are not taking this seriously and are not delegating their priests in the fight against the Devil. You have to hunt high and low for a properly trained exorcist.

"Thankfully, Benedict XVI believes in the existence and danger of evil - going back to the time he was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith." The CDF is the oldest Vatican department and was headed by Benedict from 1982, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, until he became Pope in 2005.

Father Amorth said that during his time at the department Benedict had not lost the chance to warn humanity of the risk from the Devil.

He said the Pope wants to restore a prayer seen as protection against evil that was traditionally recited at the end of Catholic Masses. The prayer, to St Michael the Archangel, was dropped in the 1960s by Pope John XXIII.

"The prayer is useful not only for priests but also for lay people in helping to fight demons," he said.

Father Paolo Scarafoni, who lectures on the Vatican's exorcism course, said interest in Satanism and the occult has grown as people lost faith with the church.

He added: "People suffer and think that turning to the Devil can help solve their problems. We are being bombarded by requests for exorcisms."

The Vatican is particularly concerned that young people are being exposed to the influence of Satanic sects through rock music and the Internet.

In theory, under the Catholic Church's Canon Law 1172, all priests can perform exorcisms. But in reality only a select few are assigned the task.

Under the law, practitioners must have "piety, knowledge, prudence, and integrity of life."

The rite of exorcism involves a series of gestures and prayers to invoke the power of God and stop the "demon" influencing its victim.

This is playing havoc with my Sanity Meter, folks. If not because it's completely and utterly loony, then because I was halfway through writing a screenplay for a film about Catholic Ghostbusters and the bloody Pope has beaten me to it. In real life, no less.

Without wanting to get into a Big Beard in the Sky versus the Flying Spaghetti Monster debate here, what do people think of this decision? Is there anyone here who actually thinks that what the Pope is planning is good idea?

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    Deviant HandsDeviant Hands __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    This sounds AWESOME! Imagine the possibilities!

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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    Well, its the Daily Mail, so the editorial staff probably made this up out of whole cloth at the wrong end of the office christmas party. If it is real, I think I can safely predict an upswing in accidental deaths during religious rituals...

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    They're using political propoganda to describe the church. The Church does not declare "wars" on anything, nor does it start "initiatives." This is a prefect example of journalists with a bias, because you'll notice that no official document is cited, just strange hearsay.

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    GimGim a tall glass of water Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    They have introduced courses for priests to combat what they call the most extreme form of "Godlessness."

    There's a Mountain Dew commercial to be had here.

    Gim on
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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    Podly wrote: »
    They're using political propoganda to describe the church. The Church does not declare "wars" on anything, nor does it start "initiatives." This is a prefect example of journalists with a bias, because you'll notice that no official document is cited, just strange hearsay.

    The DM are known as anti-catholic, but that doesn't mean the Church isn't interested in occult nonsense again. Ratzinger's pretty old-school, I wouldn't be entirely surprised, and I do recall reading relatively recent statements from him and/or other higher-ups reaffirming their belief in an active demonic world.

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    werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Does anyone have any actual information, from a legitimate source. Because even if the language is clearly crap, even the possibility the underlying idea is true is disturbing. I mean, thanks for providing the best argument in awhile in favor of atheism, but still.

    werehippy on
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    Deviant HandsDeviant Hands __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Hey guys remember when john paul II was still alive

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    They're using political propoganda to describe the church. The Church does not declare "wars" on anything, nor does it start "initiatives." This is a prefect example of journalists with a bias, because you'll notice that no official document is cited, just strange hearsay.

    The DM are known as anti-catholic, but that doesn't mean the Church isn't interested in occult nonsense again. Ratzinger's pretty old-school, I wouldn't be entirely surprised, and I do recall reading relatively recent statements from him and/or other higher-ups reaffirming their belief in an active demonic world.

    Oh, of course. What I imagine is that the pope wants priests to be more educated to debate with atheists and provide more persuasive arguments for people struggling with faith. Into these things usually slip stranger conservative measures, urged by the most extremely conservatives priests. If there is an encyclical, there is probably a clause or two clause that states exorcism should be thought of as an option.

    Unlike the white house, the vatican is pretty rhetorically savvy.

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    Black IceBlack Ice Charlotte, NCRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I'm not Catholic, and I like the idea of the Pope - a leader for a faith that, if nothing else, means well. I liked the last Pope and thought he did good things for the world, but I really, really don't like this Pope (too many Roman numerals to mess with names right now, sorry). The current Pope has said so many 'out there' things about other Christian faiths it's downright offensive. It's not like he's said one or two things I disagree with - it's like he's genuinely using his power to say how all other faiths are wrong and evil at every turn (exaggeration).

    If these "exorcism squads" are real, it's just more fuel to my fire. :|

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Black Ice wrote: »
    I'm not Catholic, and I like the idea of the Pope - a leader for a faith that, if nothing else, means well. I liked the last Pope and thought he did good things for the world, but I really, really don't like this Pope (too many Roman numerals to mess with names right now, sorry). The current Pope has said so many 'out there' things about other Christian faiths it's downright offensive. It's not like he's said one or two things I disagree with - it's like he's genuinely using his power to say how all other faiths are wrong and evil at every turn (exaggeration).|

    For example?

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    KobuksonKobukson Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Also funny hats

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Kobukson wrote: »

    Yes, and the anger stems from people without a proper understanding of ecclesia. He was talking about chuch/religion in the sense of "binding fast a community."

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    KobuksonKobukson Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Podly wrote: »
    Kobukson wrote: »

    Yes, and the anger stems from people without a proper understanding of ecclesia. He was talking about chuch/religion in the sense of "binding fast a community."

    I don't doubt that, but it does seem to come dangerously close to implying other Christian churches are heretical because they are not following the only Church Christ established.

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Kobukson wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Kobukson wrote: »

    Yes, and the anger stems from people without a proper understanding of ecclesia. He was talking about chuch/religion in the sense of "binding fast a community."

    I don't doubt that, but it does seem to come dangerously close to implying other Christian churches are heretical because they are not following the only Church Christ established.

    While the church, even under the less amicable Benedict, is generally very tactful in their conduct with others, they are not in the business of parsing their statements in order to avoid the outrage of idiots.

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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Podly wrote: »
    Black Ice wrote: »
    I'm not Catholic, and I like the idea of the Pope - a leader for a faith that, if nothing else, means well. I liked the last Pope and thought he did good things for the world, but I really, really don't like this Pope (too many Roman numerals to mess with names right now, sorry). The current Pope has said so many 'out there' things about other Christian faiths it's downright offensive. It's not like he's said one or two things I disagree with - it's like he's genuinely using his power to say how all other faiths are wrong and evil at every turn (exaggeration).|

    For example?

    The horrible botching he did when discussing Islam a few years back where he took up the argument of a Byzantine emperor. Let me dig up a quote.
    The Pope wrote:
    Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.

    Pappa Ratzi can't hold a candle to John Paul. He was a saint, this guy is just doing a shitty job of not doing anything stupid before he dies while the Church modernizes and catches up to the reforms and modernisations that were put in place by the last pontificate. Not that this article is anything more than bullshit, but this pope sucks. Plus I'd rather have a new Urban than a 16th Benedict.

    moniker on
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Podly wrote: »
    Kobukson wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Kobukson wrote: »

    Yes, and the anger stems from people without a proper understanding of ecclesia. He was talking about chuch/religion in the sense of "binding fast a community."

    I don't doubt that, but it does seem to come dangerously close to implying other Christian churches are heretical because they are not following the only Church Christ established.

    While the church, even under the less amicable Benedict, is generally very tactful in their conduct with others, they are not in the business of parsing their statements in order to avoid the outrage of idiots.

    Ummm, no, actually they very much are.

    moniker on
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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Black Ice wrote: »
    I'm not Catholic, and I like the idea of the Pope - a leader for a faith that, if nothing else, means well. I liked the last Pope and thought he did good things for the world, but I really, really don't like this Pope (too many Roman numerals to mess with names right now, sorry). The current Pope has said so many 'out there' things about other Christian faiths it's downright offensive. It's not like he's said one or two things I disagree with - it's like he's genuinely using his power to say how all other faiths are wrong and evil at every turn (exaggeration).|

    For example?

    The horrible botching he did when discussing Islam a few years back where he took up the argument of a Byzantine emperor. Let me dig up a quote.
    The Pope wrote:
    Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.

    Pappa Ratzi can't hold a candle to John Paul. He was a saint, this guy is just doing a shitty job of not doing anything stupid before he dies while the Church modernizes and catches up to the reforms and modernisations that were put in place. Not that this article is anything more than bullshit, but this pope sucks. Plus I'd rather have a new Urban than a 16th Benedict.

    The Muslim fiasco was a indefensibly boneheaded. Ratzinger was one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century. As a pope, his performance has not been nearly as impressive.

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    DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I smell a movie in the works.

    "The God Squad." Banishing Satan for great justice.

    Starring Mel Gibson as Father Judas, the ladies man. "Hey, Sugar Tits."

    Gary Busey as Father Killcrazy, the madman. "You ever seen death? He's seven feet tall and has a brown robe. Tell him I said 'Hi'."

    And Tom Cruise as Father Gaylord, explosives. "I'm in love with God! I'm in love with God!" *jumping up and down on a couch*

    With Paris Hilton as Sister Legup, espionage. "I can't wear anything under this robe. It's hot."

    And Britney Spears as Sister Jigglioni *munch, munch* "Can't talk...eating..."

    To the Pope mobile.

    *Batman theme plays*


    Yep, I'm going to Hell.

    Dalboz on
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    KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    This is the latest policy statement/encyclical from the Vatican, according to their website. There may be something newer but its not up yet.

    I just skim read it and didn't see anything that jumps out at me as promoting the angle the Daily Mail has gone for.

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    Casual EddyCasual Eddy The Astral PlaneRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    What does being a great theologian entail, anyway?

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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Vatican denies the story.

    It's fun to watch Poldy get all defensive though.

    Shinto on
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    PicardathonPicardathon Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Really people, we're talking about Catholicism here, is this really that crazy when you account for that?

    Picardathon on
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    SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Daily Mail declares war on "good reporting", sets up "truthiness squads"

    Senjutsu on
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    KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Well reading his encyclical is a good start Casual Eddy, it does seem scholarly - lots of citing and the like. Of course when I read something like "God is Love" something inside me yells lol.

    Then when I read the below I start to freak out a little

    For this too we need witnesses—martyrs—who have given themselves totally, so as to show us the way—day after day. We need them if we are to prefer goodness to comfort, even in the little choices we face each day—knowing that this is how we live life to the full. (para 39, SPE SALVI


    I guess I just find martyr a loaded term

    Kalkino on
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    entropykidentropykid Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    So is this whole thing in reality a viral marketing campaign to promote Hellboy 2 the Golden Army?

    Anyways, the Vatican saying they arent against "occult" symbolism is like the mafia saying theyre against crime

    entropykid on
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    The_LightbringerThe_Lightbringer Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Black Ice wrote: »
    I'm not Catholic, and I like the idea of the Pope - a leader for a faith that, if nothing else, means well. I liked the last Pope and thought he did good things for the world, but I really, really don't like this Pope (too many Roman numerals to mess with names right now, sorry). The current Pope has said so many 'out there' things about other Christian faiths it's downright offensive. It's not like he's said one or two things I disagree with - it's like he's genuinely using his power to say how all other faiths are wrong and evil at every turn (exaggeration).|

    For example?

    The horrible botching he did when discussing Islam a few years back where he took up the argument of a Byzantine emperor. Let me dig up a quote.
    The Pope wrote:
    Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.

    Pappa Ratzi can't hold a candle to John Paul. He was a saint, this guy is just doing a shitty job of not doing anything stupid before he dies while the Church modernizes and catches up to the reforms and modernisations that were put in place by the last pontificate. Not that this article is anything more than bullshit, but this pope sucks. Plus I'd rather have a new Urban than a 16th Benedict.

    Wasn't he just reciting the quote and then later kinda denounced it? There's not much you can do when there is a flock of people ready and willing to take bits and pieces of what you say and mold it to whatever agenda they want.

    The_Lightbringer on
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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    This reminds me of John Carpenter's Vampire$, what with the Vatican monster hunters and such.

    True or not, it is fairly indicitive of Benedict's hardliner stance. They're really having quite a few PR problems... here in Minnesota, our archbishop has been regressing the stance on gays and lesbians, and basically called it a sin to support a practicing gay family member. Tough to love the sinner but hate the sin when everybody's sinning at such a prodigious rate just for not kicking the gays to the curb.

    Dracomicron on
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    Matt_SMatt_S Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I'm having flashbacks to Monsignor Martinez from King of the Hill.

    Vaya con Dios

    Matt_S on
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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Matt_S wrote: »
    I'm having flashbacks to Monsignor Martinez from King of the Hill.

    Vaya con Dios

    "How can such a good cop be such a bad priest?"

    Dracomicron on
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    NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    True or not, it is fairly indicitive of Benedict's hardliner stance. They're really having quite a few PR problems... here in Minnesota, our archbishop has been regressing the stance on gays and lesbians, and basically called it a sin to support a practicing gay family member. Tough to love the sinner but hate the sin when everybody's sinning at such a prodigious rate just for not kicking the gays to the curb.

    Wait, how does this true or not show that Benedict is a hardliner? The fact that a news agency reports a false story about you doing something does not really tell anything about how you really are.

    Neaden on
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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Neaden wrote: »
    True or not, it is fairly indicitive of Benedict's hardliner stance. They're really having quite a few PR problems... here in Minnesota, our archbishop has been regressing the stance on gays and lesbians, and basically called it a sin to support a practicing gay family member. Tough to love the sinner but hate the sin when everybody's sinning at such a prodigious rate just for not kicking the gays to the curb.

    Wait, how does this true or not show that Benedict is a hardliner? The fact that a news agency reports a false story about you doing something does not really tell anything about how you really are.

    His actions show that he's a hardliner; the article is indicative of how his stances are viewed, just like The Onion printing the headline "Bush Awknowledges Existance of Carbon Dioxide" is indicative of President Bush's stance on environmental issues, despite being, you know, a joke.
    Today, a particularly insidious obstacle to the task of education is the massive presence in our society and culture of that relativism which, recognizing nothing as definitive, leaves as the ultimate criterion only the self with its desires.

    Hmm, free thinking and openmindedness is an obsticle to his church, eh? That's not hardliner at all...
    The various forms of the dissolution of matrimony today, like free unions, trial marriages and going up to pseudo-matrimonies by people of the same sex, are rather expressions of an anarchic freedom that wrongly passes for true freedom of man...from here it becomes all the more clear how contrary it is to human love, to the profound vocation of man and woman, to systematically close their union to the gift of life, and even worse to suppress or tamper with the life that is born.

    People who divorce, have unmarried sex, are homosexuals, and/or use contraception or condoms (even to prevent the transmsision of HIV) cannot truly love. Yikes.

    So yeah, many of his stances might be considered hardline. Whether you believe that they are hardline or not, the fact that many react to his stances with articles like the original post's reference is indicitive of him in some way.

    Dracomicron on
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    SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    As long as they get Keanu Reeves for the movie, I am completely behind this.

    Sentry on
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    EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    edited December 2007
    Sentry wrote: »
    As long as they get Keanu Reeves for the movie, I am completely behind this.

    And Peter Stormare as the devil.

    Echo on
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    Black Ice wrote: »
    I'm not Catholic, and I like the idea of the Pope - a leader for a faith that, if nothing else, means well. I liked the last Pope and thought he did good things for the world, but I really, really don't like this Pope (too many Roman numerals to mess with names right now, sorry). The current Pope has said so many 'out there' things about other Christian faiths it's downright offensive. It's not like he's said one or two things I disagree with - it's like he's genuinely using his power to say how all other faiths are wrong and evil at every turn (exaggeration).|

    For example?

    The horrible botching he did when discussing Islam a few years back where he took up the argument of a Byzantine emperor. Let me dig up a quote.
    The Pope wrote:
    Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.

    Pappa Ratzi can't hold a candle to John Paul. He was a saint, this guy is just doing a shitty job of not doing anything stupid before he dies while the Church modernizes and catches up to the reforms and modernisations that were put in place by the last pontificate. Not that this article is anything more than bullshit, but this pope sucks. Plus I'd rather have a new Urban than a 16th Benedict.

    Wasn't he just reciting the quote and then later kinda denounced it? There's not much you can do when there is a flock of people ready and willing to take bits and pieces of what you say and mold it to whatever agenda they want.

    He didn't really argue against it all that much. And if you're going to tacitly accept a negative view towards another religion, particularly Islam these days, or something along those lines, you might want to pick something a bit less fire breathingly horrible. And he's not even doing any of the awesome stuff Popes get to do so as to at least temper the bad fuck ups. Ratzinger just plain sucks.

    moniker on
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    NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Today, a particularly insidious obstacle to the task of education is the massive presence in our society and culture of that relativism which, recognizing nothing as definitive, leaves as the ultimate criterion only the self with its desires.

    Hmm, free thinking and openmindedness is an obsticle to his church, eh? That's not hardliner at all...
    Wow! You can grossly misrepresent someones stance! Amazing! Attacking moral relativism does not mean attacking open mindedness, he is attacking the same attitudes you probably disagree with, like that female circumcision is just a part of someone else's culture and we just need to learn to get along.
    The various forms of the dissolution of matrimony today, like free unions, trial marriages and going up to pseudo-matrimonies by people of the same sex, are rather expressions of an anarchic freedom that wrongly passes for true freedom of man...from here it becomes all the more clear how contrary it is to human love, to the profound vocation of man and woman, to systematically close their union to the gift of life, and even worse to suppress or tamper with the life that is born.

    People who divorce, have unmarried sex, are homosexuals, and/or use contraception or condoms (even to prevent the transmsision of HIV) cannot truly love. Yikes.

    So yeah, many of his stances might be considered hardline. Whether you believe that they are hardline or not, the fact that many react to his stances with articles like the original post's reference is indicitive of him in some way.
    Once again, misrepresenting what he is saying. All of this makes me think that the real problem is not Benedict's "hardline stances" but people going out and misrepresenting what he says because hey! That's the story that we're going with this week. You know, because it is not like JP2 held these exact same positions or anything.

    Neaden on
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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Neaden wrote: »
    Today, a particularly insidious obstacle to the task of education is the massive presence in our society and culture of that relativism which, recognizing nothing as definitive, leaves as the ultimate criterion only the self with its desires.

    Hmm, free thinking and openmindedness is an obsticle to his church, eh? That's not hardliner at all...
    Wow! You can grossly misrepresent someones stance! Amazing! Attacking moral relativism does not mean attacking open mindedness, he is attacking the same attitudes you probably disagree with, like that female circumcision is just a part of someone else's culture and we just need to learn to get along.
    The various forms of the dissolution of matrimony today, like free unions, trial marriages and going up to pseudo-matrimonies by people of the same sex, are rather expressions of an anarchic freedom that wrongly passes for true freedom of man...from here it becomes all the more clear how contrary it is to human love, to the profound vocation of man and woman, to systematically close their union to the gift of life, and even worse to suppress or tamper with the life that is born.

    People who divorce, have unmarried sex, are homosexuals, and/or use contraception or condoms (even to prevent the transmsision of HIV) cannot truly love. Yikes.

    So yeah, many of his stances might be considered hardline. Whether you believe that they are hardline or not, the fact that many react to his stances with articles like the original post's reference is indicitive of him in some way.
    Once again, misrepresenting what he is saying. All of this makes me think that the real problem is not Benedict's "hardline stances" but people going out and misrepresenting what he says because hey! That's the story that we're going with this week. You know, because it is not like JP2 held these exact same positions or anything.

    But for some reason, John Paul II didn't get this much flak. There's gotta be something to it.

    If someone for some reason decided that I was a baby-raping satanist and people believed it, it wouldn't make it true, but there would have to be something about me that makes it believable.

    Dracomicron on
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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    If someone for some reason decided that I was a baby-raping satanist and people believed it, it wouldn't make it true, but there would have to be something about me that makes it believable.

    Not if enough people say it for no reason. Enough people were making Darth Benedicts after he was elected Pope that it was pretty inevitable that people were inclined to find him scary.

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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    ...John Paul pretty much set records for expanding the tolerance of the Church and its doctrines regarding other religions. I mean, he's the first Pope to ever sit in the Roman synagogue let alone calling together that summitt thing of all the world's religious leaders. Even when he was promoting Catholicism he would still speak inclusively rather than taking out the long needles.

    moniker on
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    NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    ...John Paul pretty much set records for expanding the tolerance of the Church and its doctrines regarding other religions. I mean, he's the first Pope to ever sit in the Roman synagogue let alone calling together that summitt thing of all the world's religious leaders. Even when he was promoting Catholicism he would still speak inclusively rather than taking out the long needles.
    But neither is Benedict. As a matter of fact, he has been talking to the Eastern Church's a whole bunch lately. The media narrative of Benedict=hyper conservative just got a started and is going to continue no matter what actually happens.

    Neaden on
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