So when I read that "Father Gabriele Amorth, who for years was the Vatican’s chief exorcist...claims to have cleansed hundreds of people of evil spirits" I wondered if he works on weekends, what he charges for a house call, and if he slyly pockets your soul and your cinnamon-scented votive candles on his way out the door.
Alas, it seems that Father Amorth is retired, and no longer spends his days mopping up after Mephistopheles. On the bright side, he now has more time to devote to his hobby of spouting parochial blather and demented cultural analysis. For instance, he recently said:
[Y]oga is Satanic because it leads to a worship of Hinduism and “all eastern religions are based on a false belief in reincarnation”.
"Pilates are the path to Pazuzu!"
So if you've spent your life treating trauma and mental illness by waving around an action figure of a dead man dangling from a torture device, while mouthing a bunch of Latin mumbo jumbo, I'm sorry, but you made your choice, this is as good as it gets, and you don't get a do-over.
Anyway kids, don't do yoga, because if you become physically flexible, you can't remain morally inflexible, or something like that. But the Cow Face, or the One-Legged King Pigeon aren't the only threats facing today's youth:
Reading JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books is no less dangerous, said the 86-year-old priest, who is the honorary president for life of the International Association of Exorcists, which he founded in 1990, and whose favourite film is the 1973 horror classic, The Exorcist.I admit it -- I'm delighted by the thought that these elderly exorcists are so hardcore that they'd get drunk and boo Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone off the screen because the kids don't projectile vomit and masturbate with religious relics enough.
The Harry Potter books, which have sold millions of copies worldwide, “seem innocuous” but in fact encourage children to believe in black magic and wizardry, Father Amorth said.Suddenly, the old priest whacked a passing Denny's waitress with his crucifix because "her knees were making an unholy crackling sound that probably means they're filled with demons, or arthritis," then Father Amorth rose from his booth and shouted, "The Power of Christ compels you to honor my coffee coupon!"
“Practising yoga is Satanic, it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter,” he told a film festival in Umbria this week, where he was invited to introduce The Rite, a film about exorcism starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as a Jesuit priest.Meanwhile, as the audience snickered and reached for their coats, the festival director wrenched a crozier from the hands of a nearby bishop and attempted to hook Father Amorth off the stage like a poorly received Vaudevillian.
“In Harry Potter the Devil acts in a crafty and covert manner, under the guise of extraordinary powers, magic spells and curses,” said the priest, who in 1986 was appointed the chief exorcist for the Diocese of Rome.Well Father, the curses are mostly used by evil characters in the books and movies, but as for the "extraordinary powers" and "magic spells," don't you claim to have the rather extraordinary power to evict demonic squatters, and perform the alchemical feat of turning bread into human flesh and wine into blood? I mean, isn't it possible that there's just a wee bit of professional jealousy involved in your criticism, if only because transfiguration spells are so much more crowd pleasing than transubstantiation?
“Satan is always hidden and what he most wants is for us not to believe in his existence."I don't know who Satan's with, but he's getting seriously crappy PR advice. He should talk to Platform Media Group, or Qorvis Communications.
"He studies every one of us and our tendencies towards good and evil, and then he offers temptations.”Father Amorth himself was nearly led astray by the sprightly tempo of "Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)".
Science was incapable of explaining evil, said Father Amorth, who has written two books on his experiences as an exorcist. “It’s not worth a jot."Science also lacks any precise scale for measuring Jackassery, so you can see why Father is skeptical. Also he believes that whole Galileo thing should be treated as a Cold Case and reopened.
"The scientist simply explores what God has already created.” His views may seem extreme, but in fact reflect previous warnings by Pope Benedict XVI, when as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger he was the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s enforcer of doctrinal orthodoxy.So while the Vatican's former chief exorcist says that Science is a lot of crap, it's not really that extreme a view when you remember that it's shared by the guy who used to head up the Inquisition.
In 1999, six years before he succeeded John Paul II as Pope, he issued a document which warned Roman Catholics of the dangers of yoga, Zen, transcendental meditation and other 'eastern’ practises.So just to review: According to Cardinal Ratzinger, widespread child molestation in the Church? Not a problem. Fitness classes at the Y? The death of Christendom.
They could “degenerate into a cult of the body” that debases Christian prayer, the document said.Bodies, like children, should be seen and not heard. Especially not in the presence of a District Attorney.
Yoga poses could create a feeling of well-being in the body but it was erroneous to confuse that with “the authentic consolations of the Holy Spirit,” the document said.
But that's true with any form of exercise, really. For instance, Jim Fixx was struck dead because his "runner's high" was helping him to achieve a more personal relationship with Ba'al.
Father Amorth has previously said that people who are possessed by Satan vomit shards of glass and pieces of iron and have such superhuman strength that even children have to be held down by up to four people. He has also claimed that the sex abuse scandals which have engulfed the Catholic Church in the US, Ireland, Germany and other countries was proof that the Anti-Christ is waging a war against the Holy See.Science, however, has missed, or failed to explain all these phenomena, thus proving just how jotless it is.