Fighting the War… No, the Other One December 29, 2007

Fighting the War… No, the Other One

Satanists, beware.

The Pope is coming after you.

And he looks like he means business:


I can’t believe this is a real headline: Pope’s exorcist squads will wage war on Satan.

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.

Stop. Now. Please.

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.”

Who requests that? Do you request that? I’m mad at you.

At least it can’t get any dumber, right?

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


I can’t understand why people still listen to the Pope, much less call him infallible.

***Update***: The Vatican denies the expansion… but they still believe in exorcisms and the devil and all that jazz… so it’s not that much better. (Thanks to Rob for pointing this out!)

(Thanks to Grazatt for the link!)

[tags]atheist, atheism, Catholic, religion, demon, Satan[/tags]

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Ben

    Considering how many times exorcists end up killing someone, this article makes me want to vomit.

  • grazatt

    Is it just me or does the pope sort of look like a drag-queen troll in that pic?

  • Oh, that wacky pope. I’m trying to think of any way that this could be forced to make sense. Does a visibly pro-exorcism policy appeal to some core demographic that they’re trying to reinforce? Are they trying to attract the goth market by showing them that the Catholic church thinks occultism is real, too? Or maybe they’re just trying to grab headlines.

    Then, of course, there’s the scariest option: a powerful organization with a large following and lots of resources seriously believes that hoof-and-horn demons exist and possess people on a regular basis, and they’re out to put a stop to it.


  • Rob
  • Mriana

    Is it just me or do his eyes look evil? He seems to me that he has an evil look about him. Sort of creeps me out. I wonder how many kids he’s molested?

    Sorry, but there is just something about his eyes that repels me. 🙁

  • grazatt

    from Rob’s link The Vatican is denying reports it plans to install more exorcists around the world so possessed people can get help quickly.

    “Pope Benedict XVI has no intention of ordering local bishops to bring in garrisons of exorcists to fight demonic possession,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters in Rome Friday.
    So what is the real story? Was the first report false, or are they spin doctoring things as damage control?

  • Robert

    I agree with Mriana – he does look creepy. The staff with the dead corpse hanging from it really finishes the look. Maybe the devil has already won and big hat just hides his horns?

  • Ben

    I think the Exorcist in Chief made representations about the Pope’s plans that were a surprise to the pope.

  • grazatt

    So it was more his goals and desires than the pope’s? Do you think he will be disciplined for it?

  • Robert said:

    The staff with the dead corpse hanging from it really finishes the look

    I watched a documentary on the pope and his accessories a few months ago and that staff really stood out for me. Yes, crucifixes are always kind of creepy, but it’s still a beautiful work of art. One thing the Catholic church has always been good at it is the dramatic, and that staff is a stunning piece of work.

  • Ben

    So it was more his goals and desires than the pope’s? Do you think he will be disciplined for it?

    Dunno, I’m speculating.

  • Mriana

    Robert said,

    December 30, 2007 at 12:25 am

    I agree with Mriana – he does look creepy. The staff with the dead corpse hanging from it really finishes the look. Maybe the devil has already won and big hat just hides his horns?

    I am so glad I am not the only one who is creeped out by him.

  • Richard Wade

    Sounds like the “war” is mostly a figment of the imagination of 82 year-old Father Gabriele Amorth, the “Vatican Exorcist in Chief.” Maybe he felt neglected during all the years under Pope John Paul II. What does he do all day to draw his paycheck, anyway?

    Imagine him creeping arthritically up and down the office halls of the Vatican, his crucifix and aspergillum in hand, making a pest of himself in other departments:

    Father Gianini: “Ahh! Oh it’s you, Father Amorth, you startled me! I’ve asked you please don’t sneak up on me like that.”

    Father Amorth: (flicking generous amounts of holy water on Father Gianini’s desk and computer) “I sense a demonic presence in this office, young Gianini. You must be very careful, lest The Beast take root here.”

    Father Gianini: “Uh, yeah, Father, I’ll be real careful. Oh please don’t get that holy water all over my keyboard. I had to have it replaced the last time you were in here.”

    Father Amorth: “A small price to pay for keeping Satan at bay, young man, I suspect your new-fangled computer is a very likely place to make his home. (whispering) It’s a work of the devil, you know.” (flick flick)

    Father Gianini: “Uh, right. Listen Father, why don’t you go down to Interfatih Liaisons and give them the once-over? I’m sure they have lots of need for some exorcising or whatever, what with all the uh, heathens they have to deal with.”

    Father Amorth: “Good idea, young Gianini.” (leaves the office)

    Father Gianini: “Hello maintenance? Gianini here. Can you bring up some paper towels? And then you’d better head over to Interfaith Liaisons. Father Amorth is on the warpath again.”

  • buttle

    i feel the need to contribute the little i know.

    “What does he do all day to draw his paycheck, anyway?”

    exorcisms. no, really. he claimed in several other interviews to have performed some 40 THOUSANDS exorcisms in his life. if you do the math that comes out to something like 10 exorcism per day. what kind of exorcism can you perform in half an hour? and how can you go to so much places in a single day? easy, he performs many of his exorcisms BY PHONE. i’m not joking. but he doesn’t limit himself to exorcism on people, he performs exorcism on BUILDINGS too. for example he puts salt on the four corners of a room to perform an “exorcism” on the room, so the devil will stay out of there… but believe me, this is NOTHING. i have seen this totally crazy old man on the italian national tv (televangelism is pretty bad in the usa, but you should never underestimate italy, i mean, WE made up this stuff…) claiming without any problem that during exorcisms he sometimes puts his hand in front of the mouth of the “possessed”, and there SEVERAL INCHES LONG NAILS suddenly materialize, so he took them away from the “possessed” and fills a dish with them. yes, this is beyond madness, it’s probably lies applied to madness, just to reach their mad goal.

    “Maybe he felt neglected during all the years under Pope John Paul II.”

    no. this guy was put in his place (he is really at the head of the vatican exorcists) by the former pope, more the 2 decades ago, just when this “back to our medieval roots, ah, good times…” movement started. he was surely not neglected, but probably supported. maybe he was neglected before that point, but john paul II, despite his great popularity in the media, was as “medieval” as this pope. the only difference between them is that this one doesn’t act as good on tv…

    “Sounds like the “war” is mostly a figment of the imagination of 82 year-old Father Gabriele Amorth”

    i’m used to listen half truths from the vatican press room, it is still possible that several madmans in rome are really doing something similar to that, and that several (secret) “suggestions” were given to the bishops, directed at the most credulous part of the believers, so they won’t go to astrologers or “occultists” outside of the catholic church, but they neglect it in the public discussion because it would be too crazy to accept for the majority of the population. for a possible example look here:
    this guy claims that the verona diocese reported on an official paper that the bishop added 10 exorcists for the period 2007-2012.
    i can’t check this fact, so take this with a grain of salt.

  • Richard Wade

    Thanks buttle, for the information. If I had known about the salt I would have included Amorth sprinkling it on Gianini’s keyboard as well. Reality is funnier than fiction. If Amorth can ever graduate to exorcisms by email he could reach most of the world in a couple of days. It could be called e-exorcism. Maybe he could rid me of whatever is bedeviling my printer.

    This stuff is so creepy that it makes the Pope’s Doctor Hypnotica look in his eyes seem mild by comparison.

    “Lies applied to madness.” Great phrase. I’ll definitely use it.

  • Bad

    The fact that people with mental illnesses were for so long treated as pariahs always under suspicion of demonic possession and other such things is a great human tragedy. And like many such tragedies, it’s one the modern world is waking up from.

    And yet there are some people who still pine for the dark ages, or bemoan modern secular society?

    I don’t get it. I really, really, don’t get it.

  • This makes my head spin.

  • Richard Wade

    ROFL!! Excellent, Epistaxis. Good one!

  • J Sveda

    Oh, my. I was too naive to think exorcism is a history. Does it any good? Last time I saw exorcist at work was some video on YouTube… It was kinda creepy.

    Buttle: my jaw dropped immediately upon reading about buildings being exorcised… I imagined that putting things in room/dwelling is limited to primitive religions… Unbelievable… It’s like the belief that demons/vampires are afraid of holy water or cross. Even if they existed, I think only thing you could fight it is strong will (same thing that helps with psychic disorders).

    I’m not yet sure about mystic / occult things. most of my nearest relatives are quite keen on spititual/mystic things. As my worldview is materialistic/empirical I am usually skeptic, maybe with exception of psychosomatic illnesses, which are quite credible I think.

  • stogoe

    That picture needs a caption:

    “Now, young blasphemer, you will die.”

  • Lauren

    I think he’s evil and I’m a Christian. 🙂 The catholic church isn’t right, they don’t follow the bible they follow their own traditions. Look up how many Christians the pope’s have murdered throughout history, that will shock you even more.

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