I have not written anything for so long because of lack of anything to say, but yesterday I read this article and I was so flabbergasted and amused that I just had to share. (The link above may not work as you have to register to latimes.com to access articles.)
The article is about 80 year old, Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican's top exorcist, who "does battle with Satan." Now while this man believes completely in what he does and I admire that in his own way he is trying to banish evil in the world, the things described in this article are to me, so absurd that I laughed myself silly at lunch.
Ahem, for example, "A confused world engulfed in tragedy and chaos is turning increasingly to black magic, the occult and fortune-telling, he said, proof that the devil and his handmaidens are having a field day." (Giggle! Freaking Handmadiens!)
Apparently there is a huge percentage of people doing evil spells. Where are these people? Where can I find them? Are they accurately depicted in the horrible movie The Order?Or are they merely learning black magic from the Harry Potter books? (FROM THE ARTICLE: "Amorth sees the devil in many places: A couple of years ago he fought to ban publication of the Harry Potter books because, he said, they teach sorcery to children.")
Why didn't I learn sorcery from Harry Potter? Was I not paying attention? I mean is it possible to go to London, find Diagon Alley, buy a wand and then follow Harry along in his classes an learn magic? HOW COULD I HAVE MISSED THAT?! I want in damnit!
I know that some people take possession very seriously, but how can they expect anyone else to? One example from the article of a woman who apparently among other things, vomited needles while possessed. "Lucia, the patient, believes that her troubles started when an enemy a man who wanted her as a lover but whom she spurned cast an evil spell on her. She fell ill, experienced terrible pains, lost weight."
I guess the evil eye is still being used in full force. Maybe we should all be walking around making the sign against it in case we dump somebody. The whole thing is ridiculous.
I'd be curious as to how many of Father Amorth's exorcisms are performed in Italy and how many are elsewhere. Even the article implies that this phenomenon is more prevalent there. "And in Italy, superstition remains a powerful force. An estimated 10 million Italians 17% of the population use the services of fortune-tellers, faith healers and magicians who cast evil spells, according to a 2002 study by the Eurispes research institute. They pay nearly $6 billion a year to about 22,000 purveyors of such wizardry."
$6 BILLION DOLLARS! Does anyone else find that outrageous? Maybe I'm naive. Maybe American's spend this much on fortune-tellers, psychics and healers, but it seems extraodinary for a place where the Roman Catholic Church is centered. Or then again maybe not. There are already so many myths and lies within the church why not go outside it for something that will effect your everyday life.
I hope most of you will find the amusement that I did in article. As for the people who believe they are possessed my heart goes out to them as most of them probably have a serious mental disorder. As to the small percentage of them that perhaps are truly possessed, well they have Father Amorth on their side. "I've never been afraid of the devil," Amorth said. "In fact, I can say he is often scared of me."Posted by nuala at May 01, 2004 06:52 PM