Reporting, Recording and Relaying - But Always Telling It As I See It

Sunday, November 14, 2010

An Exercise in Exorcism

Bishop Paprocki, in a New York Times story about the growing requests for exorcisms, says that signs of possession by the devil include: speaking in a language a person has never learned, extraordinary shows of strength, a sudden aversion to spiritual things, severe sleeplessness, lack of appetite, cutting, scratching and biting of the skin.

Dave Meyer, blogger-hack from Pittsburgh, was quoted as saying, “I think we are going to need more priests.”


As a lapsed Catholic, I often enjoy reading about, and disagreeing with, the edicts that trickle out of the Vatican. For instance, I am against the idea of protecting pedophiles.

However, I am a huge fan of bringing back the Rite of Exorcism, and would go to Church every Sunday if they would perform one in lieu of the Sign of Peace. And apparently, this may happen sooner than later. The “closed-door” conference (priests and closed-doors – frightening) was held due to the uptick in requests for exorcisms. According to the NYT story, Father Vega believes that the influx of “Hispanic and African Catholics into the United States could cause rising demand for exorcisms since people from those cultures are more attuned to the experience of the supernatural.”

That’s a curious position, but good news for me, a fourth generation American white guy. Now I can safely chalk up sleeplessness and biting my skin to regular old anxiety and depression – both easily treated with medication, alcohol and denial .

Bishop Paprocki goes on to say that, “the ordinary work of the devil is temptation.” Ordinary? Does that mean that sometimes the devil isn’t really interested in putting his all-evil ways into his work -and instead, manipulates us earthlings (and specifically the Hispanics and Africans) by simply subjecting us to garden variety temptations like twenty-five cent wing night and Facebook? Neither of which are particularly harmful – both of which can become an addiction.

I will leave possession, exorcism and other such spiritually lofty ideas up to the Ghostbusters in Rome to deal with. But for those of you who hear me say, “Yinz are jagoffs ‘n at,” I assure you I am not speaking a language I have never learned; I’m just a cynical Catholic from Pittsburgh. Anyone for wings?

No comments: