Pope Benedict XVI is garnering much praise on his way out of office (but not out of the Vatican), including from the “world’s leading exorcist” (read: world’s leading abuser of people who need genuine psychological help). The Telegraph has the story:
Father Gabriele Amorth, the founder and head of the International Association of Exorcists, said the German pontiff had “done many things for exorcists” during his eight-year papacy, which will come to an end on Feb 28.
He said Benedict, regarded as a staunch conservative during his time in office, had “allowed exorcists to administer the sacrament of exorcism not only to people who are suffering from demonic possession, but also those who suffer other evil disorders, such as diabolical infestations.”
Fr Amorth, the Catholic Church’s best known exorcist, will be a special guest on Friday on a television programme to commemorate Benedict’s papacy.
The programme, to be broadcast on a religious satellite channel, will be called: “Joseph Ratzinger and the Devil – the history of a pontificate and the battle against evil”.
Given Benedict’s crimes, the devil could scarcely have done any better himself. And you have to laugh at stories like this:
He claimed in a book last year that Pope Benedict unwittingly performed an exorcism of two men possessed by the Devil in the very heart of the Vatican, describing how he and two assistants brought a pair of “possessed” Italian men to one of the Pope’s weekly audiences in St Peter’s Square in May 2009.
In the book, ‘The Last Exorcist – My Fight Against Satan’, he said the mere presence of the pontiff cured the men of their demonic afflictions. As the Pope approached them, the men, identified only as Marco and Giovanni, began to act strangely – they trembled and their teeth chattered.
When Benedict stepped down from his “Popemobile” the two men flung themselves to the floor.
“They banged their heads on the ground. The Swiss Guards watched them but did nothing,” he wrote. “Giovanni and Marco started to wail at the same time, they were lying on the floor, howling. They were trembling, slobbering, working themselves into a frenzy.
“The Pope watched from a distance. He raised an arm and blessed the four of them. For the possessed it was like a furious jolt – a blow to their whole bodies – to the extent that they were thrown three metres backwards. They stopped howling but they cried uncontrollably.”
Fr Amorth, who claims to have conducted thousands of exorcisms, wrote: “It is no mystery that the Pope’s acts and words can enrage Satan…that simply the presence of the Pope can sooth and in some way help the possessed in their fight against the one who possesses them.”
Even the Vatican denied that nonsense. But this will, I predict, become “evidence” of miracles when the church decides to make Ratzinger into a saint in 10 or 20 years.