Gabriele Amorth is a priest and “expert exorcist”. He’s such an expert that he founded the International Association of Exorcists in 1990. Think Ghostbusters, but without being able to see any ghosts and without any technology to deal with the ghosts you can’t see.
He thinks the demand for exorcisms is on the rise.
Father Gabriele Amorth, who claims to have carried out 160,000 exorcisms himself, says he was prompted to make the request after witnessing what he insists was the Pope carrying one out in St Peter’s Square earlier this month.
160,000? That’s quite a lot. Especially when you consider recent numbers. In March, 2010 Amorth claimed to have performed 70,000 exorcisms. Demons everywhere! It’s been about 1,156 days since then, and the number has already gone up to 160,00 exorcisms. That’s an average of 77.85 exorcisms every day since March 2010, or 3.2 exorcisms every hour assuming he has never slept or taken a day off. One can only wonder when he eats or visits the little boys room.
So Amorth, who is not at all full of shit, thinks other people should get to perform exorcisms (because he’s been holding it for three years now…no time to go with all these demons running around!). Why? He saw the pope perform an unintentional exorcism:
The boy, who was accompanied by a priest, appeared to convulse, with his mouth dropping wide open before exhaling deeply. (Scroll down for video.)
The Vatican played down reports Francis had applied the religious practice of evicting demons, with a spokesman claiming the Pope “didn’t intend to perform any exorcism.
This exorcism was caught on tape. So, take a minute, collect yourself, grab a towel in case you pee your pants, and get ready to be amazed.
Clearly, there is no other viable explanation (like that this guy was a Catholic after a mass he’d just attended being excited that the pope was praying over him) other than that the man in the wheelchair was possessed by demons which were inadvertently driven out through the use of magic words.
Hey look! Here’s confirmed (and admitted) con man Peter Popoff performing exorcisms! Maybe he can take some of the pressure off the Catholic Church. Oh, what’s that? He’s not really performing exorcisms even though the reactions from the people they’re touching on the forehead are virtually identical? Oh…it has to be a high-ranking Catholic official doing the touching and saying the Catholic Church’s brand of magic words…otherwise it’s just pretend. Got it.
I’m gonna go with “nothing”. Not a god damned thing. That the man is confined to a wheelchair seems to be a much more pressing (and tangible) issue than demonic possession. You’d think, as long as god was dispensing the ability to cure maladies, he’d also imbue priests with the ability to cure cancer or at least the common cold. But nope, they only get the power to drive out invisible demons which can only be seen by the people
furnishing the emperor with new clothes on the exorcism squad. This is why mortal doctors equipped only with human knowledge, who cure far more evident maladies as well as a much greater variety of them, are infinitely more impressive than exorcists who have supposedly been given divine power by god.
Or how about this: if god wants demons out of people, and he’s so damn powerful, why not snap his fingers and exorcise the demons himself? Why let some people live with demonic possession? Clearly god is willing to intervene by creating a ritual for high-ranking Catholics to do that will expunge the demons. If he was all wise, why not intervene more efficiently?
Anyway, Amorth insists the dropping of the man’s jaw was explicable only if what took place was an exorcism, and he wants the Vatican to acknowledge it, because this, this will convince atheists that the devil is real.
But in an interview with The Sunday Times, Amorth remains adamant an exorcism was carried out and appears to suggest the ritual will help balance the growth of atheism.
He said: “The Pope’s exorcism is a splendid sign because one of the main causes of today’s atheism is that people don’t believe in the Devil any more. But Jesus said: ‘Who is not with me is with Satan.’ If you don’t believe in Satan, Satan has got you in his pocket.
Not believing in the devil isn’t the cause of atheism, it’s the definition. That’s like saying being in shape is the leading cause of athleticism.
And the Vatican declaring that this was an exorcism will do as much for convincing atheists that the devil is real as all of Amorth’s 160,000 exorcisms, which really took place. Really.
Look, we’re not like Catholics: we don’t take whatever the Vatican says as truth. Until you give us evidence that demons are real or that Amorth and the pope are doing anything other than putting their hands on people and mumbling (which, honestly, isn’t terribly impressive), we will regard this process as a childish endeavor with one main difference: a child at least has the maturity to know when it’s pretending.