Catholic Church Still Champions Medieval Mentality
Exorcist Beliefs Plague Church
by HarryUSA (e-mail: [Updated April 24th, 2005]

      The news media in the Chicago area released a story about the hiring of an "exorcist" by the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago headed by Cardinal Francis George on Sept. 29, 1999. The "Exorcist" said he was hired in an effort to "heal those afflicted by the Evil One." The newly hired "Exorcist" did not appear in public because he stated that he is working with a number of health care professionals in the Chicago area. About a dozen people in this area have sought his "help." So far, according to this man, no Exorcisms have been performed in Chicago. However, he has reportedly performed nine of these centuries old rituals while stationed in Rome.

      The Exorcism ritual is a session of prayer believed by some to cast "the Devil" out from people who are suffering from mental illness. The belief that evil spirits could inhabit people goes back thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Romans hired priests that were supposed to be able to rid someone of their evil spirits. These practices were implemented long before mental illness was understood. Primitive cultures often accredited strange psychological symptoms with demonic possession. Even in our modern era, there are superstitious people who believe that people thrash around on the floor because of the work of pointy-headed evil spirits, and not a medical condition called epilepsy.

“I wonder if I could make a buck by dressing up as a witch doctor and curing people of their demons by waving a large snake over my head while dancing around the room chanting, 'Booga booga!'”

      It is understandable why the Romans believed in spirits, modern science had not taken root there and many Roman citizens did not know how to read. The Roman population by our standards was uneducated, but in the modern scientific world that we live in, considering how much has been discovered about the brain in the last 50 years, there are no excuses for a belief in such unsubstantiated nonsense. Since the Catholic Church owns many hospitals packed with medical professionals, the Catholics, of all people, should know better than to promote a thousand-year-old belief that was practiced by a primitive culture.

      The Catholics are made up into two groups of conflicting ideologies. The Roman Catholic Church owns hospitals to cure disease, on the other hand, they hire exorcists to chase away coal covered devils from the bodies of the possessed. It is time for the Catholics to have a very long meeting and ask themselves where they really stand in the grand scheme of things. They need to ask themselves, "Are we a bunch of holy water waving knuckleheads, or a group of professionals practicing professional protocols?"

      I would like to know what health care "professionals" would lower themselves by working with a devil-chasing priest with a vial of holy water in one hand and a shiny crucifix in the other. Perhaps this is another way the Catholics can milk more money out of the health insurance industry. Fraud could be their motivation. I wonder if I could make a buck by dressing up as a witch doctor and curing people of their demons by waving a large snake over my head while dancing around the room chanting, "Booga booga!" Would Blue Cross and Blue Shield line my pockets for my services? Would I qualify for a government grant? Could I teach my "practice" of snake waving at an accredited University?

Pope John Paul Performs Exorcism
      Recently the head of the Catholic Church performed an exorcism. Pope John Paul II, tried this ancient practice on a nineteen-year-old Italian girl in a packed St. Peters Square. The girl reportedly insulted the Pope and demonstrated "Super-Human" strength. This act by the leader of the Catholic Church only demonstrates how far up the chain of command this practice goes and how important exorcism is to the Catholics. According to a Chicago Sun-Times article, in 1990 there were zero exorcisms in New York, and over 300 in the decade that followed.

      Could it be that the Catholic Church is going backwards in its level of professionalism? Could the old Dark Age Mentality be taking over? If I was a Catholic, I would certainly be alarmed if the leader of my organization was chasing devils out of a nineteen-year-old girl in Italy. Although the Catholics have the right to believe in casting out devils that the American Medical Association does not recognize, could the Catholics be crossing a legal line if health care dollars are given to an Exorcist to perform a procedure that is not recognized by any professional medical establishment? Could an Exorcist be guilty of practicing medicine without a license if he attempts to cure a patient suffering from a mental illness? Could this act be considered criminal? Could this be cause for a lawsuit? I am going to look into this matter and when I get more information I will post it here.

      It is time a professional public start smacking around organizations that refuse to adhere to professional standards. The media seems to have given the Catholics a pass on this issue. I have not heard one commentary picking on the Catholic Church for practicing such a silly technique. Instead, the mass media, just reported the Catholic Churches actions as a matter of fact with no interview from an opposing viewpoint. The articles were totally slanted towards the legitimacy of the Catholics practice of exorcism.

“In 2000 years, we seem not to fully understand the importance of using science to solve problems and not superstition.”

      However, if Charlton Heston was in town to talk about gun ownership, you can bet your last buck they would quote members of the gun control movement and get their opinions in the article to "balance" or argue against the NRA point of view. The Sun-Times Article on Catholic Exorcism did not post one opposing viewpoint against exorcism.

      Would it have been too hard for the Chicago Sun-Times to call up a shrink and ask what he/she thought of exorcism as a method to cure mental illness? Are local papers in Chicago just Public Relations wagons for the Chicago Catholic Church?

      While this Catholic PR was coming from the Chicago Media, Warner Brothers re-released a 70's cult classic called "The Exorcist," starring Linda Blair and Max Von Sydow. The movie is about a 12 year old girl played by Linda Blair. In this movie the mythological character, "Satan" possesses her and makes her stab her vagina with a crucifix while saying, "Fuck me Jesus!"

      Was it a coincidence, or did the Catholics announce the hiring of an exorcist around the same time the movie "The Exorcist" was released? Was all this a PR stunt for the movie as well as a PR stunt to promote the superstitious practice of exorcism?

      In the grand scheme of things, the battle of science and superstition continues. You would think that with all of the college-educated journalists in Chicago we would at least see a good battle against any organization promoting exorcism. This only proves that we have not really progressed too much farther than the primitive Roman culture that preceded our "modern" world. We might have rockets that go to the moon, and twenty-four hour television, but for the most part, we are no better than the Ancient Greeks. In 2000 years, we seem not to fully understand the importance of using science to solve problems and not superstition.

Further Research

  • The Liberator: Is Religion Dangerous to your Health?
  • Exorcism: Information about Exorcisms
  • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America: Exorcism in the Orthodox Church, Exorcism
  • The Interactive Bible: Demon Possession
  • Religious Tolerance: Demonic Possession, Demonic Oppression and Exorcism
  • CNN: Vatican Issues First New Exorcism Ritual Since 1614: Rites Seeks to Bring Church up to Date with Science
  • Parascope: Esophagus Exorcism!
  • The Skeptic's Dictionary: Exorcism
  • ABCNews: Comforting the Afflicted
  • The Secular Web: Exorcism and Christian Fellowship

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