There is this weird post in the New York Post (pun not intended!), which I posted and commented below, about the US Catholic Bishops' move to recruit more priests to become...exorcists! (GASP!) No wonder the secularists are ranting!
Any theologians from Maryhill who would like to praise the NY Post article? Stupid question, I know.
The Roman Catholic Church is looking for a few good men -- to battle Satan. [isn't this one of the job descriptions of a priest of Jesus Christ?]
The church in the US has become so short of priests [I wonder why?] who know how to perform an exorcism that it began an emergency two-day meeting yesterday to teach clerics how to properly cast out demons. [Huzzah!]
A group of 56 bishops and 66 priests -- including an assistant to New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan -- have gathered in Baltimore for the Conference on the Liturgical and Pastoral Practice of Exorcism. [LITURGICAL! The magic word! Anything for the Philippines, Frs. A and G?] The mystical meeting was focused on a lot more than just dodging green vomit and stopping heads from spinning. [I don't like the sound of this.]
"Learning the liturgical rite is not difficult," said Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, archbishop of Houston, who is attending the conference. "The problem is the discernment that the exorcist needs before he would ever attempt the rite." [And if ever our bishops believe in the office of Exorcist. I know some bishops who do it out of fulfilling the Holy See's requirement. I personally know of how one bishop made up stories about his "generosity" to have the Traditional Latin Mass in his diocese but that his priests are not interested. Get this...this was before Summorum Pontificum!]
The number of US clerics who know how to do an exorcism has dropped dramatically in recent years, ever since the holy procedure became a laughingstock thanks to Linda Blair's head-spinning performance as a possessed girl in the 1973 film "The Exorcist." [Wah?! What the? Who did? What? Where in the world did he get that?]
The situation has gotten so hellacious that only five or six priests are left in the country with the knowledge to properly carry out an exorcism, the Catholic News Service reported. [Why not ask the bishops? Why not even look at the 1999 ritual, eh?]
But with numerous Catholic immigrants coming to the United States from nations where exorcisms are taken seriously, the church's handful of exorcists are being overwhelmed. [So the number of possessions rise because of the rise of Catholic immigrants? Hey, I am just reading what is written! Try substituting the words 'Catholic immigrants' with "Blacks", "Jews", "Gays and Lesbians", in a drop of hat, you'll see the devil unleash hell. There are possessions, that's for sure.]
"There's this small group of priests who say they get requests from all over the continental US," Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki told the Catholic News Service. [I am sure these priests don't get as much support from bishops who do not even believe in the devil.]
And though some non-Catholics may snicker, exorcisms are an important church rite. Pope John Paul II is said to have performed one, and the Bible talks of Jesus casting out demons. [And Bible thumping non-Catholics snicker. Of course, I am talking about the other non Roman Catholics, Doc Ben.]
"We don't think that's poetic metaphor," Paprocki said. [Hah! Good one.]
It can be hard to know who really needs an exorcism. The US church gets about 400 inquiries a year for the religious rite, but only two or three are performed, according to a book by Catholic writer Neal Lozano. [I know who needs one! He walks this way...in Intramuros!]
New York's Father Dennis McManus, an assistant to Archbishop Dolan, is expected to speak at the conference, which started yesterday and ends today. The New York archdiocese did not respond to questions about what McManus will say, but according to the Catholic News Service, he likely will be discussing how to tell if someone is possessed by a demon. [Duh! Why not just attend! It's your job as reporter to be there to cover the event. Geez.]
Before any exorcism can take place, a priest must look for the telltale signs, such as a violent reaction to holy water, super strength, aversion to the name of Jesus or Mary [which we always take in vain and which Bible thumping non-Catholics take in vain. On another note, where is the Holy Name Society?] and speaking in tongues. [And what about the charismatics?]
Also, the possibly possessed person must be checked out by a psychologist to make sure they are not mentally ill before a bishop will allow an exorcism to proceed. [Or they would rant in the cathedral just to get the attention of a psychologist. So...DOCTOR PHIL!!!!]
Once an exorcism is initiated, the priest will try to drive the demon out of the possessed person by sprinkling holy water, [Sprinkle?! Douse him! Or maybe..No! DROWN HIM IN HOLY WATER!] reciting psalms and laying on hands.
I hope the priests use the Traditional Rite of Exorcism which the great Fr. Gabriel Amorth of the Diocese of Rome uses. He and other exorcists attests to the power of the traditional rite against the demons. I know the Father Jojo Zerrudo of The Sense of the Sacred blog uses the traditional rite. He is the chef exorcist of the Diocese of Cubao.
And then we hear priest's questioning the need for exorcists. Read the wonderful rant of the great Fr. Z against a priest who rants the need to have more exorcists.
Try this experiment...
Ask around your priest, brother or nun if they went to that Catholic-dissenter-factory-school who uses the Holy Name of the Blessed Mother who they even doubt Her Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity and Assumption. Good chance that there are no diocesan seminarian studying or have studied there. So limit it within the religious orders and congregations.
Then, if it is confirmed that he or she is an alumnus/a, ask if he or she believes in Satan/Lucifer as a person, and I bet you that you'll get an answer similar to this:
"The injustice in our society, the corruption, the gender inequality are the real demons that we have to fight against. And they cannot be fought with mere prayers, blessed salt and holy water. We need to build God's Kingdom here on earth, a kingdom of love, justice and peace."
Oh yeah? And who was the dude who tempted Christ in the desert?
"Oh, Christ was hallucinating and seeing things and talking to Himself. Imagine not having food and drink for 40 days!" says the alumnus.