The link above will take you to a USA Today article that asserts the Catholic Church has to recruit and train new exorcists, because they are running short. Every once in awhile, when I read something like that, I have to peek at the calendar to make sure it doesn't say April 1st. How many times have you heard "Truth is stranger than fiction."? Well, in this case, it's dead on.
From the article;
The two-day training, which ends Saturday in Baltimore, is to outline the scriptural basis of evil, instruct clergy on evaluating whether a person is truly possessed, and review the prayers and rituals that comprise an exorcism.
Now, I could be wrong, but wouldn't it be much better to send a person who MIGHT be possessed to a psychiatrist? I've read up on this a little bit and found some interesting tidbits, like a couple of priests in Bolivia were convicted of manslaughter in 1976 for performing an exorcism on and killing a 23 year old woman, who was an epileptic. Oh, by the way, her medical treatment was discontinued in favor of the exorcism. Also, in 1996, a Protestant priest trampled a woman to death (contrary to rumor, this priest was not a horse) during a four hour exorcism. He was sentenced to prison, where I'm sure he had ample opportunity to cast out all sorts of demons. But, Father Gabriele Amorth of Rome thinks that when in doubt, a good old fashioned, hell raising, demon conjuring exorcism can't hurt. Father Amorth said "an unnecessary exorcism never hurt anyone". Guess he isn't as good with Google as I am.
So, there are 110 priests and bishops attending this conference in Baltimore. That, along with the article would really lead one to believe that we must be in the midst of a crisis. Possessions must be taking place everywhere, right? I just gotta think that some dude in a weird hat was watching Sesame Street, flipped the channel and heard about lots of repossessions going on. Not well tuned into society at large, this person didn't realize the newscast was about the housing market. So, after he gets finished with his business, he closes the children's underwear catalog, and calls Rome to tell his Popeness that demons are running amok and the world needs more exorcists! And so, here we are, in 2010 training exorcists. Instead of using money, for....ummm...let's see...I don't know....maybe helping the homeless or starving children....they use their tax free, public donations to hold exorcism classes. Sorry.....just had to take a glance at the calendar again.
Are we really supposed to take this seriously? Surely USA Today put this story up to make light of the conference, right? For my money, I'd rather not consider the Catholic Church, the Vatican, or his Popery as jokes. Child rape, and a horrible policy on condom use and AIDS really don't make me think of these people as a bunch of kooks, who have been watching too much late night TV, they make me think they are dangerous to society.
My name is Satan and I approve of this message.