Archive for the 'Catholic' Category

Catholic priests who secretly practice Satanic rites?

March 3, 2011

In a comment on my previous post, Preliminary response to Michael Cuneo on exorcism, Raul Gil requested a separate thread to respond to my page about the murder case of Father Gerald Robinson in Toledo, Ohio (U.S.A.) on my Against Satanic Panics site. So here it is.

Raul, thanks for respecting the topicality of the original comment thread.

In particular, Raul wanted to discuss allegations about Catholic priests who secretly practice Satanic rites.

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Preliminary response to Michael Cuneo on exorcism

February 12, 2011

I recently ordered a copy of American Exorcism: Expelling Demons in the Land of Plenty by Michael Cuneo, who teaches anthropology and sociology at Fordham University in the Bronx, here in New York City. According to various reviews (listed near the bottom of this post), Cuneo’s book is an in-depth study, from an open-mindedly skeptical point of view, of exorcism as practiced by both Catholics and Protestants here in the U.S.A.

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The Catholic exorcism trend and Italy’s Satanic panic

February 9, 2011

The recent movie The Rite is loosely based on a (supposedly) nonfiction book that was published two years ago, The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio. The book is about an American priest who spent his sabbatical year in Italy training to be an exorcist.

As Laura Miller explains in “Eat your saints, purge your demons,” Salon, March 27, 2009:

Father Gary Thomas, Baglio’s trainee exorcist, half fell into the job; he volunteered when, in 2004, the Vatican asked every Catholic bishop to appoint an official exorcist to his diocese. This startling development can be explained by the fact that for the past decade Italy has been gripped by an intermittent satanic ritual abuse panic similar to the hysteria that swept through the U.S. in the 1980s.

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Reply to “Axis Sallyboy X”

May 18, 2010

On another blog of mine, someone identified as “Axis Sallyboy X” posted a fervent comment on my post announcing the Church of Azazel’s statement against violent crime and vandalism. Unfortunately, the comment was full of expletives plus some implied threats, which are not in my interests to allow, as they are likely a terms-of-service violation.

So I’ve deleted the comment. Below is an edited version of the comment, followed by my reply:

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The Catholic Church’s troubles in Brazil

May 9, 2007

I just now came across the following:

This article said some things I expected, such as the following:

Latin America is still predominantly Catholic, but not like it used to be. In Brazil, for example, as evangelical Pentecostalism has spread, the country’s population has gone from being 89 percent Catholic in 1980 to about 64 percent today, according to a survey released this week by the Brazilian polling firm DataFolha.

But there were also some surprises (to me, anyway). In particular:

Young people have shown a greater reluctance to join the clergy, resulting in a priest shortage that is 10 times more severe regionwide than it is in North America or Europe.

“There is a trend here — even among priests — that people should be more free to follow their own conscience, and there’s a growing distance between most Catholics and the church’s hierarchy,” said the Rev. Luiz Roberto Benedetti, a Catholic priest who is a professor of social science at the Catholic University of Campinas, near Sao Paulo. “It’s a trend that goes in the complete opposite direction of the message that the pope wants to send.”

Very interesting, and quite contrary to Philip Jenkins’s characterization of the Catholicism of the southern hemisphere, in general, as a hotbed of Catholic traditionalism and love of hierarchy. (See The Next Christianity by Philip Jenkins, originally published in The Atlantic, Volume 290, No. 3, October, 2002, about the recent explosive growth of the more fanatical forms of Christianity in non-Western countries.)

I would be interested to hear from anyone who can give me solidly sourced information about religious trends in Latin America.

(For more about religious trends in general, see the many articles listed on my page about The growing number of Christians of kinds which inherently fear demons, Satanists, witches, occultists, Pagans, and atheists.)