The Papist Devil, 'Ego sum Papa'A high-ranking Roman Catholic exorcist claims that the Devil is alive and well in the Vatican, and that recent scandals result from it. The (UK) Times reports on this apparent revelation (WebCite cached article):

Sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church are proof that that “the Devil is at work inside the Vatican”, according to the Holy See’s chief exorcist.

Father Gabriele Amorth, 85, who has been the Vatican’s chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as “cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon”. …

Father Amorth, who has just published Memoirs of an Exorcist, a series of interviews with the Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti, said that the attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II in 1981 had been the work of the Devil, as had an incident last Christmas when a mentally disturbed woman threw herself at Pope Benedict XVI at the start of Midnight Mass, pulling him to the ground.

Not everyone is impressed, and a Catholic priest interviewed for the story denied Fr Amorth’s claim:

Father José Antonio Fortea Cucurull, a Rome-based exorcist, said that Father Amorth had “gone well beyond the evidence” in claiming that Satan had infiltrated the Vatican corridors.

“Cardinals might be better or worse, but all have upright intentions and seek the glory of God,” he said. Some Vatican officials were more pious than others, “but from there to affirm that some cardinals are members of satanic sects is an unacceptable distance.”

I’m no fan of the Roman Catholic Church, it’s true, so the allegation that the Devil is there and is to blame for its recent problems, is one I find amusing, to say the least. That said, I also happen to be no fan of people who — on the cusp of releasing a memoir, some other book, or a movie, etc. — make some kind of eye-catching, outrageous claim or other, in order to increase sales. To say that I take Fr Amorth’s claim with a grain of salt, is putting it mildly.

Artwork credit: Medieval Woodcuts Clipart Collection.

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