Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Catholic Church response to irrational thinking

This isn't a joke, though it's certainly funny enough. But it's actually true:
Giuseppe Ferrari, from GRIS, a Catholic research group that organised the conference, said there was an ever growing need for priests to be trained to perform exorcisms because of the increasing number of lay people tempted to dabble in black magic, paganism and the occult.

“We live in a disenchanted society, a secularised world that thought it was being emancipated, but where religion is being thrown out, the window is being opened to superstition and irrationality,” said Mr Ferrari. ...

About 250 priests were trained as exorcists in Italy, but many more were needed, the conference organisers claimed.

And lest you think that Pope Fluffy,... er, Francis, actually plans to change the church:
Pope Francis has frequently alluded to the Devil in his homilies and addresses since being elected to succeed Benedict XVI last March.

In a homily this week, he said that the Devil was behind the persecution of early Christian martyrs, who were murdered for their faith. The “struggle between God and the Devil” was constant and ongoing, he said.

Maybe the Pope should check out The Myth of Persecution by Candida Moss. The stories of the early Christian martyrs were very popular in the Catholic Church - and still are, for some people. But for the most part, they're just stories - much like the rest of their religion.

Either way, people can persecute other people just fine without supernatural help - as the Catholic Church itself has demonstrated for centuries. There's absolutely no reason to postulate a magic man who's in some kind of "struggle" with another magic man.

This is very primitive thinking. The Catholic Church has done its best to polish the turd, to make it seem fit for the 21st Century, but there's only so much you can do to a turd. The only reason Pope Francis himself believes it is because he was raised from infancy to believe it.

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