13 November 2010

Is There An Exorcist In The House?

I read in the Billings Gazette this morning that the Associated Press (AP) reported on a two-day conference on exorcism, just finishing up, sponsored by US Roman Catholic bishops, just before their fall meeting which starts in Baltimore this coming Monday. Somewhat surprisingly, the AP keeps a straight face as it reports the decline of those priests with "enough training and knowledge to perform an exorcism . . . (and) to avoid the perception that exorcism is magic or superstition." Because there are so few priests capable or willing to do exorcisms the few that do are kept very busy.

Perhaps thinking that their readers may not be all that familiar with the New Testament, the AP mentions several examples of Jesus casting out evil spirits from people, and that each member of the Church at baptism undergoes a minor exorcism. They also mention that Pope John Paul II performed an exorcism at the Vatican on a woman brought in "because she was writhing and screaming, in what Cardinal Dziwisz, the Pope's private secretary, was a case of possession by the devil." This last quote was as close to skepticism as the article got, a minor miracle in itself.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, was one of the speakers at the conference and said this: "For the longest time, we in the United States may not have been as much attuned to some of the spiritual aspects of evil because we have become so much attached to what would be either physical or psychological explanation for certain phenomena. We may have forgotten that there is a spiritual dimension to people."

According to our friends at Wikipedia, "demonic possession is not a valid psychiatric or medical diagnosis," at least according to the bible of psychiatry, the DSM-IV, or the ICD-10. Psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled and People of the Lie, "in an effort to disprove demonic possession, claimed to have conducted two exorcisms himself. He attempted but failed to persuade the psychiatric community to add the definition of Evil to the DSM-IV. And then in his later years he really got into trouble with the High Poobahs of Psychiatry "when he was accused of attempting to persuade his patients to accept Christianity."

These later adventures are chronicled in his last book, published in 2005 by Free Press, Glimpses of the Devil: A Psychiatrist's Personal Accounts of Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption.

No comments:

Downtown Billings in the SummerTime

Downtown Billings in the SummerTime
At The BrewPub on Broadway

Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix in the Winter Time

Good Cheese Here

Good Cheese Here
Vermont Cheddar & Minnesota Blue

TAKE TIME FOR PARADISE

TAKE TIME FOR PARADISE
Dehler Park, Billings MT, July 2008 This is what Bart Giamatti recommends for good mental health.

Me and Joan

Me and Joan
Early elderly and middle middle age: We May Know Something You Don't

Mrs America

Mrs America
Fortunately these girls had a good-looking mother

Rimrocks @ Billings MT

Rimrocks @ Billings MT
“In beholding old stones we may feel our anxieties about our achievements–and lack of them–slacken . . . Vast landscapes [and seascapes] can have an anxiety–reducing effect similar to ruins, for they are the representatives of infinite space, as ruins are the representatives of infinite time, against which our weak, short-lived bodies seem no less inconsequential than those of moths or spiders.”—Alain de Botton in Status Anxiety

Easter Sunday at St Patrick's Co-Cathedral

Easter Sunday at St Patrick's Co-Cathedral
12 April 2009

Pleasant Hillside at Hustisford, AKA The Grassy Knoll for you conspiracy buffs

Pleasant Hillside at Hustisford, AKA The Grassy Knoll for you conspiracy buffs
A Lot of Muellers Are Buried Here