“Why are exorcisms on the rise?’ Blame it on Harry Potter? Pope Francis? Jesus? Article in the December 2018 The Atlantic magazine
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/12/catholic-exorcisms-on-the-rise/573943/ “American Exorcism - Priests are fielding more requests than ever for help with demonic possession, and a centuries-old practice is finding new footing in the modern world.”
quote from this article: “It may surprise some Catholics to learn just how literally the modern Church interprets Satan and his army of demons. While many people today understand the devil as a metaphor for sin, temptation, and unresolvable evil in the world, the pope consistently repudiates such allegorical readings.”
“In sermons, interviews, and occasionally in tweets, Pope Francis has declared that Satan—whom he has referred to as Beelzebub, the Seducer, and the Great Dragon—is a literal being devoted to deceiving and debasing humans. In an apostolic exhortation released in April, he wrote, “We should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea,” but rather as a “personal being who assails us.”
Further along in the article the author writes: “Most of the exorcists I interviewed said they believed that demonic possession was becoming more common—and they cited a resurgence in magic, divination, witchcraft, and attempts to communicate with the dead as a primary cause. According to Catholic teaching, engaging with the occult involves accessing parts of the spiritual realm that may be inhabited by demonic forces. “Those practices become the engine that allows the demon to come in,” Thomas said.
In recent years, journalists and academics have documented a renewed interest in magic, astrology, and witchcraft, primarily among Millennials. “The occult is a substitution for God,” Thomas said. “People want to take shortcuts, and the occult is all about power and knowledge.” One exorcist pointed to Harry Potter. The books and films “disarmed Americans from thinking that all magic is darkness,” he said. (end quotes)
All magic is darkness? Except when Jesus turns water into wine? Or casts out demons who leave the man and swarm into a herd of pigs?
Mark 5:1-20 - Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man
quote: “They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
Bible quote continued: “When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”
Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.” (end Bible quote)
Surely this story from the New Testament (Mark 5:1-20) doesn’t need any help from Harry Potter, Pope Francis or popular horror movies like ‘The Exorcist’ to establish the basis of Christian exorcism?
Two days ago on this forum, Brother Mario presented himself as a kind of exorcist:
Posted: 02 January 2019 16:26 by Brother Mario (speaking to another forum member who tries to communicate with him)
“You speak in general terms, because you live without specifics. You have not specifically received the gifts from God that would give you the knowledge that leads to understanding and then to love. “Humanity” I respect. generally speaking. But to the degree I respect malicious profoundly ignorant atheists, who seek to destroy faith in God because they believe their ignorance is actually brilliant thinking, for being human is insignificant compared to the degree these malicious profoundly ignorant atheists haven’t earned any respect whatsoever.
(Brother Mario quote continued) “For I am fighting the puppeteers, not the puppets, by cutting their strings . . . Demons specifically exist. And their puppets are gleefully doing their work for them. You do not know this because you have not been given a specific revelation of it. I both blame you and forgive you for this lack of experience. But I would certainly not respect you if you try to tell me your lack of experiencing demons means that demons do not exist and I therefore could not have seen one and fought one. Why should I respect you for making such a leap in judgment that is obviously a product of your pride, not of any learning on your part, or not from any humble honest search on your part? No. I can’t accept your general judgments and respect you for them when I know with absolute certitude they are wrong, profoundly wrong.”
(Brother Mario quote continued) “You don’t know about neither the puppeteers nor their puppets, for you are also a puppet. You are not as bad as the idiots unsmoked or GAD or Ron or Hannah or LadyJane or teuchter or Harris or Dennett or Hitchens or Dawkins, or on and on. But you are still bad when you judge profound realities wrongly and then call it being wise. For it is the puppeteer who is telling you these lies. What do you think you would see if you met these people I just listed in person? Humble beautiful people? Uniquely exciting people? Demons leave us shadows of humanity, incapable of great deeds and great loves.”
Exorcisms are on the rise because there are more demons. That’s the only rational explanation for someone like Donald Trump - he is possessed by evil spirits.
I guess is that the Religious can’t wrap their head around the fact that whilst belief in deities is declining, human well-being is objectively increasing; and that those who seem the least pious seem to be having both the most success and the most fun.
If you believe in a God that is supposed to reward your faith, then the only possible explanation for this is demonic intervention in God’s plan.