Wow, I thought Cardinal George Pell was thick…but his second-in-command, Bishop Porteous, sounds like he could be even crazier. They’re hiring an exorcist for Australia, and he’s full of ominous warnings about evil things.
The appointment of a new exorcist by Sydney’s Catholic Church precedes a warning by a senior clergyman that generation Y risks a dangerous fascination with the occult fuelled by the Twilight and Harry Potter series.
Julian Porteous, the auxiliary bishop of Sydney, warns that pursuing such ”alternative” relaxation techniques as yoga, reiki massages and tai chi may encourage experimentation with ”deep and dark spiritual ideas and traditions”.
Twilight isn’t magic — it’s just badly written and mindless. Those spritiual ideas aren’t “deep and dark”, they’re just stupid. And I put exorcism in the same category, as a ridiculous, ignorant practice based on rank superstition. We gain nothing by replacing reiki massages and sparkly vampires with old geezers waving censers and chanting at demons.
And Porteous has been doing just that.
Exorcism is no fantasy according to the church, with the Sydney archdiocese last month appointing an as-yet unnamed priest, suitably ”endowed with piety, knowledge, prudence and integrity of life” to conduct exorcisms, as required by Catholic canon law.
In Rome, the Vatican is preparing its first official English translation of the rite of exorcism, which was promulgated in 1614 and reissued in 1999. Its chief exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth, claimed this month to have carried out 70,000 exorcisms. Bishop Porteous – who has stood in as exorcist for the Sydney archdiocese over the past five years – warns that yoga, reiki massages and tai chi can lead to people being in the grip of ”demonic forces”.
These people are just nuts.