Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Vatican and Exorcism - on O'Reilly Factor

If you are just dropping in at this hour, turn on Fox News if you have access. I happen to go to Foxnews.com to see if there was any coverage of the March for Life in DC, when I stumbled across an advertisement for Bill O'Reilly's topic tonight: The Vatican and stepped up exorcisms.

EDIT 8:37pm.

What a joke of an interview! I use to watch O'Reilly before I got serious about my faith and even back then, I got tired of the "non-interview" interviews. I wish I had gotten the professor's name (poor guy), whose specialty is in demonology. I got the impression he thought he was going to talk about one thing, then was made to look like a fool. He was blindsided.

I think the so-called "interview" lasted all of 5 minutes and it was like his whole aim was to make a mockery of Catholic belief in demons. Since it was about Vatican and Exorcisms, I thought it would be informative about Catholic understanding of demonology, but it was more like an attack on Catholic belief by badgering a theologian.

That any Christian, especially a Catholic, would doubt the existence of demons (not necessarily O'Reilly, but in general), in light of the many accounts we have in scripture, is itself baffling. Unless, that is, you are of the mindset that scripture is just a set of "stories". There are probably still professors errantly teaching, in Catholic universities and seminaries, that Adam and Eve didn't really exist, but were figurative. That in itself, puts the whole notion of Original Sin into question because how can we have Original Sin on our souls if there were no Adam and Eve? If there is no Original Sin, then there is no concupiscence, or an inclination towards the bad. Of course, everyone is without sin these days, which explains the empty confessionals and long Communion lines. Is it any wonder? It must be all those other people.

Adam and Eve did exist; Original Sin is real, and it is visible in secular culture today where people cater to concupiscence lest it hurt their precious feelings if they don't.

In fact, Bill, since you were looking for proof of demons in society, get out from behind the desk and watch the news and you will have ample evidence. If you ask me, there are far more reasons today to believe in the presence of demons active in our culture, than not. They just don't puke up green gunk or spin their heads. They simply influence editors to produce sleazy covers for their magazines, and they influence store owners to stock the checkout shelves, and they influence people going through checkout to buy them and......use your own imagination from there.

How many of the unborn will pay the price of people just glancing at a magazine cover?

A list of some possessions in the New Testament(1):

MK 1, 23-27
MK 5, 1-20
MK 7, 25-30
MK 9, 14-29
Mt 12, 22
Mt 17, 15.18
Lk 6, 18; 7,21
Mk 1, 34-39
Mk 1, 23; 5,6

(1) Leon-Dufour. (1988). Dictionary of biblical theology. Ijamsville, Maryland: The Word Among us Press.

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sinthetadtheta said...

O'Reilly was raised catholic (I'm not sure of his current affiliation), and often defends the church when it is being attacked by the "secular-progressives" as he likes to call them. That is why I have to disagree with you. He wasn't attacking the guy, he just didn't have much time for the segment and wanted to give the guy a chance to explain his beliefs. Believe it or not, a lot of people out there think exorcism is a fairy tale. It's important to be able to hold your ground if you're put under their scrutiny. And rather than have his segment laughed off by these same people, O'Reilly gave the man an opportunity to silence them first. It's unfortunate he kept dodging the question and never had a chance to say something more substantial.

Diane K said...

I felt O'Reilly may have been rushed due to the breaking news of actor Heath Ledger's death earlier in the day.

The fact that you felt that the man responsible for convincing non-believers of evil spirits in mere minutes was dodging the question, supports my position that he made the man look like a fool.

The man wasn't dodging the question, I got the impression he was totally blindsided by it. It would have been better to reschedule the interview than to do a hack job on it if he didn't have time.

I would like to see any solid Catholic try, in a matter of a few minutes, to convince non-believers of evil spirits that they exist.

The professor talked about scientific data. It is indeed measurable when a human body levitates 6 inches off the ground while 5 people are holding it, as was described by the New York exorcist in his 1999 interview with Bill. While for non-believers this is not proof, it becomes a starting point.

Perhaps Bill could have asked the man to gather such information to present. Even there, it could not be done in 5 minutes. You would truly need something like an hour to create something halfway informative.

What next? An interview of the Pope, giving him 5 minutes to explain why he believes in Jesus Christ - true God and true Man, without allowing him to speak of faith?

The Abbot said...

When someone asks me about demons, I usually just point them in the direction of Fr. Gabriele Amorth's books, or tell them to read the Gospel of Matthew and ask if it is possible that Christ could possibly be confused as to the difference between mental illness and possession, given who He was. It is a real phenomenon, thankfully rare, but unfortunately on the rise as Christianity retreats, paganism advances, and darkness returns.

Let's hope the west recovers its bearings soon.

Diane K said...

The Abbot said, ...or tell them to read the Gospel of Matthew and ask if it is possible that Christ could possibly be confused as to the difference between mental illness and possession, given who He was.

Classic. I like this because it highlights the subtle wasy people can unwittingly question the divinity of Jesus.