Monday, April 28, 2008

Some news from Italy, about Satanism and about the Catholic Church

I recently came across an interesting article on the CBN website, part of Pat Robertson's empire: Is the Devil Gaining a Foothold in Rome? by George Thomas, April 21, 2008.

First, I'll skip ahead to and quote in full the most interesting part, about Marco Dimiti, the leader of a Satanist group in Italy:

But Marco Dimiti says that the Catholic Church's portrayal of Satan is part of the problem.

To many Italians, Dimitri represents the devil. He heads the Children of Satan, a group that reportedly has more than one-thousand members.

"We don't have a cult of devil worship, that would be absurd because the cult of the devil would be the cult of evil - but for us, good and evil are subjective to each individual," says Dimitri.

In 1996, Dimitri was accused of raping a 2-year old boy and a teenage girl in satanic rituals. He was jailed for 14 months before being exonerated by the Italian courts.

"True Satanism puts man at the center of the universe - and is a noble expression," Dimitri said. "I want to say to Father Amorth what I say to all exorcists. Leave people in peace!"

The rest of the article features claims by Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican's Chief Exorcist; Father Pedro Barrajón, a Catholic priest who serves in Rome; and Silvano Lilli, an evangelical pastor in Rome.

One claim is: "There are an estimated 800 satanic cults operating in the country [Italy], with more than 600,000 followers." Yeah, right. I wish.

And then Lilli says: "The devil's diabolical influence is growing in so many areas of our society. ... He needs to be driven out." He doesn't explain what he means by "the devil's diabolical influence." If he's a typical religious right winger, that means things like feminism and gay rights, I guess.

Then Amorth talks about how he does exorcisms.

After that is a discussion of the "Beasts of Satan" case, about which see this collection of news stories on my Against Satanic Panics site.

See also Italy's recent Satanic panic - and its impact on the Roman Catholic Church worldwide, and see also the collection of news stories about Exorcism, the Vatican, and the recent Italian Satanic panic on my page about Exorcism, "spiritual warfare," and anti-occultism.

Next in the CBN article are several paragraphs bemoaning the rise of "magicians, fortunetellers and faith healers" as rivals to the Church.

After that are the several paragraphs I quoted earlier about Marco Dimiti.

The article ends with more exorcism-talk by Amorth.

No comments: