Satanism Scholar Notes Priest Shortage

Calls for Greater Numbers to Be Trained in Dealing With Occult

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ROME, MARCH 29, 2011 (Zenit.org).- A scholar at an exorcism conference in Rome is indicating there's a shortage of qualified priests to handle the problems of those who meddle in satanism and the world of the occult.



Giuseppe Ferrari, secretary of the Socio-Religious Research and Information Group (GRIS), made this affirmation at the 6th Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation course, which began Monday.

The event is held by the Vatican Congregations for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, and for the Clergy. It is held at the Regina Apostolorum university.

In the introductory lecture, Ferrari said that resolving problems regarding satanism or magic "can be delayed or impeded by the lack of preparation of those presbyters who do not feel up to it or who do not feel they are equipped with the necessary instruments to adequately meet the needs."

Ferrari thus called for an "in-depth formation of an adequate number of priests" in order to address the issues more effectively, reserving for exorcists only those cases that truly are in need of their expert intervention.

Respect for humanity

The scholar noted how followers of satanism are characterized by a lack of respect for their own personal dignity. On the other hand, the "rite of exorcism completely respects human liberty and dignity," he explained.

"It does not impose anything on anyone and has no effect if there is no acquiescence of the will of the person to be released from what it holds as evil, that is from the influence or action of the devil, true or presumed as it might be," Ferrari said.

The scholar noted how satanism is fundamentally contradictory, and seeks a "complete overturning of values."

For example, he said, "one cannot see how there could be a logical or rational justification for the behavior of a person who -- though not believing in the devil, or God or the Church, or in the Eucharistic sacrifice -- is committed in such a fanatical way to so-called black masses."

Ferrari further noted the irrational beliefs of those "who are convinced of being able to bend the beyond to their own will and who come to think that they have the power to go beyond natural laws and to subject them to their own will, evidencing implicitly in this way a sort of delirium of omnipotence."

Youth

Journalist and writer Carlo Climati concentrated on "Juvenile Satanism," observing that "in these last years, the interest of youngsters in the world of satanism has filled newspaper pages."

He called for addressing this problem with a "constructive spirit" but without "spreading alarm," since it is a phenomenon that "obviously does not concern the majority of young people, but which at the same time cannot be ignored."

Satanism, he stressed, "is directed to overturn and destroy those universal values that are written in the heart of every human being" and "to create confusion among young people, to build a kind of contrary society, in which good becomes evil and evil becomes good."

"This idea is represented perfectly through a typical symbol of satanists: the upside-down cross, which is to signify the overturning of the values of Christianity," Climati said.

Moreover, he continued, satanism tends "to spread a sense of pessimism, of surrender, of darkness, of discomfort," representing "the death of hope" and pushing youth to believe "that life is a sort of jungle in which only the strongest are victorious."

For this reason, the author suggested, it is necessary "to help priests, teachers, parents, and educators to undertake a work of prevention among young people, so that the new generations are not victims of certain dangerous drifts."