By frequenting a website which deals with the occult, you are liable to become possesed by evil spirits. So say exorcists in Poland, according to Nasz Diennik, which is described as an ultra-conservative Catholic paper. Apparently,
[a]ccording to exorcists quoted by the daily, such websites have an increasing influence on younger viewers, who may find themselves becoming possessed by Satan himself.
Understandably concerned about the souls in their care they may be, I cannot help think that this smacks somewhat of desperation on their part.
You see, the official line from the Catholic Church is that they recognise full well that most of what would hundreds of years ago have been called “demonic possession” is in fact mental illness. Thus nowadays the reality is that the Church will not in fact authorise an exorcism if a medical condition can account for the aberrant behaviour.
My personal view is that if people become mentally ill – or indeed even possessed – after visiting a website, it is because they had a predisposition to do so. Whether the website caused or exacerbated the condition is open to question (by which I mean “fanciful speculation”).
You may, however, be wanting to question the motives of these Polish exorcists by speaking out at this time. Let’s look at the evidence:
By candidly admitting that most alleged cases of exorcism are only instances of mental illness, the Church is effectively doing its Exorcists out of a job! Perhaps these Polish priests are feeling unappreciated?
One could even argue that it is in these priests’ own interest to gild the lilly somewhat when it comes to alleging there is evidence of infernal manifestation at large in the world today. Perhaps they have seen the latest Hollywood blockbuster The Rite and wish to ride on the coat-tails of its publicity.
Or one can take a slightly less cynical stance by remembering the old saying: “To a person with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” In their case it would be: “To a fully-trained exorcist, every problem looks like the work of Satan.”
Knowing this to be the case I should not be surprised if this very website gets accused by some church-man of dabbling in the occult and being the pawn of beelzebub. Hey! I don’t dabble in it at all! I go at it full on!