You’ve really got to admire Catholicism sometimes. I mean, really admire that thing. Not in a pretty way, of course. No. Not in the way that sunsets or elderly couples or kittens on springs or rubber corsets might be admired. More in the sense that I might admire, with horrified fascination, a trembling knot of worms drawn reluctantly from their gastric nest. Or a giant centipede blindly destroying a mouse. Or a botfly larva emerging from the withered husk of its host. I mean, none of us could profess a liking for Hitler but damn, did he get shit done.
Read this and then tell me how you feel.
Summation: you know how the Catholic church is always getting itself into scrapes? Especially recently? Well, according to their Chief Exorcist Gabriele Amorth (I was dry-mouthed with shock at discovering they actually have official Exorcists, let alone an Exorcism hierarchy sufficient to allow for a Chief Exorcist), any and all inappropriate shiz that Catholics do is directly the work of Satan. This includes not only child abuse but apostasy, which isn’t something I would necessarily regard as Satan’s grinning face. Can I hear anyone say “No true Scotsman”? It’s perfect! If you step out of line – deny Jesus here, rape a boy there – you’re not a Catholic, you’re a shambling ragdoll maliciously puppeted by the Dark King himself. By definition, a Catholic becomes someone who would never do something that a Catholic would not do.
How . . . crawling do you have to be to avoid accountability in this way? To say that any human activity threatening to stain the reputation of the Church is in fact the work of Satan? It’s horribly akin to bedding a whole army of cheerleaders and then, when Society raises a cautionary eyebrow, claiming that you have an addiction to sex and you will seek white man medicine. Of course, I should acknowledge that Amorth’s view is not accepted wholesale – Father JosÃƒÂ© Antonio Fortea Cucurull believes that Amorth has “gone well beyond the evidence”. But I think it’s bad enough that Catholicism’s Chief Exorcist (a title, might I add, with as much application to reality as “Chief Dream Catcher” or “Chief Negative Energy Dispeller” or, of course, “Astrologer”), a high-ranking official of the church, believes something so chilling. Presumably he believes in homophobia as well, so maybe believing in Satan isn’t such a big deal over there.
Human accountability to actions? Not in Catholicism, baby. As I said, it’s admirable.