On Satan’s Trail

Richard Owen joins Father Gabriele Amorth on the hunt for Satan and survives to tell the tale, in the Times:

“Are you afraid of the Devil?” The world’s most famous exorcist levels his gaze at me and then smiles.

“No, it is he who is afraid of me. I work in the name of the Lord. Poor Satan.”

Poor Satan?

“Oh yes. The Evil One shouts and makes noises, but we are made in God’s image, we have the Holy Trinity on our side. There is no need to be afraid of the Devil unless we give in to his temptations.”

We are in the infirmary of the Society of St Paul, the order of Father Gabriele Amorth, in the shadow of St Paul’s Basilica, Rome. The Vatican’s chief exorcist was taken to hospital last autumn with a blood infection and is now convalescing — “they found nothing serious”. Perhaps it was the Devil who laid him low. “Oh no — just an illness. He has more serious evil to perform.”

Father Amorth made headlines this week by suggesting that those who had “given in to Satan’s temptations” included paedophile priests and even some cardinals and bishops who paid only lip service to the Gospels.

The growing crisis over the clerical sex abuse now engulfing Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican, he said, was the work of Satan, who had even “infiltrated the Vatican corridors”.

Is the sex abuse crisis really due to the Devil? “Oh yes. All evil is due to the intervention of the Devil, including paedophilia.”

And the Vatican? “Legions of demons have lodged there…


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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6 Comments on "On Satan’s Trail"

  1. At least some christians are still in touch with their inner carnie.

  2. Hadrian999 | Mar 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm |

    i've always thought the devil of christian myth, was more like a Prometheus figure giving self awareness
    and liberating us from the state of being basically god's hamsters, rather than a big bad super villain,
    and god always seemed like a soviet bloc dictator threatening everyone who doesn't follow orders
    and ape the party slogans off to a metaphysical gulag

    • Word Eater | Mar 16, 2010 at 3:39 pm |

      That sounds similar to what Satanists think.

    • Satan has often been likened to Prometheus and portrayed as a liberator by Theosophists, The Process Church of the Final Judgement and others.

      It is worth remembering that before Satan was Satan, he was Lucifer (this is the Promethean idea), the “morning star” and 'light bringer”. And what Lucifer wanted was to be God, thus his fall from the bliss of Heaven and transformation to Satan (meaning “adversary”). In the Garden of Eden, Satan did indeed offer “knowledge of good and evil” but Satan also claimed that Eve would “be like God”, thus man's fall from the bliss of Eden.

      Bliss, to me, is communion with God. Adam and Eve had complete communion with God, each other, all the plants and animals or creation.

      My observation is that when man (and angels or any sentient being) tries to elevate himself to the level of God, fragmentation occurs, followed by isolation, pain, suffering and evil. Great evil has been has perpetrated by throughout the ages by humans (of all kinds) with “God complexes”. And yes, sadly, some of those perpetrators have been Christians.

      Being a Christian, I suppose one could liken me to a “hamster”, since I am really not all that important in comparison to God , the Universe and everything. But if God made me as a hamster, then I am a free one. I can do whatever I wish, for good or evil. But if I think of myself as Lucifer thought of himself, as great as God, and thus superior to all those around me and unrestricted by any moral code or compassion for others, then I don't need to fear any “metaphysical gulag”, because I will manifest a physical gulag for myself (and others) right here and now.

      Lastly, if God is a “soviet bloc dictator”, Satan was just the guy that was pissed because he wanted to have the job.

  3. Hadrian999 | Mar 16, 2010 at 11:46 pm |

    what sort of father doesn’t want his children to surpass him?

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