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November 12th, 2010
07:17 PM ET

Catholic clergy confer on exorcism rite

By CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor Eric Marrapodi

A group of Catholic bishops and priests are gathering in Baltimore, Maryland, on Friday and Saturday to examine what Scripture and canon law have to say about exorcism.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, spoke with CNN during a break in the Friday session to explain why the clergymen are meeting about this titillating, yet rare, rite in the Catholic tradition.

"It's an effort to try and provide some pastoral training for bishops and priests, to try and provide a pastoral response with people who may or may not be having demonic activity," he said. "The reality is there really have not been regular courses, or even a class, on how to do [exorcisms] because it is a rare thing. The work of the devil possessing someone is a rare thing. It's not part of the daily practices of a priest."

According to canon law, the governing structure of the Catholic Church, any priest, because of his ordination, has the power to perform an exorcism, Paprocki said. But, he said, "Canon law states he needs the permission of his bishop before he can perform an exorcism."

And therein lies the reason for the conference.

Bishops and priests have to be sharp on rules of this rarely used rite. Both are gathering in Baltimore for the annual U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. And with so many coming from across the country, it seemed to be a natural fit for the workshop on exorcism.

Paprocki heads the Committee for Canonical Affairs and Church Governance for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and was one of the organizers for the gathering on exorcism.

During the conference, the group will look at what the Bible says, paying careful attention to how Jesus responded to evil spirits or demons in the New Testament. During the Friday morning session, Paprocki said, they examined the Gospel of Mark. He said one of the first things Jesus did in his public ministry was cast out demons, and it was the demons that first identified Jesus as the Messiah in Mark.

Among the speakers is Cardinal Daniel DiNardo from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in Texas, who will speak about Jesus confronting evil in the Bible, according to his representative. The attendees will also examine the study of angels and demons. From there, Paprocki said, they will move to the practical ways Catholic clergy should respond to requests for exorcisms.

"We use the principle that we have to exclude all natural explanations before we go to the supernatural explanation," he said. This includes having the person requesting the exorcism see a doctor and a psychologist.

"A lot of people experiencing what they think is possession just aren't taking their medicine," he said. Because of this, he said, priests and bishops need to use a great deal of pastoral discernment. "Is it a mental disease that can be diagnosed, or is it demonic activity, or even is the event both?"

Before becoming the bishop of Springfield in June, Paprocki was chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago in Illinois. In that position, he dealt with the administrative side of exorcisms. When a request came into the diocese, his office received them. "I was the first portal to these inquiries," he said.

In his 25-plus years in ministry, he has never seen an exorcism and said demonic possession is rare and extraordinary. In his time processing the administrative requests, he said, "I'm not aware of a formal exorcism while I was there." But he said there has been an increase in requests since he left and the Archdiocese of Chicago has since appointed an exorcist.

"This is an element of our pastoral care for people. If possession is extraordinary and the use of the exorcism is the extraordinary response, then the daily work of the devil is temptation. Very few people are possessed, but everyone gets tempted," he said. The fix for temptation, he said, is not exorcism but rather participation in church resources such as Mass, Communion and confession.

As for the conference, he is not surprised by the attention it has received. "It shouldn't be unusual for us as clergy to be talking about the devil," he said.  "People kind of look at you funny when you talk about it in public." But he said that even while talking about the devil and exorcism may be a small and rare part of the Catholic tradition, "Yes, I believe it's a regular part of our faith."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Mass • Pastors

soundoff (528 Responses)
  1. shamgar50

    Ttfn! Gotta go sacrifice a goat.

    November 13, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Geeze, now you got me hungry. I LOVE goat! Not as much as lamb, but it's YUMMY!

      November 13, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  2. cabo wabo

    wow the cattholic church has been condemning and murdering us for hundreds of years, as well as raping our children. now they want to exorcise us too? seriously? their form of religion isnt even realistic enough to be taken seriously. i cannot believe they are still allowed to legally practice and perpetrate their crap. i always thought catholics were a pretty scary group of people, apparently im right.

    November 13, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • Vertebrate Catholic

      If "the catholic church" is completely embodied by every individual in the Church, then yes it has done those things. By this logic, though, "the catholic church" has also eaten a lot of chocolate chip cookies and watched a lot of tv. By blaming the Church as an organization for the actions of every individual within it, you must also blame the Church for founding the hospital and unversity systems in our country. You must also blame the Church for educating and caring for countless orphans and under-privileged children. You must also blame the Church for being the largest charitable organization in the world.

      November 13, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  3. Rich

    HILARIOUS!!

    November 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  4. davec

    Hello...! It is the year 2010 and by now educated folks know that there is NO god. So why are grown men discussing exorcism?

    November 13, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
    • shamgar50

      Kind of scary, aint it? So many adults, so many of the people in charge, believe in this nonsense.

      November 13, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Are scientists educated? Astronomers, physicists, etc?
      There are Roman Catholic priests who are astronomers and physicists and work in their fields.
      The ones discussing exorcism happen to be Bishops of the Roman Catholic church and rather don't believe in your lack of belief.
      You may feel free to call a Roman Catholic priest to discuss this matter further with him though. Who knows? You might get an interesting philosophical discussion about Wigner's friend.
      I think I think, therefore I think I am, I think.
      My morning collary: I hurt, therefore I am...

      November 13, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      corollary, that is. My fingers went dyslexic...

      November 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  5. Fricsaid

    You can always count on a story about God or religion to bring out the Atheist to talk about Unicorns and Tooth-fairies. And it is. It's the same thing over and over and over. I'm quite unsure how to view someone that makes fun of me because of my beliefs. Now, I am going to base this on some of the post I've read on here and I have no other choice but to think that there are those that are angry because myself or other people believe in something that's not tangible. I never try to convince an Atheist that there is a God, but they are always so passionate to and "hell-bent" to try to convince me there isn't. Please, why attack? I have the right to believe, like it or not.

    November 13, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • shamgar50

      What BS. That's all christians do, is shove their crap in everyone's face. "Are you saved" "Accept christ" "Let me witness to you?" etc.

      Of course you don't like the Tooth Fairy comments, because they're right on the mark!

      November 13, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
    • Fricsaid

      shamgar50.....I guess I should speak for myself. I cram nothing down no one's throat. And those that do, I agree with you. It's BS. I say you tend to your yard and I tend to mine. And it's not that I don't like the "tooth-fairy" comments. I could care less what others think. I'm just stating that it's the same thing over and over and over. Personally, if I see a story regarding Atheist, I don't feel the need to go in there and tell them how stupid and ignorant they all are. I just let it be. Again, I guess I should have just spoken for myself. Peace out. 🙂

      November 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  6. dave

    the demons in the book of Acts told the exorcists who tried to cast them out- Paul we know and Jesus we know but we do not know your authority. then the demons tore on those who tried to cast them out . the Bible is the authority and when a religion says that Mary can save you in contradiction to the Bible when it says in John 14:6 that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Then in other verses that Jesus is the One mediator between God and man but then the man made religion says no thats not true you can pray to saints. when the Bible says that we are saved by God grace not by our good deeds but the religion says – no thats not true but really you are saved by good deeds and following our sacraments...when the man made religion backed up Hitler (google Hitler Catholic) I can go on and on but my point is this: the devil loves religion. the main goal the demons have is to stop anyone entering through the right path–Jesus.

    November 13, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • shamgar50

      Google KKK christian!

      November 13, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • Stephen

      Don't confuse being attacked with being challenged on an intellectual level. Related conceptually to your reference to the Bible, if you read Beowuif (another example of good ancient literature) you'll learn that swamp gas is the result of demonic activity. But guess what? They didn't know what hydrogen sulfide was in those days (the real culprit, along with a few other chemicals). So, ancient literature does not speak eternal truth as much as it speaks where a culture was in terms of its ability to explain the world it inhabited.

      November 13, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  7. artymart

    how can any thinking person take this crap seriously?

    November 13, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • shamgar50

      Because they're not a "thinking" person!

      November 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  8. John

    Religion although destructive can also be quite helpful, at least some of the religious try to improve the human condition.

    November 13, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
    • Helene

      You are right.
      Unfortunatelly they don't get the front page as often...

      November 13, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  9. shamgar50

    Exorcism? If you can believe in god, you're open to just about any type of fantastical belief. Tooth Fairy anyone!

    November 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  10. MrsFizzy

    I now expect to see serious reports on witch doctor conventions on CNN – at least as time-worthy. I'm not even an atheist but...really??!

    November 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      I take it that you are not a Roman Catholic, hence their views don't count?
      I'm not a Roman Catholic either and don't believe in their ways. But at least I respect the right to have one's faith respected and left alone enough to not comment in derogatory terms about it.

      November 13, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      What, are you anti-witch doctor?? Is shamanism not just as valid as exorcism (never mind that now we understand things such as seizures, mental illness, even autism instead of assuming they are 'possession'...)? Did I say they can't believe it if they want to?? Plainly this is only on here as a curiosity, anyway.

      November 13, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • shamgar50

      Wzrd1, is your own belief so fragile, that you have to fire back at every slight?

      November 13, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Not every slight, but AM in a discussion with a couple of people here.
      BTW, one lesson I was taught in Special Forces Medic training was, look up the local witch doctor. THEY know the medicinal herbs in that area and will quite often be highly effective.

      November 13, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Wzrd1,
      "But at least I respect the right to have one's faith respected and left alone enough to not comment in derogatory terms about it."
      I respect people's right to believe what they want and I respect people's right to say what they want, but I refuse to respect someone else's beliefs simply because they believe them. Otherwise, I would feel compelled to give equal respect to the beliefs of the KKK and Doctor's Without Borders, the Dalli Lama and David Koresh, Mahatma Gandhi and Pol Pot.

      This is a discussion forum. Posting hear is inviting discussion. If one presents their ideas in a forum such as this they should be prepared to discuss said ideas openly.

      November 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
    • Nonimus

      p.s.
      No one has the right to not be offended.

      November 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  11. llihacsumaes

    christ! – the catholic heirarchy is a bore

    November 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Yes? I recently was crowned King. And Christ is Greek for King.
      I DO tend to agree about Roman Catholic hierarchy, however I did not feel it necessary to denigrate the faith of others.
      Why did you bother to read the article, if Roman Catholicism is of no interest to you?

      November 13, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  12. Joe

    The number of atheists who pop up and foam at the mouth on these religious discussion groups remind me of the old saying that Fascists and Nazis are twin brothers wearing different color shirts. The atheists don't seem to realize how much like the evangelicals they are. Same intolerance, same smugness, same arrogant assuredness that they are right and everyone else is wrong, same rush to shove their ideas down unwilling throats, same air of hostility.

    November 13, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
    • streetcar01

      The typical retreat from a good argument is to get personal. I think Joe has reached that point.

      November 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
    • Fricsaid

      @streetcar.....when I read his words, I don't see an attack. I see someone calling it as he sees it.

      November 13, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • shamgar50

      We're intolerant of ignorance and bigotry. Religions hallmarks.

      November 13, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Joe: This is the Belief Blog. It is a forum for discussion of different interpretations of belief. That logically inludes both believers and non-believers. So we have every right to be here as well. As for shoving ideas down someone's throat, I hear that phrase a lot and invariably everyone has a different viewpoint of what that means. If someone asserts something ridiculous on a public forum, I reserve the right to challenge it. Much like others challenge me. I try to be polite but sometimes it's not altogether possible. If that is shoving beliefs anywhere, then I'm afraid we'll all just have to deal with it.

      November 15, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  13. Stephen

    Theatrics and human psychology combine to give the appearance of an exorcism. This stuff really needs to be pushed from a world news source to a website dedicated to Bigfoot, UFO's, the paranormal, and other such things.

    November 13, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      So, you decided that ANY religion doesn't count as news? Or only certain religions are news and the rest belong with UFO, bigfoot, etc?
      Well, as YOU are not the emperor and there are millions of Roman Catholics out there, I suspect it will remain news.
      One question, why did you bother to read the article, if you don't find it newsworthy? So you can denigrate the beliefs of others?
      Is your life THAT lousy that you need to attempt to denigrate others and drag them into your misery?

      November 13, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
    • Stephen

      Wzrd: This is how you react to being challenged intellectually? Wow. 1) This stuff has more in common with paranormal "special interests" than news. 2) Unable to defend your position with logic and demonstrable facts you resort to assuming that I am miserable (which I'm not) because I do not cling to an outmoded, semi-barbaric belief system that predominated in an age when people were unable to explain things scientifically. Your reactions are entirely personal when they should be intellectual. If you wish to believe that the Earth is flat, you may do so, but do not expect that more reasonable people will not challenge you.

      November 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Stephen, my view is simple. People have no right to force or inflict their views upon others in matters of faith. If you noticed, I did not even mention my own faith. Merely that you force your views in an area that is inappropriate. No one asked for an atheist viewpoint. The article IS about a particular religious view of a particular sect of Christianity.
      Hence, my simplest guess as to the rationale for forcing your view where it was not asked for.
      And no, I don't believe the Earth is flat, it's an oblate spheroid. Although I HAVE made jokes to that effect to find who REALLY understands physics by claiming it is flat and gravity twists it into a spherical shape.
      ANY attempt to discuss religion with fact and reason is doomed to fail. As faith in general, as it pertains to religion, is irrational, logic will ALWAYS fail in discussion thereof.
      Consider though the neutrino. Can YOU prove it exists? Personally? No, you rely, as I do, on the testimony of physicists who have the shielding and detectors necessary to detect the infernal things.
      Can YOU PROVE the existence of a singularity? We see EVIDENCE of it, but cannot see it, by the very nature of it.
      Can you PROVE the Big Bang? Hundreds of things can generate the cosmic microwave background radiation. The Big Bang is only the most logical.
      Shrodinger's cat, the most preposterous notion in the universe. But it's valid and accurate.
      So, the argument goes thus: Why would God want or NEED to prove God's existence to you?
      Or as Niels Bohr once said, "Einstein, don't tell God what to do".

      November 13, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • Stephen

      Wzrd: Well, then, we just agree to disagree. Myth is about a society's ability to explain the world at any given point. A physicist or chemist relies on lab results, not stories and anecdotes. I'd rather stick to Occam's razor and to the *methods* of science. Whether or not some of the cutting edge theoretical issues of science can be explained now is rather pointless (and there is debate ins science about how much the theoretical stuff really is "science") because history shows that in the century so, we will be able to explain those things. Using the tools of science and observation, not myth.

      November 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      In that, I am in complete agreement.
      You should see how much fun I have with literalists in person!
      I'm the no good SOB who will discuss religion with the Jehovah's witnesses at the door. They eventually stop coming, I suspect because they lose too many witnesses that way...
      I've even discussed Islam with Arabs. And called one when he was lauding something that was haram (forbidden (in that case, he was talking about a "really cool youtube video of an Egyptian who slaughtered 19 camels in 15 seconds" and I advised him that THAT was QUITE haram, as no animal should be slaughtered whilst another animal awaiting slaughter is watching, as it is distressing to that animal (per their Quran). HIS friend, another Arab, thought it a few seconds and agreed, upon which the youtube fan was embarrassed and apologized. I suggested he think on that during his prayers, as I was not offended, just advising.)
      So, we'll agree to disagree.
      And I'll be moving on. I'm helping with dinner today.

      November 13, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  14. Dave

    SmokeyJoe,

    If you can point me to web page that shows me a picture of god, if you can take me out to somewhere and let me physically see and talk to an actual being of some sort, if you can produce ANY sort of verifiable evidence that god exists then I will believe in him just like I believe in narwhals. The problem is that you can't do that and nobody else can or ever has been able to. That's why people don't believe it–there's no reason to. It's not a matter of ignorance or experience, it's a matter of evidence. It's the same reason YOU don't believe in Buddha or Allah or Shiva. You have no reason to.

    November 13, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
    • streetcar01

      Well put Dave. READ IT Wzrd1! And by the way, Atheism is NOT a faith. We don't proselytize. We critically analyze ideas and come to reasonable conclusions.

      November 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • Joe

      Can you explain why you are reading religious articles? Have you nothing else to vent your childish snit against today? Just what is your problem?

      November 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
    • capnmike

      There actually ARE Narwhals, and if you pray to them, you will get about the same percentage of positive results you would get from praying to some fairytale deity. "Oh holy Narwhal...grant us this request (state your request, then turn around clockwise and spit over your right shoulder, and your request shall be heard...oh, yes, by the way, leave $10 in the collection box)

      November 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Faith, a matter of belief. Hence, your faith is that there is no God.
      Hence, your rabid attack upon the faith of others and your incessant demands for those who have a religious faith produce proof for you.
      Rather than accept those who aren't bothering you or interfering with your enjoyment of your faith in atheism.
      As nobody ASKED for your criticism, I fail to see why you offer it. Especially as you would scream at the top of your lungs were a Jehovah's witness come knocking at your door to infect THEIR views upon you.
      Again, I simply asked to be left alone without you insisting on forcing your beliefs upon me or others, per our first amendment rights. You seem unable to do that.
      Were this the real world, you would have been summarily ejected from my property. Not because I don't respect your choice in matters of faith, but because you disrespect mine and incessantly insist on being the Jehovah's witnesses of Atheism.
      You literally are as bad as the evangelical Christians out there who shrilly demand people listen to their views, completely unsolicited. So, DO give others the same level of respect you wish to have.

      November 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      Well, see – you didn't think narwhals existed...and it turns out they do! 😉

      November 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      By the way, Narwhals are pretty neat, but the platypus was WAY COOL!
      They finally have the genome on the platypus and had much the same feeling scientists in England did when the first specimen was sent there.
      Apparently, the genome is at the bird/reptilian/mammal split in the evolutionary tree.
      And I don't know of any other mammal that uses electro-location to locate prey.

      November 13, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Wzrd1

      Fuck you and everybody who looks like you. This blog is not your personal property. YOU came HERE where we are free to say what we like!
      How dare you act like you have all the rights and no one else does!

      If you want to be left alone, don't shove your smelly face into these blogs where everyone is free to say what they like...!

      Since you do not respect anyone else, then you must not want respect...fine...you don't have any of mine at all. People like you are only good for taking orders because you are no good at thinking for yourself. Go screw yourself with your miilitary experience...it doesn't make you intelligent or right or even polite..as we can all see....

      And like I tell other religious tards: A LACK OF BELIEF IS NOT A BELIEF...and it never will be. You are too uneducated to argue here, but go ahead and have fun like the rest of us. You'll get your ration of shit just like everyone else.

      Welcome to the internet, punk.

      November 13, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
    • FuzzyNutz

      @wzd1

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Electroreception, sometimes called electroception, is the biological ability to perceive electrical impulses. It is particularly common among aquatic creatures since salt water is a much more efficient conductor than air. It is used for electrolocation (detecting objects) and for electrocommunication. There are no known cases of mimicry involving electroreception, though it is theoretically possible.[1]

      Electroreception is found in monotremes, lampreys, cartilaginous fishes (sharks, rays, and chimaeras), lungfishes, bichirs, coelacanths, sturgeons, paddlefishes, catfishes, gymnotiformes, and elephantfishes.

      November 13, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Sum Dude: Do we really need to resort to being uncivilized and rude to get our point across? This was over the top and unnecessary. But I'm sure you already know that. We can do better.

      November 15, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Sum Dude,
      Thanks for taking this discussion down another notch, it wasn't quite infantile enough.

      November 15, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Glad to help. I'm just doing my part to keep things honest. 😛

      November 15, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  15. Wzrd1

    I find it astounding how many atheists are reading the religion blog and insisting on forcing THEIR views upon others.
    Meanwhile, if someone who DOES believe in a religion were to do the same to them, they'd call the police and have the person removed!
    As you reject the beliefs of others summarily AND insist on forcing YOUR belief on others, I reject the entire atheist agenda of proselytizing their faith.
    Or in simpler terms, leave me alone, I'll leave you alone.
    And kindly stop defecating on my first amendment RIGHTS.

    November 13, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
    • Joe

      Well said.

      November 13, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
    • Stephen

      Wzrd: But yet it's YOU who is telling others to shut up. Hypocrisy? Sure. Fact remains that the religious argument has no demonstrable facts and no logic. Just stories from ancient times.

      November 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Wzrd1
      I defecate on your brainless and whining post. What are you, a little baby? No one is curbing your 1st Amend. rights. Just look at your post. You were able to express yourself so clearly. Go take another tour in the Middle East or something and quit acting like such a dork. Nobody is forcing you to do anything. Try acting like an intelligent American for once.

      November 13, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Wzrd1: I've read your other posts and I know you are a compassionate, kind person. And to some extent I agree with you. There seems some irony in complaining about how the religious proselytize while doing so yourself. It's an odd part of some atheists' behaviour. But to be true, that hypocrisy can belong to all of us, atheist or not when we get caught up in being overzealous. I'm not sure anyone is stepping on your first amendment rights though. You are free to comment as the rest of us. And to ask that we leave each other alone, seems a bit useless on a public forum for discussion. If we just left each other alone, we wouldn't be here in the first place. Anyway, I hope to hearing more of your posts as I know how well thought out they can be.

      November 15, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
  16. nOT Trash

    I am embarrassed to be a human being that we are actually talking about exorcisms in this age.

    November 13, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  17. Angelica

    To the people who have bashed the Catholic church in here, get your facts straight. Whether you believe in God or not, the fact is the Catholic church is the parent of the world's largest charitable organization in the world...Catholic Charities. And believe it or not, most of those efforts go to people who don't even believe in Christ. Because we are all children of God, and the Catholic church does NOT discriminate against people of other faiths, because they don't believe God has a heirarchy of people. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Bhuddists...all are loved equally by God.

    November 13, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
    • capnmike

      Yup...the worlds largest charitable organization...and the world's largest scam. Ever been to the Vatican? I have. It was the most disgusting display of wealth stolen from the sweat of poor ignorant people that anyone could imagine. These parasites live in unimaginable luxury while poor South American farmers who can hardly feed their families give them money in hopes that it will somehow "save" their "souls"...what a ripoff these gangsters perpetrate.

      November 13, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
    • John

      Haha nice try Angelica, I feel like everyone's too busy trying to find the truth to beat people over the head with it to act with charity and humility

      November 14, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Angelica: There is an article on this very blog about how the Catholic church is trying to prevent money from going to secular charities because they don't want to look like they are supporting causes of the political left. So much for charity for the sake of charity...

      November 15, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  18. truthinrock

    Catholicism is waning so they drag out the supernatural to try to breath new live into their Brand of christianity.

    November 13, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
  19. Faisal

    you are all in for a big surprise. the spirits do exist and I communicate with them every day my whole life. you'll see. you've been long since warned over the years, and the time of reaping is coming soon. you even see that in this article, the catholic church them self are blind, saying that very few people are possessed. in fact in saying that, he himself is possessed, because he is not seeing the severe spell that has over taken the world today. disbelief in God, etc. but it will end shortly, and Bible prophecy will be fulfilled word for word, from the non-believers, mockers, et cetera all the way to receiving the mark of the beast, it will all come to pass just as it was said and written. and add to that what I have said, all of which the majority (wide gates) will continue to as they are, reject.

    November 13, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
    • streetcar01

      smells like a troll

      November 13, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
    • Nonimus

      you're right we have been warned... over and over again:

      "Forty-Four End-of-the-World Prophecies——That Failed"
      http://www.randi.org/encyclopedia/appendix3.html

      November 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
  20. There are no gods

    This is so bizarre. Is the catholic church trying to drum up business? Why all the drama? All this talk to spirits and demons and the lot. I mean this is like reading a really cheesy ghost novel. If you believe in demons and ghosts and spirits (oh my!) you really need to stop. Unless you are like 5 and get scared of things like this easily, then other wise I guess it ok. But, for you so called adults that are dealing in this silly practice of religion it is time to grow up! There are no fairy tales, no santa, no easter bunny, no tooth fairy, no demons, no spirits, and no gods. Religion is a business people, just like being a teacher or a dentist but more like a snake oil salesman. There are no gods people, there are no gods.

    November 13, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • Joe

      If you don't believe in the devil, then you can't say "the devil made me do it," when you get caught reaching into a little boy's pants.

      November 13, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.