By BJ Bjornson
There goes the Vatican, trying to make itself relevant to the modern world once again. Their recently retired chief exorcist (as if the fact that the Vatican still has a chief exorcist these days doesn�t in itself tell you just how relevant the Vatican really is) has made news again recently by railing against some of society�s true evils.
Father Gabriele Amorth, who for years was the Vatican�s chief exorcist and claims to have cleansed hundreds of people of evil spirits, said yoga is Satanic because it leads to a worship of Hinduism and �all eastern religions are based on a false belief in reincarnation�.
Reading JK Rowling�s Harry Potter books is no less dangerous, said the 86-year-old priest, who is the honorary president for life of the International Association of Exorcists, which he founded in 1990, and whose favourite film is the 1973 horror classic, The Exorcist.
The Harry Potter books, which have sold millions of copies worldwide, �seem innocuous� but in fact encourage children to believe in black magic and wizardry, Father Amorth said.
It is important to note that this is not just the ranting of one old coot without influence in the church today. This is pretty much established doctrine.
His views may seem extreme, but in fact reflect previous warnings by Pope Benedict XVI, when as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger he was the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican�s enforcer of doctrinal orthodoxy.
In 1999, six years before he succeeded John Paul II as Pope, he issued a document which warned Roman Catholics of the dangers of yoga, Zen, transcendental meditation and other 'eastern� practises.
There was something about this whole story that was nagging at me when I first read, and I�m indebted to Greta Christina for putting her finger on it.
Okay. Wait a minute. Let me get this straight.
The Harry Potter stories encourage people to believe in black magic and wizardry.
And exorcists don�t.
I think my brain just tried to escape my skull by gnawing its own foot off.
That last move sounds like it may require a rather impressive knowledge of yoga to accomplish. This whole story is clearly part of some cunning plan to destroy the church's opponent's.