The devil hates cabbage - exorcisms expanding in Poland

Painting by Francisco Goya of Saint Francis Borgia performing an exorcism.

Well, if it isn't US missiles it's a flock of exorcists. Or is it a murder of exorcists?

Europe is to have it's very own exorcism headquarters, and where better than demon-possessed Poland to play the ever-willing host. The Catholic archbishop who governs Poczernin, a village near the North west Polish city of Szczecin, has given his imprimatur while the Vatican have nodded their heads and granted a seal of approval.

Cabbage fields are in abundance in the area, which may be an indication perhaps of what vegetables the devil most detests.

Devil-bashing is evidently alive and kicking in Europe. Last summer hordes gathered in the Polish city of Czestochowa, Poland's Catholic capital for the 4th International Congress of Exorcists.

The what? Yip, there was no slip of the finger in writing the last statement - these people even have congresses. That's almost as odd as the time a friend told me they walked into the wrong conference room in a hotel - instead of finding NGO employees conspiring to save the world she came across hundreds of people dressed as Star Trek Klingons and even speaking the klingon language!

I don't know any klingons, nor do I have any exorcist friends, but Poland has a 70 strong army of trained exorcists and 10 years ago, under the papacy of Pope John Paul II, the Vatican formally updated and revitalised the traditional rite for the first time in almost 400 years.

Priests claim that people are increasingly trying out New Age therapies, alternative religions, and the occult in post-Christian Europe. In popular culture the 35 year old Hollywood horror film, 'The Exorcist' springs to most peoples minds when they imagine exorcisms.

According to the Washington Post, exorcists believe potential clients
"can be in the grip of evil to varying degrees. Only a small fraction ....... are completely possessed by demons - which can cause them to display inhuman strength, speak in exotic tongues, recoil in the presence of sacred objects or overpower others with a stench.

In reality though, not all works out in accordance with the holy spirit. Polish priests who like casting out devils between breakfast and lunch would do well to remember the case of the 23-year-old Bavarian woman
who died of starvation in 1976 after two priests - thinking she was possessed - subjected her to more than 60 exorcisms.
More recently, in 2002, a German bishop was forced to resign from the clergy after a woman accused him of sexually abusing her during an exorcism.

That said, business is booming for Fr. Trojanowski, a priest from Szczecin on the German border. With an average of 20 souls a week who he says are "under the influence of evil spirits," he claims that space is becoming a problem.

So plans for the exorcism center were announced last December after an archbishop gave approval to build it on church land. What a pity they didn't move it to Warsaw as there is an amazing amount of space around parliament, the embassies, and government ministries where you are bound to find a good few devils at work, causing untold damage to the world.

The Washington Post quotes a concerned resident from the village nearby Szeczin, and it should come as no surprise that the local community were not consulted about the proposed centre (a similarity to the proposed missile shield in Poland):
"People are worried about the potential for crazy people coming here," said Ksawery Nyks, 50, a longtime resident. He added that most people were opposed unless the church could guarantee the center would have adequate security.
"Every person, if he or she needs help, should be able to get it somehow."

Adequate security - maybe this could be a job for far-right activists connected to the ex-government member League of Polish Families or other fascists in Poland? And they could eat cabbage until their heads explode. What a comforting image!


Holy Water Salt said…
I don't want the Devil gassy-- really.
Quickroute said…
interesting stuff, You don't suppose we could get Bertie Ahern exorcised do ya? I think he might need more than a handful of sessions!
varus said…
Does your article mean that:
a) deamons don't exist
b) the catholic church is powerless to remove them
c) removal is fine, but just not in my patch guv'

I am just asking because you have said in the past that you were a member of a seminary and so must have held some type of belive in such things in the past, and is so, do yoy till belive or if you don't, what has changed your mind?
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