BBC: Call for action on child exorcism

Back in the days when exorcism was popularized by The Exorcist and its sequels, Catholic Church spokespeople were emphatic that the Church did hardly any exorcisms anymore. The bar was set extraordinarily high to prove that a case was one of possession rather than psychiatric distress, and the challenge for the Church was to dissuade credulous people convinced they needed an exorcism. But now, a BBC report suggests that the situation has been turned on its head; that Church leaders in England who believe in demonic possession are doing nothing to protect children wh are beaten to drive spirits out. The article suggests that the problem pertains mostly to African immigrant congregations. Five years ago, Victioria Climbie, an eight-year old girl, was killed by ‘carers who claimed she was possessed by the devil.’ Defenders say things like “Exorcism is a good thing but it’s not meant to be abusive…” while detractors call it child abuse fueled by ignorance. The Church has always crafted a syncretistic appeal atop the foundation of the indigenous beliefs of those it wishes to convert; that is how it assimilatedd European paganism. As the appeal of the Catholic Church shifts increasingly to the Third World, we might expect to see more and more of clerics ‘benignly’ indifferent, if not covertly or overtly supportive, of this modern malignant appeal to superstition and ingnorance. At least the Church-based child abuse in the First World is not consonant with the cultural norms of its congregation.