Wednesday, February 23, 2005

'Beasts of Satan':

"They are murderers," says Lina Marino, mother of Chiara Marino, whose daughter was murdered during a Satanic ritural performed by members of heavy metal band. "It's not fair."

She was referring to the sentences received by the killers. For killing three people--including one person whom they buried alive--the "mastermind" was sentenced to 30 years in prison, while the second received just 16 years. A third was cleared because of his "secondary" role in the murders; the remaining members of the cult are set for trial later this year.

According to CNN, "Prosecutors asked for relatively light prison terms because the suspects cooperated with the investigation and expressed remorse."

The reference to how the killers made things easy for the authorities sort of gives new meaning to the saying, "No harm, no foul," doesn't it? Well, at least they were sorry.

Meanwhile, a Vatican-linked university recently opened a two-month course on exorcism to combat the growing popularity of satanism in Italy. If you're interested in applying to the program but aren't quite sure what to put in your admission essay, Father Giulio Savoldi, Milan's chief exorcist for the past 20 years, explains what they're looking for:
I would include the supernatural force - the presence of God - and then suggest that the man picked to do this kind of work be wise and that he should know how to gather strength not just from within himself but from God.
Indeed. As this article explains:

Widely accepted signs of possession - some of which were depicted in the 1973 movie, "The Exorcist" - include speaking in unknown tongues and demonstrating physical force beyond one's natural capacity. In 1999, when the Vatican issued its first new guidelines since 1614 for driving out devils, it urged priests to take modern psychiatry into account in deciding who should be exorcised.

The updated exorcism rite, contained in a red, leather-bound book, was a reflection of Pope John Paul II's efforts to convince the skeptical that the devil is very much in the world. At the time, he gave a series of homilies denouncing the devil as a "cosmic liar and murderer."


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