Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Idle Technology

Vatican Warns That Internet Promotes Satanism 585

Posted by timothy
from the perhaps-this-is-why-I'm-not-at-church dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that the Roman Catholic Church has warned that the internet has fueled a surge in Satanism that has led to a sharp rise in the demand for exorcists. 'The internet makes it much easier than in the past to find information about Satanism. In just a few minutes you can contact Satanist groups and research occultism,' says Carlo Climati, a member of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome who specializes in the dangers posed to young people by Satanism. Organizers of a six-day conference that has brought together more than 60 Catholic clergy as well as doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers and youth workers, co-sponsored by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments and the Congregation for Clergy, say the rise of Satanism has been dangerously underestimated in recent years."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Vatican Warns That Internet Promotes Satanism

Comments Filter:
  • Back at you. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 03, 2011 @08:29AM (#35698676)

    The Internet Warns That The Vatican Promotes Stupidity.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by stonedcat (80201)

      Hail satan!

    • Re:Back at you. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @08:39AM (#35698728)
      They appear to be using "the Internet" as a scapegoat (not to be confused with goatse, but an understandable mistake considering where they often lodge their noggins). People are doing the same shit that they always have but now they can:
      * find it easier on the internet
      * find others who are doing it on the internet
      * blame the internet when they get caught

      Meet the new boogeyman, same s the old boogeyman.
      • If they advocated some control over the internet (like riaa and politicians around the world do) because of the increase in possessions, then I would agree that they confuse effects with causes. But from TFA I understand they take the development of internet as an established fact and they say we must be better prepared, the problem has been underestimated. Which seems a normal things to say at a conference about exorcisms.
        Of course I may have misunderstood them, it would be better to discuss official docum

      • Re:Back at you. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TheRealGrogan (1660825) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @01:48PM (#35700720)

        The catholic church has much to fear about the internet... even worse than satanists, it puts their flock in contact with people who know the truth: There are no such things as gods or devils.

        They are losing their means of control.

      • They appear to be using "the Internet" as a scapegoat

        Except that "they" should be the author of the article.

        According to the article, the Catholic Church hasn't said anything negative about the internet. They just said that the internet has allowed people faster access to occult information. The leap to saying that "internet is evil" was made when the author wrote the title of the article.

        If you look at what the Catholic Church has actually been saying about the internet recently, you'd see an entirely different picture. They are currently making a big pus

    • Re:Back at you. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fermion (181285) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @10:02AM (#35699182) Homepage Journal
      Pretty much. And one of the stupid things Catholicism promotes is the idea of Satan. Honestly, one cannot be a satanist unless one is a christian, because Christianity makes it's hallmark the separates the continuity of good and evil into a polarity that is then split into autonomous creations.

      Honestly, there is no reason for a scapegoat unless one is going to continuously blame others for your problems. Rational people understand that is necessary to take some control over their own lives. They can't just sit back and wait for a deity to provide for them. They can't just blame the satanist when things are not working out.

      If there is anythings that makes christianity in general, and catholicism in particular, a joke to some many people is the externalization of blame. If satanism a problem, then clean up your own backyard. We can start with the focusing of the teaching of the christ in christianity and his directive to be better people, rather than to use any means necessary to force others to behave in ways that we agree. Of course christianity is not unique in it's use of force to promote religion, but it is, IMHO, uniquely positions to promote self discipline over blame.

      • Re:Back at you. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tnk1 (899206) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @11:56AM (#35700004)

        There's a whole bunch of people who call themselves Satanists who really don't actually believe in Christ (or even actually Satan) for that matter. If a group can appropriate the name of someone they don't believe in and use it in their religion, I would think that its certainly possible for others to follow the teachings of that same entity and call him something else, or even deny his existence entirely. That's what we call results-oriented diabolism.

        Obviously, if you didn't start out as a Christian or in a Christan-influenced area, you probably wouldn't use the terminology. Still, that's like when the Native Americans called European ships "giant birds" or whatever when they first saw them. They didn't have a word for ocean-going ship and no previous way to pick one up from the Europeans, so they made something up. That doesn't mean they weren't talking about ships. If you follow certain practices, then you are following Satanist practices, even if you say that you are actually following Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute.

        Catholicism does not split things down into the line of good and evil. Having had to sit through Catholic education, I know that's more the realm of Manichaeism, which is definitely not Christianity. Catholics believe in one creation, and they do not believe in the equality of good and evil in Creation. Good is more powerful than evil and will always triumph. The only thing that gives evil the illusion of being equivalent to good is that free will allows humans the freedom to select evil if they want to, which tends to make it seem like just two equivalent choices in voting booth. Once selected, however, evil always either falls short of the promises, and sometimes, even some unintended good comes out of it because good is more powerful. So the teaching goes, in any event.

        As for Satan, my understanding of what the Catholic Church teaches are as follows:

        * Satan is real and a distinct entity. He was created by God and therefore subject to God's rules. Apparently, he is/was an angel, and so our understanding of his existence and his motivations are limited. He is supernatural, but limited, so he doesn't need a TV to lie to you, but he can't actually create things.
        * Satan can't make you do anything. Your God-given free will must be respected by him just as much as by any one else.
        * Satan can tempt you. That is to say, he's allowed to promote his way of life vigorously and by any means other than removing your free choice. This means that he's probably the world's first, and by far the best, global marketing/advertising firm.
        * You can choose to let Satan into your life and in that manner, he can do the whole possession thing. Apparently, Satan and his underlings, being real and supernatural, do have the ability to manifest, but likely if very specifically allowed in. My understanding is that you generally need to have made some sort of choice to allow that to happen. Perhaps even a specific set of choices, the practices therein referred to collectively as "Satanism".

        Okay, well, that's probably too much for someone who doesn't actually believe in God to bother with, but I think its important to realize that there is an entire set of logical premises out there that you accept if you are actually a Catholic. Having Satan exist may seem like an externalization of blame, but he's only an externalization if he's not actually real. If he's real, he's out there doing things, and those things are the Church's job to oppose. Either way, it seems to me that self-discipline IS what they are teaching: you have the choice to not be a Satanist, and no one can force you to be one, not even Satan himself.

      • by sznupi (719324)

        ...start with the focusing of the teaching of the christ...

        Except he's wrong! [kyon.pl] ;p But seriously, the christ is also a wolf masquerading as a sheep - "do what I say or suffer eternally"? "My fairly unremarkable, not anywhere near worst death is worth enough to balance out the deaths of 100+ billion homo sapiens sapiens and their 'sins' - largely arbitrary ones, all imposed on humanity by me with full foreknowledge"?

        That's something worthy of Demiurge (and probably why gnostics were labelled as heretics early on), deity of dystheism or maltheism [wikipedia.org], the ultimate sin [google.com]

      • by 3p1ph4ny (835701)

        I'm an atheist, and a devout one at that.

        > Honestly, one cannot be a satanist unless one is a christian, because Christianity makes it's hallmark the separates the continuity of good and evil into a polarity that is then split into autonomous creations.

        Patently false; you should read up on Satanism, it's actually fairly interesting. There are a bunch of different ``sects'', one of which is comprised of people who are entirely atheists: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaVeyan_Satanism [wikipedia.org]

        I think most satanists c

    • I am forced to agree with you. If one more devout Catholic informs me solemnly that Bill Gates is poisoning little African babies with his polio vaccine, I may throw up. It hasn't occurred to them that if Bill Gates had it in for little African babies, all he'd have to do would be to take his billions elsewhere. They're doing a far more effective job of demonizing the man than the Linux community was ever able to accomplish.

      • by mjwalshe (1680392)
        from what I see its the fringe Protestant cults in the USA that are doing this - condoms and birth control id give you that.
  • by data2 (1382587) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @08:31AM (#35698680)

    The internet says that it also promotes christianity, using the same arguments. Within minutes you can research churches, bible groups and also contact them...

    • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @08:39AM (#35698722) Homepage Journal

      But they want to be the ONLY faith that you can read or talk about.

      • by wonkavader (605434) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @08:45AM (#35698766)

        They're not protestants. You don't read about religion. That's not your role. You go to church and get information from a priest, who has a greater connection to God through the hierarchy of the Church, which has at it's head God, and right below that the pope, with whom he has conversations daily.

        OK, it's a pre-Vatican-two sort of world-view, but it's historically that of the Catholic church.

        • Considering how badly some protestant sects have raped Christianity, having some control at the clergy level doesn't sound so bad.

          It's not like the Catholics are the Christian fundamentalists, you know.

        • by similar_name (1164087) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @11:18AM (#35699700)
          I always found this survey [pewforum.org] interesting.
        • They're not protestants. You don't read about religion. That's not your role. You go to church and get information from a priest, who has a greater connection to God through the hierarchy of the Church, which has at it's head God, and right below that the pope, with whom he has conversations daily.

          OK, it's a pre-Vatican-two sort of world-view, but it's historically that of the Catholic church.

          Which is quite odd, when one considers that is EXACTLY what Jesus tried doing away with, including teaching that one's relationship with God was between them and God. And that one's temple is their heart. Interesting, huh?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The internet says that it also promotes christianity, using the same arguments. Within minutes you can research churches, bible groups and also contact them...

      You can also research and contact support groups & class action law suits for the many reported cases of abuse that the Catholic Church has been charged with. Ooops, the internet is bad.

    • by SteveM (11242)
      Sad but true.
    • by Luckyo (1726890)

      Which is a bad thing, because it causes people to lose faith, as you get to see just how little sense most of the christian dogma makes?

    • by GoodBuddy (1846360) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @08:54AM (#35698824)
      The internet facilitates people of like minds finding each other. This could be people working for good causes and people working for evil causes. People have found each other through networks for long periods of time. The internet just makes it easier. This can be scary. It helps domestic terrorists find each other and it helps Christians find each other. And whether something is bad or good can be debated. I work with a long existent LGBT rights organization in developing their internet strategy. Our blog isn't one of the real popular ones that has thousands of readers a day (such as Joe My God) but the people who do read us are important people. Who then cite our views on the situation in various news articles in dead tree publishing. But our opponents, who I refer to collectively as Anti-Gay, Inc., are equally as engaged with promoting their views on the internet. But our supporters are younger while the opponents supporters are older and less savvy with technology. This issue of enabling bad people to find each other is one of the unintended consequences of technology. Sort of like how the automobile was originally a technology to promote a cleaner enviroment.
  • by thomasdz (178114) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @08:32AM (#35698684)

    Santa is an important part of Christmas, he brings gifts and reminds us to go to church and .... ohh SATANism, not SANTAism

    ok, nevermind

  • Just shows how tolerant they are of alternative views.

    Sort of reminds me of the radical Muslims today, and how they are killing people over a simple book burning. Tolerant and understanding my ass. Its 'my way or the highway' ( except highway is death ).

    • Given the common roots of Christianity and Islam, you could just as easily be making a case for that half-wit down in Florida being a Satanist. One thing he is not is 'tolerant'.

  • Naturally, (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aBaldrich (1692238) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @08:36AM (#35698702)
    >He said Pope Benedict XVI believed "wholeheartedly" in the practice of exorcism.

    Well of course, demons are part of the christian cosmology. I think it would be very strange if Benedict did no believe in exorcism. It's like not believing in Jesus's resurrection.

    If anyone is interested in exorcism, I recommend the books of Gabriele Amorth [wikipedia.org]. He's an Italian exorcist, and although his work is not the official doctrine, it's still very interesting to read.

    • by lennier1 (264730)

      Don't forget: Before he became pope he was the head of what's left of the Inquisition (and I don't mean the Monty Python variety). That should tell you a thing or three.

  • April Fools is over, guys.

  • Well fair is fair (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Sunday April 03, 2011 @08:36AM (#35698706)
    If the Catholic church can get away with an apology for the rape of countless young boys and girls on behalf of its members, then please your Holiness, accept this apology on behalf of the internet for our "satanic" practices.
    • If the Catholic church can get away with an apology for the rape of countless young boys and girls on behalf of its members, then please your Holiness, accept this apology on behalf of the internet for our "satanic" practices.

      This is exactly what the article claims is the proof of their assertation.

      The Vatican's chief exorcist claimed last year that the Devil lurked in the Vatican...

      ...He claimed that the sex abuse scandals which have engulfed the Church... ...were proof that the anti-Christ was waging a war against the Holy See.

  • They can't control the flow of information and keep the people in check through ignorance like they used to. Much harder to cover up church scandals like pedophile priests with the internet available to a wide population.

    • Hmm, no. Sorry, but there's really no evidence of any kind to support that kind of conclusion. They haven't had the luxury of ignorance or the power to control information for many, many years. All of the people associated with the church at that time are long dead, even before the internet was available to the general population. Also, notice that this comes as a caution, not as a move to ban the internet, or even advice to boycott the internet. They're telling people to beware what they and their children

      • by Sprouticus (1503545) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @11:16AM (#35699674)

        "They haven't had the luxury of ignorance or the power to control information for many, many years"

        Tell that to the people in Africa and South America. There is a reason that the Church is growing in areas of low educaiton and high ignorance and poverty. They share their brand of salvation and afterlife to make people feel better about their shitty lives now.

        Same thing applies to Islam.

        You never grew up in the church, you apparently are not familiar with their tactics. By 'warning' the faithful, they actually intend to scare those who may already be uncomfortable with using the web (older folks, the uneducated or undereducated, etc).

        Make no mistake, this is a direct reaction to the sex scandals.

        Before you start stomping on others for modding something, perhaps you should do a little legwork. I know this is slashdot, but judging the validity of the opinions of others invites a very negative response.

  • Oh, you're serious?
    Let me laugh even harder.

  • Attendees (Score:2, Informative)

    by Tigger's Pet (130655)

    "Organizers of a six-day conference that has brought together more than 60 Catholic clergy as well as doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers and youth workers..."

    As well as a constantly changing harem of young boys (and a couple of young girls for those who really want to go against the Catholic creed)

  • "Organizers of a six-day conference that has brought together more than 60 Catholic clergy as well as doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers and youth workers."

    Am I the only one with such a low opinion of various professions as to think that the Vatican has invited their enemy into their midst?

  • by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @08:46AM (#35698776) Journal

    While most of Slashdot it is laughing I think we should be taking this as a serious issue and find ways to confront it. We may think the religion is full of ignorants, but they can still have geek kids who get abused and treated badly because they want to play D&D or play some video games. For those who remember Columbine and how geeks got treated, keep that mentality but instead of it just being a small part of your life it becomes your entire life. Your family, friends and everyone you know is calling you a devil worshipper because you want to tell and story and roll some dice.

    Stop laughing and start looking for the tears. These people are ruining children's lives and we should be supporting them not laughing at their abusers from a high horse.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      To be honest, the Catholic Church has been hemorrhaging members in the US for a long time, and this sort of nonsense is a large part of why. You'd have to be an idiot not to see that the Pope is off his rocker on many issues, and as the head of the organization, that's bad.

      Considering the amount of blame that's being heaped on the people that have been sexually abused by other Catholics, it's no wonder that the exodus isn't restricted to those that have themselves been abused. It's just really hard to take

      • by pongo000 (97357)

        To be honest, the Catholic Church has been hemorrhaging members in the US for a long time

        Thanks for contributing to the mass hypocrisy and gross misrepresentation of facts that seems to plague this discussion. I don't mean to have facts get in the way of your diatribe, but in reality the percentage of Catholics in the US has remained steady over the past 38 years [blogspot.com] (at about 25%). Since the population of the US continues to grow, this means (follow me here) that the number of Catholics in the US continues t

  • It's too bad they didn't or else they wouldn't have a mixed-up impression of what Satanism is. It's basically hedonistic humanism with a license to destroy those who get in the way of your fun. This is doesn't necessarily make it BETTER, but it's important to realize that most (many? some?) Satanists don't really believe in Satan as a real being, although they may believe in Satan as an archetype or metaphor. (BTW, Shatan was a god in the ancient Hebrew pantheon (perhaps equivalent to Loki). You knew th

  • surely satanism is as valid a religion as any other, and a downright peaceloving one if you compare bodycount with some of the mainstream ones.

    • Confusingly, there are several very different religions that bear the label of 'satanism.' There are some that go back centuries, often new forms of what were once nature-worship pagan cults. Some are mishmashes of imagery, often taking the symbols of Satan but not believing in the character as an actual being - rather as a representation of human nature. And then there are the ones the others look down upon, the ones born more recently of cultural rebellion and the appeal of the forbidden, which get their
  • Not hard to believe, this explains the Internet Explorer market share.
  • Gutenberg (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Sunday April 03, 2011 @08:49AM (#35698802) Homepage Journal

    Hrm, where have we heard this one before?

  • by Zouden (232738) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @08:57AM (#35698836)

    The internet makes it much easier to find (mis)information about "demonic possession" and therefore increase the demand for exorcists.
    I think it goes something like this:
    1. Fundamentalist parent is concerned that teenage daughter's behaviour indicates she's dabbling in the occult, or demonic possession,
    2. Parent looks up symptoms of demonic possession on the internet, finds other fundamentalist parents who describe similar symptoms ("Once I smelled alcohol on my daughter's breath!"), thus confirming parent's fears,
    3. Parent calls for an exorcist,
    4. Profit (for some).

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @09:21AM (#35698964)

    I'd always thought that the one advantage they'd have to the existence of demonic possession and proof of Satan would be that they could at least say "See? That part of the story's right. So you have to believe that there's a God, too!" But, as many have pointed out, one doesn't always follow the other. A pagan could point to the tree shattered by the thunderbolt and say that this is proof of Zeus for where else could such a bolt have come from? Before science explained such things, the skeptic's arguments were as baseless as the pagan's claims. If there are demons, does this imply there must be a Satan? And even if all of Catholic demonology were proven to be accurate in the enumeration and ranking of such things, could we trust church dogma on their origin story?

    I always liked the idea of a story where the demonic possessions are happening and are supernatural, not just misdiagnosed epilepsy, and yet a very effective exorcist is himself an unbeliever in the faith.

    It also makes me think of a possibly apocryphal story....

    LEGEND HAS IT that in the early 1920s one of Vladimir Lenin's fellow Bolsheviks asked him to justify the growing number of atrocities they were committing in the name of a socialist future. "If you want to make an omelet," Lenin insisted, "you have to be willing to break a few eggs." To which the Bolshevik replied, "Comrade, I see the broken eggs everywhere. But where, oh where, is the omelet?"

    I see your demons but where is your God?

  • by ewe2 (47163) <ewetooNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday April 03, 2011 @09:23AM (#35698990) Homepage Journal

    I'm certain that the Elders of the Internet [eldersoftheinternet.com] would never allow Satanism to flourish. Unless it hadn't been properly demagnetized...

  • by moxley (895517) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @09:38AM (#35699040)

    Internet Warns that Vatican Promotes Pedophilia

  • by bledri (1283728) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @09:58AM (#35699154)
    Satan? [youtube.com]
  • by Tanuki64 (989726) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @10:21AM (#35699302)

    ...is good. Yours is evil.

  • Methodology (Score:5, Insightful)

    by retroworks (652802) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @10:24AM (#35699312) Homepage Journal
    Reading the story... the evidence provided is that demand for exorcists has increased. This, according to the Church, suggests that Satanism is on the increase - the same as an increase in sales of flu medicine may indicate increase in illness. To explain the rise in demand for treatment of Satanic possession, they formulate the theory that the internet could have promoted Satanism, increasing demand for exorcists. An alternative explanation would be that exorcists formerly could only advertise in very large markets - not in the yellow pages of rural areas. With the increase in internet, victims of Satan have wider access to exorcists, who defeat Lucifer in areas where he formerly established safe harbors. Therefore the Internet promotes Exorcism, not Satanism. And flu medicine sales may indicate meth labs are also on the increase in rural areas, which could also increase demand for exorcists. Personally, I find crackheads scarier than Satan.
  • by pongo000 (97357) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @11:47AM (#35699924)

    The Telegraph as an accurate [slashdot.org] news [slashdot.org] source [slashdot.org]? I would expect better from the /. crowd. But hey, since Catholicism is such an easy target, why not throw away sense and reason and engage in a little [slashdot.org] hypocrisy [slashdot.org]?

  • by Alsee (515537) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @12:34PM (#35700230) Homepage

    The Catholic Church, with one foot proudly marching into the Twentieth Century, scientifically and socially, and one foot firmly planted in the Dark Ages, scientifically and socially.

    The exorcism should, if possible, be carried out with the consent of the possessed person [catholicculture.org]

    Anyone who ties up, restrains, or otherwise threatens an unwilling person for an exorcism ritual is a criminal and should damn well be arrested and imprisoned for it. Just as we'd imprison someone for murder if they tied someone to a stake and burned them as a witch.

    With assistance from four nuns, priest Daniel Corogeanu bound Cornici to a cross, gagged her mouth with a towel, and left her for three days without food or water. The ritual, the priest explained, was an effort to drive devils out of the woman. Cornici was found dead on June 15; an autopsy found she had died of suffocation and dehydration... Maricica Cornici is not the first innocent victim of an exorcism. On August 22, 2003, an autistic eight-year-old boy in Milwaukee was bound in sheets and held down by church members during a prayer service held to exorcise the evil spirits they blamed for his condition. An autopsy found extensive bruising on the back of the child's neck and concluded that he died of asphyxiation. In the past ten years, there have been at least four other exorcism-related deaths in the United States alone [radfordreviews.com]

    When an exorcism results in death, the people responsible damn well should be arrested and imprisoned for murder, or manslaughter at minimum.

    -

  • by bryan1945 (301828) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @12:35PM (#35700242) Journal

    Remember the big Satanism scare in the 80s? Sounds like the same thing except now backed by the Vatican. Has anyone ever met or heard of a real, true Satanist? Not goth kids or other silly people, but truly sick individuals?

    By the way, how is this news for nerds?

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @02:32PM (#35701096)

    Only Satanists will have internet.

    Wow, that really doesn't work does it?

  • by rac44 (664123) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @04:57PM (#35702212)

    It must be the silly season for the Telegraph newspaper: the Vatican didn't say anything about satanism.

    The statement didn't come from any Church office, or any cardinal, bishop, or spokesman for the Church. The speaker, Carlo Climati, is a journalist who spoke at a conference at the Catholic university where he works in Rome.

    Some reporters can't tell the difference between an official church spokesman and Some Guy in Rome, or even Some Priest in Rome, but what do you expect from the press: distinctions? We don't need no stinking distinctions!

    Besides, the guy's probably right! If the net has made communication and collaboration easier for jihadist bombers, white supremacists, Democrats, and other horrible people, who's to say it didn't help satanists too?

Time sharing: The use of many people by the computer.

Working...