atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#6446: You need a vacation!

One of the things that always bothered me the most about Amityville Horror is the scene where the priest is talking to his colleagues, and the priest that was also the mayor in Jaws tells Rod Steiger that he just needs a vacation, because of course there's no devil.

I forget exactly what he invokes, but he says that Rod Steiger is either a "novus ordo" or "Vatican II" priest, well-educated, and should be immune to "superstition"; and every time I watch this scene I think, "These guys are priests and they don't believe in the devil?"

And the worst part about it is that, over the years, I've learned enough about the functioning of the "modern" church to feel as if this is not a Hollywood exaggeration, but a reasonable approximation of how it is. Certainly not all priests are like that, but it seems to me that a staggering number of them must be solely because of how the church approaches some things.

Understand that I am born and raised protestant; my knowledge of the Catholic church is limited. But it seems to me that a lot of the scandal we see from the church could (or should, at least) not occur if the upper echelons of the leadership believed there was an adversary, a supernatural power that actively wanted to bring down the church.

I read Ann Barnhardt's discussions on the corruption at the highest levels of it, and while I prefer to believe that it's not quite as dire as she depicts it, there's enough smoke coming from that level that there has to be some fire there--maybe not the raging inferno she describes, but certainly some kind of blaze.

The picture is all too common: the priest who no longer believes, who goes through the motions, who does what he wants behind closed doors because he thinks that only appearances matter, but cynically thinks that the actual religion part is for the rubes--it's a stereotype, but stereotypes don't exist in a vacuum.

My biggest fear is that Barnhardt is correct.

There was a prophecy, some time ago, about the Papacy, about how many Popes there would be. The prophecy told us what the Popes would be named; and at its end, the church is no more. We are now perilously close to the end of that list; only a few remain on it.

They say that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world that he doesn't exist. I don't know how far that goes, but I worry that it's gone too far.
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