The Power of Christ Compels You...
'What an excellent day for a convention.'
Pssst...Where the Devil Is the Exorcist Convention?
VATICAN CITY - Orthodontists have national conventions, as do lawyers and computer salespeople. So why not exorcists? At the end of his weekly general audience Wednesday Pope Benedict greeted Italian exorcists who, he disclosed, are currently holding their national convention.
The Pope encouraged them to "carry on their important work in the service of the Church."
Problem was that until the Pope spoke, few people outside the inner circle knew that a convention of Beelzebub-busters was going on, presumably in Rome.
And where were they holding it? In a church, a hotel, a graveyard?
"They try to keep these things quiet," said a Catholic professor who has dealings with exorcists.
The Roman Catholic Church has shown growing interest in exorcism in Italy.
In 1999, the Vatican issued its first updated ritual for exorcism since 1614 and warned that the devil is still at work.
The official Roman Catholic exorcism starts with prayers, a blessing and sprinkling of holy water, the laying on of hands on the possessed, and the making of the sign of the cross. It ends with an "imperative formula" in which the devil is ordered to leave the possessed. The formula begins: "I order you, Satan..." It goes on to denounce Satan as "prince of the world" and "enemy of human salvation." It ends: "Go back, Satan."
A Vatican university announced last Thursday that for the second year running it will hold a course on exorcism and Satanism for Roman Catholic priests. The four-month course, which begins in October, is what the university calls inter-disciplinary. It includes medical, psychological and religious aspects of Satanism and exorcism.
According to some estimates, as many as 5,000 people are thought to be members of Satanic cults in Italy with 17-to 25-year-olds making up three quarters of them.
Interest in the devil and the occult has been boosted by films such as The Exorcist in 1973 and last year's Exorcist: The Beginning.
Hurry! Seating is limited!
Seminar Program for ExCon CCCVI?
8:00am, The Sveti Ballroom
Morning Mass & Muffin Mixer. Meet other unmarried priests from around the world!
8:45am, Auditorium A
Physical Exorcise: Pope John Paul II's 10-Minute Pre-Ritual Workout. Let's get metaphysical, boys! (Wheelchairs available upon request.)
9am, Room 1E
Your Mother Sucks Cocks in Hell!: Mean Things Devils Might Say. Special Guest Speaker: Ozzy Osbourne.
10am, Room 4A
Bitchslapping the Beast: Ten Blows That Leave No Marks. Presented by the Los Angeles Police Department.
11am, Room 5B
Speaking in Tongues...Or Just Keith Richards?: Determining Ancient Aramic from Gibberish. Special Guest Speaker: "Godfather of Soul" James Brown (and interpretor).
11:30am, Room 3D
Seltzer Water or Holy Water?: The Unholy Scourge of Vomit Stains. Presented by Spray 'N Wash.
Noon, Auditorium C
Lunch and a Matinee! Screening of Repossessed, starring Linda Blair and Leslie Nielson. You'll laugh your cASSock off! $5 includes box lunch - pre-teens eat for free!
1pm, Room 1B
She Did What with Your What?: Cleaning Crucifixes, Rosary Beads & Satan's Other Sex Toys. Presented by Palmolive.
1:30pm, Room 1A
Dressed for Possessed: Looking Fab in Drab! "Black is the new black, honey!" says Special Guest Speaker, Queer Eye's Carson.
2pm, Room 5D
Lick Me! Fuck Me! Stick Your Cock Up Her Ass!: Resisting Temptation, Even When the Possessed Little Minx Is Begging for It. Special demonstration by adult film star Jenna Jameson. Brought to you by the Catholic Church Legal Defense Fund.
3pm, Heirlis Ballroom
Choir Boy 'Jesus Juice' Social. Free candy and wine. Private rooms available for rent. BYOCB! Surprise Special Guest, shamon hee!
3:50pm, Downstairs Men's Room, 3rd Stall
Emergency Confessional. No questions asked.
4pm, Room 4B
Demonic Possession...Or Just Gary Busey?: What Every Exorcist Should Know About Mental Illness. Special Guest Speaker:
5pm, Room 1A
Trial by Fire & The Lessons of Emily Rose: Beating the Inevitable Murder Rap. Special Guest Speaker: OJ Simpson.
6pm, Auditorium E
BeelzeBingo! Hosted by outrageous drag queen The Virgin Harry and her "absolutely fab!u!lous!" (Vatican Newsletter) Holy Jesi go-go boys! $5/game.
7pm, Auditorium A
Dinner and a Movie! Screening of The Exorcist, starring Linda Blair and Max von Sydow. Brought to you by Campbell's Soup. $8 includes dinner - pre-teens eat for free!
9pm, Auditorium B
Insomniac's Theater! Haley Joel Osment film festival! So young, so nubile, so talented - we love that boy! AI, The Sixth Sense, and Pay It Forward, presented by NAMBLA. Followed by Q&A with Michael Jackson. $10 - pre-teens admitted free!