Notes on how things seem to me from out here in Hollywood... As seen from Just Above Sunset
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Photos and text, unless otherwise noted, Copyright 2003,2004,2005,2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"

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Friday, 13 February 2004

You see the whole idea is differential diagnosis....

Religion is fascinating, and not opposed to science at all.

See Doctors, Priests Form Exorcism Commission
ROME (Reuters, Friday, February 13, 2004) - Faced with growing demand for exorcisms, Catholic Church leaders in the Italian city of Genoa have created a taskforce of doctors and priests to determine when the devil is at work and when psychiatric help is needed.

The team of three priests, one psychiatrist, one psychologist and one neurologist - dubbed the "anti-Satan pool" by Italian media - will work on a case-by-case basis, a local church official said in a telephone interview on Thursday.

"They'll meet on a regular basis to determine when there has been a case of demonic possession and call for an exorcist, or problems better cared for by a psychologist," said the official, who asked not to be named.
Well, that seems fair.

You see the whole idea is differential diagnosis. One needs to know the cause of the problem - a matter of etiology as they say. Then one can proceed.
For Catholics, exorcism is the casting out of what is believed to be an evil spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands.

One of the church's leading exorcists praised the initiative, saying medical experts are needed to rule out mental problems before spiritual work can begin.

"I never accept anyone who arrives without a medical certificate," Father Gabriele Amorth told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
Not unreasonable, I guess.

And the Church is just doing its job. The Genoa taskforce was created by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. And while the Church does not often talk openly about exorcisms, Bertone said the need for them is there.

"It has become difficult to talk about Satan, but the signs of the devil are palpable," he told Corriere della Sera in comments published Thursday

Yep, your doctor may probe you with his fingers looking for palpable masses, but he or she could, it seems, find the devil. One never knows.

Posted by Alan at 10:22 PST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 13 February 2004 10:26 PST home

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