memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Archive for January 25, 2012

The Witch-Finder General

Tuesday 6th July 2010
There’s this disgruntled old dear who just sits around all day doing nothing (don’t we all). What is different about her is that every now and then (about a once a month) she opens her mouth and out comes a stream of obscenity and profanity.
Ouch! Where can she have heard that one, I wonder or from what cess-pit of her subconscious did that come from? Let’s just say that it’s socially inappropriate and leave it at that.
She’s also a bit twitchy. It may be some form of Tourette’s Syndrome, I surmise, which is a bit unusual in someone who has lived in the same Portuguese village all her life. One day I mentioned her case to one of the care-workers and mentioned that it could be Tourette’s ; she stared at me, I don’t anything about that, she said, all I know is that she not quite up right up there and she tapped her head significantly.

(During the Middle Ages, I suppose she would have been burnt as a witch, so at least we’ve made some progress).

With the recent exposure of the extent of the systematic sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests of children in their pastoral care, a great deal of attention has been focussed on the Vatican itself. While watching one of the many TV programs on the subject I was astonished to learn that the Holy See actually employs an official exorcist and that this official, (with a PhD. in Demonology perhaps), is kept very busy, carrying out about 20 exorcisms a day!
It is hard to resist not falling back onto satire here:

Possession by the Devil, sir? It’s the first door on the left;
Being tempted by demons, Miss? Second door on the right;
Your cat is speaking in strange tongues, Madam? Just take a seat and The Witch-Finder General will attend to you shortly…

Joe Bloggs is a serial paedophile. He is tried by a Criminal Court, found guilty and sentenced to ten years imprisonment.
Father Joseph O’ Bloggs is also a serial paedophile. But he is tried by Canon Law, found guilty and sentenced to a course of counselling and discreetly transferred to another parish. The local police are not informed and the victims are too ashamed to come forward.
That’s just not right, is it?  It really isn’t.


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