Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Re-post: Sects and Satanic Cults

Originally posted on 1/18/06

Folks, EWTN has made available on-line a very interesting series originally published in L'Osservatore Romano, entitled, Sects and Satanic Cults. It consists of six articles dealing with various aspects (phenomenological, anthropological, psychological, legal, doctrinal and pastoral) of the growing and disturbing phenomenon of practices connected with the cult of satanic sects. The essays have been prepared in collaboration with the Bologna-based Organization for Research and Information on Sects, while adoctrinal reflection has been written by Bishop Angelo Scola through the good offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

What follows is EWTN's summary of each article. I think they are worth your time reading.
1. Phenomenon of Satanism in Contemporary Society - Giuseppe Ferarri

This essay, written by the National Secretary of the Organization for Research and Information on Sects, and Editorial Director of the journal Religioni e sette nel mondo, defines the concept, before illustrating the "composite phenomenon of contemporary satanism."

2. An Anthropological View of Satanism - Andrea Porcarelli

This essay, written by the editor of the journal Religioni e sette nel mondo, and Professor of philosophy and religious studies at the Dominican Philosophical Studium of Bologna, approaches the subject from an anthropological point of view, examining the image of man as found in satanic teaching, and and also some of the motives of those who approach the world of satanism.

3. Satanism From a Psychological Viewpoint - Eugenio Fizzoti

A Professor of the Psychology of Religion, School of Education, at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome, takes two perspectives on the phenomenon, one seeking to understand behavior attributed to demonic forces, the other, the motivational world of a person who accepts a doctrine in which the demonic becomes central.

4. Legal and Juridical Aspects of Satanism - Lucia Musti

A deputy district attorney of the Tribunal of Bologna, Italy, explains that, although the court system is not interested in sects as such, intervention of the Court becomes necessary when a sect incites actions punishable by law, e.g., fraud, crimes against sexual freedom and against respect for the dead.

5. Satanic Rites in the Church's Judgement - Bishop Angelo Scola

Bishop emeritus of Grosseto, Italy, and Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome, Bishop Scola cites Holy Scripture and the Tradition of the Church to show that satanic rites "separate one radically from communion with God," with effects that can reach from physical disturbances to diabolical possession.

6. Pastoral Attitudes Towards the Phenomenon of Satanism - Bishop Mario Moronta Rodriguez

The Bishop of Los Teaqes, Venezuela, outlines pastoral strategy in dealing with Satanism, including knowledge of the phenomenon, attention to vulnerable groups, extensive catechesis, and proclamation of Christ and His victory over the devil. This was the last of six articles in a series from 1997, entitled "Sects and Satanic Cults."