No wonder this guy has no hair!
The Catholic Church’s top exorcist, who claims to have sent 160,000 demons back to hell, says he wants Pope Francis to allow all priests to start performing the ritual to deal with a rising demand for exorcisms from the faithful.
Father Gabriele Amorth, 88, who also heads the International Association of Exorcists, told The Sunday Times that he will ask Pope Francis to allow all priests the right to do exorcisms without the church’s approval. According to the report, priests currently need special approval from their bishop to perform the rite and it is rarely granted.
“I will ask the pope to give all priests the power to carry out exorcisms, and to ensure priests are properly trained for these starting with the seminary. There’s a huge demand for them,” said Father Amorth.
He explained that he was inspired to make the request after watching Pope Francis perform what he insists was an exorcism on a man “possessed by four demons” in St. Peter’s Square.
“The pope is also the Bishop of Rome, and like any bishop he is also an exorcist,” Amorth reportedly told La Repubblica newspaper. “It was a real exorcism. If the Vatican has denied this, it shows that they understand nothing.”
“There was now, more than ever, a need for exorcists to combat people possessed by ‘sorcerers’ and ‘Satanists,’” he noted in that report.
An 84-page update of exorcism rites compiled in 1614 and drawn up in 1998 stipulates how Catholic priests trained as exorcists should operate. According to the guidelines established by the church, they have to follow a ritual known as “De exorcismis et supplicationibus quibusdam,” or “Of exorcisms and certain supplications.”
Amorth explained that Pope Francis’ exorcism on May 19 helped to balance the growing atheism in the world where people don’t believe in the Devil anymore.
“We live in an age in which God has been forgotten. And wherever God is not present, the Devil rules,” said Amorth.
“Today, unfortunately, bishops don’t appoint sufficient exorcists. We need many more. I hope that Rome will send out directives to bishops around the world calling on them to appoint more exorcists.”
Amorth is also an outspoken critic of yoga and Harry Potter books and dismissed them as ungodly hobbies.
“Practicing yoga brings evil as does reading Harry Potter. They may both seem innocuous but they both deal with magic and that leads to evil,” he said.
In addressing Harry Potter, he said: “People think it is an innocuous book for children but it’s about magic and that leads to evil. In Harry Potter the Devil is at work in a cunning and crafty way, he is using his extraordinary powers of magic and evil.”
“Satan is always hidden and the thing he desires more than anything is for people to believe he does not exist,” he noted. “He studies each and every one of us and our tendencies towards good and evil and then he tempts us.”
Comedian Bassem Yousef Tests Freedom of Speech in the New Egypt
In the early days of American democracy, you could always count on Benjamin Franklin for a good political joke to put things into perspective.
In the early days of Egypt’s democracy, you’ve got Bassem Youssef.
He’s been called the “Egyptian Jon Stewart.”
The former heart surgeon, shot to fame during Egypt’s revolution in 2011 after he posted videos on YouTube lampooning political figures.
And those videos paved the way for a TV show with millions of viewers.
But over the weekend Bassem Youssef saw what happens when he thinks he’s funny, but the Egyptian government does not.
A warrant was issued, and Youssef was questioned by authorities for a few hours before being released on bail.
The comedian allegedly insulted Islam and President Mohammed Morsi.
“I don’t have any personal vendettas against anyone,” Youssef responded. “On the contrary it would be an honor for me to host any of those I criticize on my show it would be a success for myself and also a success for freedom of thought and expression as it would send a message to the people that they, the Muslim Brotherhood, are in power. They accept criticism and that once they leave the show I would still criticize them. This happens all over the world so why can’t it be for us?”
That is a key question, not just in Egypt, but also in other Arab Spring countries – like Tunisia and Libya – where revolutions have toppled long-standing rulers.
Michael Wahid Hanna, a fellow at The Century Foundation, says “Egypt is perhaps unique in the proliferation of legal measures that are very clearly aimed at stifling speech, expression and dissent.”
Morsi doesn’t like criticism of himself or Islam. Don’t knock a people’s religion. Look what Morsi does in the video below.
By the way Morsi, everybody is descendants of Apes!
The Abraj Al-Bait Towers, also known as the Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower, is a building complex in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. These towers are a part of the King Abdulaziz Endowment Project that strives to modernize the holy city in catering to the pilgrims. The complex holds several world records, the tallest clock tower in the world, the world’s largest clock face and the building with the world’s largest floor area. The complex’s hotel tower became the second tallest building in the world in 2012, surpassing Taiwan’s Taipei 101 and surpassed only by Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. The building complex is metres away from the world’s largest mosque and Islam’s most sacred site, the Masjid al Haram. The developer and contractor of the complex is the Saudi Binladin Group, the Kingdom’s largest construction company.
The tallest tower in the complex stands as the tallest building in Saudi Arabia, with a height of 601 metres (1,972 feet). Currently it is the second tallest building in the world, surpassing Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan. The structure has surpassed Dubai International Airport in having the largest floor area of any structure in the world with 1,500,000 m2 (16,150,000 sq ft) of floorspace.
The site of the complex is located across the street to the south from an entrance to the Masjid al Haram mosque, which houses the Kaaba. To accommodate worshipers visiting the Kaaba, the Abraj Al-Bait Towers has a large prayer room capable of holding more than 10,000 people. The tallest tower in the complex also contains a five-star hotel, operated by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, to help provide lodging for the millions of pilgrims that travel to Mecca annually to participate in the Hajj.
In addition, the Abraj Al-Bait Towers has a 20 story shopping mall (the Abraj Al Bait Mall) and a parking garage capable of holding over a thousand vehicles. Residential towers house permanent residents while two heliports and a conference center are to accommodate business travelers. In total, up to 100,000 people could be housed inside the towers. The project uses clock faces for each side of the hotel tower. The highest residential floor stands at 450 metres (1,480 feet), just below the spires. The clock faces are 43 m × 43 m (141 ft × 141 ft), the largest in the world. The roof of the clocks is 530 metres (1,740 feet) above the ground, making them the world’s most elevated architectural clocks. A 71-metre-tall spire (233 ft) has been added on top of the clock giving it a total height of 601 metres (1,972 feet), which makes it the second tallest building in the world, surpassing Taipei 101 in Taiwan. The tower also includes an Islamic Museum and a Lunar Observation Center which will also be used to sight the moon during the Holy Months.
Those Arabs operate in strange ways. They claim to be the most spiritual and religious people to ever grace the face of the earth. Yet they build a 20 story shopping mall and 4 star hotel right next to their most sacred shrine. Ostentatious materialism juxtaposed by religious devotion?
Either way you look at it, this is one amazing gigantic structure.
Of course the title at the top is to be taken with a huge grain of salt. Some people create blasphemous material to drive other people stark mad and raise tensions. Others, like at the bottom of this post, do it for laughs.
The Muslim riots and protests over some obscure internet film is starting to get old. I think a lot of these protesters have nothing at all else to do. However the film is mean in the extreme. As the BBC report below demonstrates.
The film Innocence of Muslims depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a foolish and power-hungry man
Thousands have protested across the Middle East and North Africa against a film made in the US that depicts the Prophet Muhammad. James Longman explains what is in the film and why it has enraged so many people.
What does the film show?
The video, a trailer for a longer film entitled Innocence of Muslims, appears to depict Islam as a religion of violence and hate, and its Prophet Muhammad as a foolish and power hungry man.
It opens with a scene in which a Coptic family in a newly radicalised Islamic Egypt is attacked by a group of Muslims. The father tells his daughters that Muslims are bent on killing all Christians and that the Islamic state is hiding their crimes.
It then depicts the Prophet Muhammad and his life with his family and his followers in the desert. He is shown with his wife Khadija, and implies she engineers the Koran with a mix of Old and New Testament verse. He is also shown in sexual positions with his wife and other women.
The film shows Muhammad’s followers to be savage killers hungry for wealth and bent on killing women and children. One of the most insulting sequences includes a reference to Muhammad sanctioning the molestation of children, and at one stage the Prophet also declares that he is gay.
Many characters recite verses supposedly taken from the Koran although clearly invented, as they go about killing and extorting locals.
Why is it so offensive?
Depicting the Prophet Muhammad in any way already defies Islamic belief, let alone satirising him. His wife Khadija and his earliest companions are also revered in their own right in Islam, and so mocking these individuals is also considered serious blasphemy.
The founding principle of Islam is that the Koran is the direct word of God, revealed to Muhammad in order that he impart it to humankind. Depicting Khadija as planning to concoct a holy book out of the Old and New Testament defies an intrinsic Islamic belief.
The film shows the Koran as having been concocted from the Old and New Testaments
Other references to Muhammad’s affairs with women, his greed and violence would clearly be insulting in any context.
What do we know about how it was put together?
The entire film is thought to be around an hour long, although most have only seen a 14 minute trailer which has now been widely circulated on the internet in English and Arabic.
It was clearly put together on a budget, with a cheaply made set, amateur actors and poor production standards. It was shot over five days at a California film studio in August last year, with a cast of around 50, together with a large production crew.
The most offensive parts of the film appear not to have been in the original, but dubbed over the soundtrack at a later date.
Who is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula?
The now infamous trailer for the film was posted through a Youtube account linked to the name ‘sambacile’ – originally reported as an Israeli Jew who had raised $5m dollars from Jewish donors in the US to make the film. But this person did not exist.
US authorities now say they have identified Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, an Egyptian-born Coptic Christian living in California as the man who made the film. Basseley, who was found guilty of fraud in 2010 and ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution, is thought to have used the pseudonym “Sam Bacile” to hide his identity. He denies the allegations.
What do the actors say about it?
They say they were misled about the film entirely, claiming that the original film had nothing to do with Islam or Muhammad, and that all references to him and insults to the religion were added post-production.
Cindy Lee Garcia, who had a small role in the film, told Web site Gawker.com that she and others were given a script for a film called Desert Warriors, and that it would be a historical drama set in the Middle East. Ms Garcia also said she had seen Mr Nakoula on set.
Is there something more going on here than protests about a film?
As was evident after Danish cartoons of Muhammad were published in 2006, politicians and religious leaders in the region use perceived insults to Islam to rally public support.
Protests began to spread from Egypt to other countries – spurred on perhaps by local media – because of a long-standing mistrust and anger at the West, something a number of groups have been able to capitalise upon.
Disillusionment, lack of opportunity and anger at the establishment can cause protests in any context.
Here is a satire of Jesus from Family Guy creator Seth Macfarlane. Most hard core Christians just believe Seth can do whatever he wants because he is going to burn in hell anyway.
This video has pretty heavy content, depending on your beliefs of course. The language makes a drunken sailor look like an altar boy. Please use discretion.