Famed Exorcist Comes to Miami, Puts Santeria on Blast

Categories: Flotsam

fortea.JPG
via Wikimedia Commons
Father Jose Antonio Fortea, author of a famous treaty on demonology, spent about an hour with the press at Miami's Archdiocese on Friday. He framed the conversation around the idea that people are turning toward secular solutions or other faiths to overcome spiritual obstacles.

Fortea, who is from Spain, said that although exorcisms are uncommon last-ditch resorts, the Vatican has emphasized the rite in recent years out of necessity. The Catholic Church does not advertise the number of exorcisms it approves annually, but some statistics do exist: Between 1991 and 2001, the number of Catholic demon-expellers in the United States almost doubled. Fortea claimed that modern culture has weakened the soul and made it more susceptible to possession.

"In a Christian society where everybody prays to the Lord, the room for the activity of demons is very weak," he said. "In a society where you look toward sex, power and ambition, you have no room for God."

It is also the belief of the Catholic Church that there's no remedy for possession other than prayer. Although exorcisms are performed in Judaism, Islam and Hinduism, Fortea chose to focus on Afro-Cuban belief systems for his Miami talk. "What I emphasize is that people should not resort to methods such as dark witchcraft, Santeria or similar things," he said.

According to Ernesto Pichardo, the local babalawo who fought the Supreme Court for the right to practice animal sacrifice, Fortea is making the media rounds to actively combat other faiths, which have taken converts from Catholics in the past two decades. While Evangelical denominations of Christianity have weakened Catholicism's grip on the European faithful, many Cuban Miamians turn to Santeras or Santeros for guidance. The priest, Pichardo says, was employing scare tactics to win people back to the Church and shoehorning the concept of Satan -- a Catholic invention -- into a conversation about the separate kinds of exorcisms that he and other Santeros perform every week.

"This is the return of the Spanish church Inquisition mentality," Pichardo says. "He's here to cause panic and confusion among Miami-Dade's residents, to create intolerance, and to sell his book."

Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.

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22 comments
erikfab30
erikfab30

This could've actually made for an interesting story (despite what a handful of jack-ass millennials that consider Sublime classic rock may opine) but it's not quite salacious or trivial enough to merit the column inches normally reserved for what passes as news in this lackluster publication. Flotsam, indeed.


ob1sfla
ob1sfla

wow, the Vatican is getting desperate, how about sending this guy to work in Haiti, sacrifice some of that cash, they taken from Catholics to do good missions, and spend time helping those victims from the earthquake years ago, not mention ever by the Vatican instead. You wonder why they are loosing people by the thousand, even to this type of practices, they call Satanic, but that have been around before the Vatican, ever invented Christiany, when they copy the Egyptians and reinvented their practices and believe

Andrew Jon
Andrew Jon

How many kids has that guy molested? It's so funny that there are people who still buy into that cult.

m.delvalle1
m.delvalle1

Its cold up north so he's gotta bible thump on sobe. Get back up there ya snowbird!!!

Chris Schaaff
Chris Schaaff

I don't practice Santeria, I ain't got no crystal ball...

Kyle Awon
Kyle Awon

i dont got no crystal ball Lord Todd Simmons

NorthoftheBorder Gold
NorthoftheBorder Gold

because our education system is crap and now we are going back to the Dark Ages.

Brian Enriquez
Brian Enriquez

Of course he will, bet you anything he hasnt taken the time to actually research the religion.

Andrew Foster
Andrew Foster

Fairy tales and ghost stories. I'm sorry but you are an idiot if you believe in this crap.

Mikey Machete
Mikey Machete

gotta send that boy over to one of my former employers lmao

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