There Is Only One


Here's a story that will make you want to rip off your brown scapular in disgust and throw it away like Dirty Harry: A group of laymen appear to have vandalized St. Paul's* Cathedral of St. Paul while conducting an unauthorized anti-gay exorcism. A group dedicated to using sacramentals to cleanse places where gays take communion is suspected of having put salt and holy oil around the steps, doors, and collection baskets, a mess that Fr. Michael Skluzacek, rector of the cathedral, estimates will cost a few thousand dollars to clean up.

Of course, the Roman Catholic Church doesn't teach, yet, that homosexuality can be cured through exorcism, and it's unclear whether the cracker-barrel exorcists in this case were trying to purge gayness itself or just the devilry associated with Rainbow Sash members who attend mass at the cathedral. But there is a very lively culture of demon-binding among evangelical protestants, some of whom cast out rich menus of lust demons, homsexuality demons, anti-Semitism demons, etc., when they believe people are suffering from any of these maladies. On that note, I highly recommend Michael Cuneo's American Exorcism, a very entertaining survey of contemporary exorcisms and demon-casting.

* Correction: Having come upon this story first in a Duluth paper, I initially misidentified the cathedral's home city as Duluth. I meant no disrespect to either St. Paul (a city I have visited and enjoyed immensely) or Duluth (a city I have never visited and have no opinion about). Thanks to reader "Dylan" for catching the error.