Religion: No Sympathy for the Devil

A Cardinal decries satanic influence

The Gospel text for the day was familiar enough: Matthew 4, depicting the devil's threefold temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. But the Sunday sermon, delivered last week by New York's John Cardinal O'Connor, quickly became a headline grabber. To illustrate the reality of evil and give the biblical theme a contemporary twist, O'Connor recited what he termed "gruesomely realistic" portions of The Exorcist, the 1971 novel (and later film) that drew upon accounts of hundreds of exorcisms. Moreover, after Mass the Cardinal revealed to reporters that priests had been authorized to perform two exorcisms in his archdiocese over the past...

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