Sunday, 12 August 2012

Exorcism by the Presidential Palace

The Presidential Palace, Sunday 12 August. A warm and pleasant evening, a throng of Varsovians intermingled with an almost equal number of tourists, are enjoying a stroll along Nowy Świat and Krakowskie Przedmieście, as they have done for centuries. Poland, more prosperous and secure than ever in history. And yet, and yet... The police have cordoned off Krakowskie Przedmieście stopping all motorised traffic including buses.

Some kind of congregation has gathered, no more than 20 in number. In their midst is a Roman Catholic priest. He is talking about the dark powers of Satan inhabiting the Presidential Palace. The president and his aides - tools of Satan. And then, the Prayer to St. Michael. The Exorcism prayer. The small congregation repeats it in a call-and-response manner similar to the Hail Mary. I'm surprised they all know it, but then discover that the Prayer to St. Michael was regularly said after the end of Low Mass each Sunday, and abolished by the Vatican in March 1965. So to know this prayer by heart, you have to be at least in your sixties, and have been a significant God-botherer, the type who hangs around after Mass has ended (rather than going forth in peace).

The congregation was calling on St. Michael to do battle with Satan and other evil spirits, including specifically those lurking within the bodies of the staff working in the Palace.

O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God,
Thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
Who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Or for my Polish readers (the entire Exorcism to St. Michael in Polish is here):

Wodzu niebieskich zastępów,
Szatana i inne duchy złe,
Które na zgubę dusz ludzkich po tym świecie krążą
Mocą Bożą strąć do piekła.
Passers-by were amused, curious; there was none of the szarpanie (aggressive jostling) I witnessed outside the Presidential Palace when the original 'Smolensk Cross' was being defended here in the spring of 2010. The congregation itself was minimal, the police and security services were clearly expecting more.

Reflecting on the whole thing, I'd posit the following theory: people who believe in the physical presence of Satan in our universe are far more likely to vote for PiS than those who don't.


AndrzejK said...

So much easier and more comforting to blame Satan for everything one does not like. I would also like to hear from the Bishop of Warsaw as to whether the priest has the necessary qualifications to trifle with the occult. From babbling prayers to Tworki is but a short journey.

AndrzejK said...

PS the two ladies in the photo appear to be dressed in hospital uniforms. Maybe the dear misguided cleric was indeed on day release from some secure unit (siostro dlaczego ta koszula zapina się z tyłu).

adthelad said...

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa ...