WASHINGTON: The people of Great Britain have lived under a heavily bureaucratized health care system for more than seventy years. They wait long periods of time before receiving care and, in some cases, are denied life-extending cancer drugs under a rationing regime designed to reduce costs. The people in Britain are in dire need of an exorcism of the healthcare bureaucracy. And the conclusions of the Devil’s death panels therein.
Nonetheless, for Americans, the question remains,
“There but for the Grace of God go we?”
A regulatory state of mind
These regulations are under the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Recognizing the irony of the name as it is, in reality, a devilish death panel.
Speaking of rationing and diabolical bureaucracy, this practice has crept into Britain’s ecclesiastical institutions as well.
A ministry of silly balks
For parishioners of the Church of England life is under the constraints of what’s called “The House of Bishops’ Guidelines for Good Practice in the Deliverance Ministry (re: 2012).”
Here is an excerpt from the three-page document:
“As part of the process of review, in 2009 the Archbishops’ Adviser for the Healing Ministry undertook a comprehensive survey and review of deliverance ministry, collating and analyzing information from every diocese in the Church of England. Having completed this work, and observing the uneven nature of much deliverance ministry practice, she made a series or recommendation in her 2010 report for ensuring best practice in the future.”
One hardly knows from the bloodless and wordy paragraph above what “deliverance ministry” means. Much less what “best practice” is being “ensured.”
Pitchforks and pointed ears
You must agonize through seven paragraphs before arriving at an answer:
“The ministry of exorcism and deliverance may only be exercised by a priest authorized by the diocesan bishop… All should have proper supervision and should abide by these guidelines and by diocesan regulations. Each diocesan bishop will draw up local regulations or guidelines for the ministry of deliverance for the diocese.”
Imagine what Monty Python-like absurdities in regulatory controls must exist depending on what region of the United Kingdom one resides. Concluding that there must be more guidelines on exorcism than there are demons in perdition’s pantheon.
But here is the best part:
“Everyone involved in performing this ministry should be covered by adequate insurance.”
Therefore, you mustn’t confront the Devil without the right insurance policy provisions in place. But if insurers fail to cover “acts of God,” what are the chances they cover acts of, well, you know who?
A Devilish increase
The Manchester Guardian says,
“Exorcisms are a booming industry in the U.K., partly driven by immigrant communities and Pentecostal churches.”
Meanwhile, in Rome, the Vatican announced it will step up efforts to train Catholic clergy in the ancient ritual to meet demands. A reported half-million Catholics request an exorcism annually in Italy alone.
In fact, the Vatican offers its clergy a week-long course for a cost-effective $370.
Back in Britain, Ben Ryan at the Catholic think-tank Theos says the global rise in devilish manifestations is due to the “over-spiritualizing” of “mental health issues. That is, treating everything as a spiritual issue, rather than a medical one.”
As much as he hates to, the overly rational Ryan attempts to give the Devil his due,
“This is not to simply dismiss the possibility of demonic possession.”
Possibility? Has he read his Bible?
Belief in God and the Devil?
Nonetheless, for a Catholic, Ryan sounds as secular in his view of spiritual combat as the modern incarnation of King Henry VIII’s Church of England.
If he doesn’t believe in the Devil, does he believe in God?
Are all the mysteries of life now what passes for scripture in this age of secular big government; the codices of bureaucratic regulation?
Regardless, perhaps Americans need to realize the Devil himself is in its details.
Top image: a segment of “The Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosh.