Wait, Twilight? The vapid crap written by the Mormon lady with the misspelled name about how women should pine over men who mistreat them, who are unwilling/unable to commit to them? Isn’t that kind of a Catholic message anyway?

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. This is insane:

THE appointment of a new exorcist by Sydney’s Catholic Church precedes a warning by a senior clergyman that generation Y risks a dangerous fascination with the occult fuelled by the Twilight and Harry Potter series.

Julian Porteous, the auxiliary bishop of Sydney, warns that pursuing such ”alternative” relaxation techniques as yoga, reiki massages and tai chi may encourage experimentation with ”deep and dark spiritual ideas and traditions”.

Bishop Porteous, who is second to Cardinal George Pell in the Australian Catholic hierarchy, told The Sun-Herald the Twilight and Harry Potter books and films ”are attractive to adolescents and can be innocent enough.

”However, they can open up a fascination with this mysterious world and invite exploration of various phenomena through the use of occult practices like seances.”

(…)

Bishop Porteous – who has stood in as exorcist for the Sydney archdiocese over the past five years – warns that yoga, reiki massages and tai chi can lead to people being in the grip of ”demonic forces”.

Uh huh. And people who believe that demonic spirits can inhabit people’s bodies are somehow not dangerous?

Come clean, guys: isn’t the problem more that if kids are off reading Twilight and Harry Potter instead of coming to church, then they run the risk of noticing how similar those fantasy worlds are to the utter fantasy world that is the Catholic Church? Wizards! Demon spirits! Hotty totty vampires! A multi-tiered spiritual world we can communicate with! Transsubstantiation! Using a priest as a medium to curry favor with a deity!

Etc.

As to the weird comment about yoga leading people into the grip of “demonic forces,” I’d rather my child be in the grip of a “demonic force” than in the grip of a Catholic priest, ifyouknowwhatImean&Ithinkyoudo.

(h/t Pharyngula)