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Angels and Demons

Unlike birds, bats, bugs or any other flying creatures, of which there are numerous varieties, no in-depth study seems to have ever been carried out on the various species of angels which, according to the Catholic Church, flutter around us on a daily basis.

Our scanty knowledge of angels comes mainly from the renaissance painters and their masterpieces which indicate that there are, indeed, several kinds. The tall blond ones with what appear to be sleek, aerodynamically perfect, goose feathered wings which, in the paintings, they wrap protectively around weeping women in distress; the chubby little four-winged ones, whose wings have evolved, perhaps, to enable them to hover at low altitude and feed in mid-flight; and the biblical ones (see Isaiah 6:1-2) which have six wings, two of which they use to cover their faces, two to cover their feet, and two more for the actual job of flying. (Although, as there have been no reported sightings of these for many years, we fear they may now be extinct). Apart from this we know very little, and nothing of their natural habitat, their feeding patterns or their mating habits.

Fortunately a conference on angels has recently taken place in Rome, and one of the Vatican’s angel experts, the knowledgeable but unfortunately named Fr Renzo Lavatori has brought us up to date with the Church’s latest thinking on the subject. And he started by dropping a bombshell. ‘Angels’, he told us, ‘may not have wings at all’. They may actually be more like ‘shards of light’. ‘You do not see angels so much as feel their presence’ he reported, ‘they are a bit like sunlight that refracts on you through a crystal vase’. Well, that’s all very nice but he didn’t really go much further. What most of us would like to know, for example, is what do they actually do all day?

Fr Lavatori, who is also a ‘demonologist’ did, however, add that ‘we need them now more than ever before. This is because increasing secularisation and materialism in society have left an open door for the devil’ he explained. ‘There is a lot more interference from diabolical forces. That is why you see queues of people outside the exorcist’s offices in churches’.

Well yes, that is very worrying. It was only a couple of years ago that Rome’s chief exorcist, Fr Gabrielle Amorth, explained to us that practicing yoga and reading Harry Potter books was satanic and would lead to evil. And his predecessor, Fr Candido Amantini, was said to have spoken to, and battled with demons for 36 years. And now a Polish priest, Fr Slawomir Kostrzewa, has identified the latest satanic scareLego bricks.

Lego, he explained, is all about ‘darkness and the world of death’. (And there was us thinking that that’s what the Catholic Church was all about). In a move that might, we must assume, enable toddlers to unleash satanic forces against their parents Lego have extended their range of happy little interlocking characters with a series of ‘monster fighters’ one, of which, is ‘Lord Vampyre’, a Dracula-like character with fangs.

It’s their little, moulded facial expressions that Fr Kostrzewa is concerned about. They show ‘satisfaction with their evil deeds’ he says. Although to be honest, that could also be said about the toddlers who play with them. But no, this is serious. It will ‘destroy their souls and lead them to the dark side’ he insists. And in case you think Fr Kostrzewa may just be one brick short of a plastic house, rest assured. He also warned us about the spiritual dangers of ‘Hello Kitty’ and ‘My Little Pony’.

NW