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Of Love and Other Demons

"Benedictus qui venit in nominee veritatis."Blessed is he who comes in the name of truth Abrenuncio de Sa Pereira Cao declared. Truth is the common thread that ties this story of trial together. The truth that is being sought after is the truth of the Church and the truth of God. To some, these two truths are not one and the same, and to others there can be no separation.
The main belief system of this South American seaport is Catholicism. Virtually every person is catholic, and if they are not, they are ostracized from society. The Church and State directly influence each other. Catholicism is the dominating authority in cases affecting individuals and society. One example of this is the influence of the Bishop in the community. When the Bishop heard about the "scandal" surrounding Sierva Maria's "vicissitudes" he took the liberty of seeing to it the she be put into a convent where she could be "cured" of her demonic disease. The Bishop was certain that the ailment of Sierva Maria was not rabies, but in fact, demon possession. It is a curious thing that even though other medical signs, such as the infected bite, were prominent, the Bishop did not consider the medical side of the illness. Whether or not she did indeed have rabies or not is not the issue at hand, but the fact that there was no room for other causes except that of demon possession. Everything was spiritualized and attributed to some sin or demonic scandal.
Let us take the example of the Marquis'sfirst wife. She apparently was a very talented person with the gift of music. People of the community said they were "inspired by the lyricism of the Holy Spirit" when she played. However, when she was killed unexpectedly by a bolt of lightening, the people immediately interpreted this as a judgment of God because of a dreadful sin she "must" have committed. Society easily turns on anyone if anyth…


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