‘Stealth’ exorcisms needed in the US
If you plan on exorcising an entire country – something that happened recently in Mexico – don’t go shouting about it before you start attacking demons with crucifixes, holy water and mumbo-jumbo invocations.
Why? Because there is usually backlash in the form of scepticism and ridicule, according to Father Gary Thomas, pastor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Saratoga, California, and the exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose.
In this report the priest also said he was cautious about the idea of exorcising an entire country.
I’m not really sure about the efficaciousness of that. I think there are too many implications we cannot back up if we start saying we are going to exorcise a country.
According to Father Thomas, demonic activity has been increasing in the United States because people are choosing to be dissuaded away from God and opening portals such as New Age and witchcraft that are gateways to the demonic.
When faith becomes thin and Satan and agents of Satan move in, there are going to be effects. It was Pope Benedict XVI who said that as faith diminishes, superstition increases.
Msgr John Esseff, a priest for 62 years in the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and an exorcist for more than 35 years, is also lukewarm about national exorcisms.
Instead, he said exorcisms could be performed diocese by diocese, and he encourages each bishop to do so.
Every bishop is the chief exorcist of his own diocese. Anytime anyone with the authority uses his power against Satan, that is powerful. Every priest and bishop has that power.
During the exorcism of a diocese, Esseff explained that the bishop calls on the power of Jesus over every court, every single institution, every individual and every family.
The whole country would have such power if bishops would exorcise their dioceses.
In 2013, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, above, performed a “minor” exorcism at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield in response to the governor’s signing same-sex marriage into law.
He said the prayer service was “not meant to demonize anyone”, but was “intended to call attention to the diabolical influences of the devil that have penetrated our culture.”
And Father Patrick (not his real name), a parish priest and also an exorcist for his US diocese explained that there are differences when exorcising a place rather than a person.
With a person, an exorcist investigates to identify the true nature of the problems. With a place, the exorcist looks at a territorial battlefield where good angels have lost their authority because power has been given over to demons through rejection of God’s authority.
According to him, exorcising a place is done to re-establish God’s authority.
We want to shift superiority over an area to the angels, but there is still the ground-level [response] that needs all the priests to engage in battle, too.
Father Patrick said that he has seen holy priests turn their parishes around when the angels were called upon and God was given authority.
• The top illustration was taken from Wikihow’s hysterical “How to perform a Christian exorcism” which advises:
Know the symptoms of demonic possession. Some of them are: blaspheming, a phobic-like repelling from all things Christian, such as hating churches, the Blessed Sacrament, Bibles, holy water, rosaries, etc …
One illustration in the article implies that an evil spirit might be a woman in burqa.