The most frightening movie I have ever watched was released in 1973, when I believed myself a wise and committed atheist. I thought I did not believe in God, ghosts or demons. The Exorcist proved me wrong, though for years I continued to deny their existence. The movie created in me a fear such as I had never experienced – a fear the vestiges of which remain to this day.
As a born-again Christian, I now know that God and Satan are real. I also know that Satan has no power to harm me spiritually, though I do not doubt that he can tempt or injure me physically through his agents. While I do believe demonic possession is a reality, I do not believe that demons can take possession of true believers, for we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit
In that movie, two Catholic priests, played by Jason Miller and Max Von Sydow, struggled to free Linda Blair's character from demonic possession. In the process, the demon fired volleys of pea-soup vomit and the priests countered with torrents of holy water. I don't know who won, because I have never seen the picture's final scenes.
Maybe I'll see the ending, if I can screw up the courage. The movie was re-released a few years ago, according to a newspaper article. The same article included a report that the Archdiocese of Chicago had appointed its very first full-time exorcist.
A spokesman for the archdiocese said that the exorcist, an experienced priest, had not performed any public exorcisms in this country, but was involved in nine during the years he was in Rome. When the article was published, the priest reportedly was meeting with twelve people who sought his help.
According to another priest, Robert Barron, a theologian and spokesman on exorcism, most who seek help from an exorcist really need some other kind of help.
From medieval times until the mid-1960's, exorcisms were commonplace in the Roman Catholic Church. Every priest was an exorcist and exorcism was a part of the ceremony of baptism..
The minor order of Exorcist was one of the levels candidates passed through on their way to the priesthood, though the duties were to assist the priest, not to conduct the actual exorcism.. The number of steps on the ladder to priestly power varied with the times and with the church.
Seminarians today still go through steps, but there are not so many and what ones there are usually are confirmed all on the same day. Among the changes as the RCC moves ever closer to the New Roman World Order, have been the elimination of such minor orders as Porter and Exorcist. Under the new rules, there still are exorcists, at least one in every diocese, but it is a duty assigned to a priest, not a novice rank.
In these days of laid-back Catholicism, I imagine the rites of exorcism have been radically-changed from the way they were under the old Rituale Romanum. Rome's media darling exorcist, Archbishop Immanuel Milingo, was a popular guy in Italy and was often a guest on radio and TV talk shows. He traveled around the country, celebrating monthly "healing Masses" with an average attendance of about 5,000 people.
A few years ago, Archbishop Milingo was ed by a Danish Catholic theologian. The interviewer asked: "How do you perform the exorcisms? There appear to be many forms of exorcisms, and every exorcist uses his own method." Archbishop Milingo responded:
After 20 years of bureaucratic puttering around, a commission of Vatican theologians and liturgists came up with a new manual of exorcism ritual. This new 90-page set of instructions, De Exorcismus et Supplicantionibus Quibustam, replaces the old procedures established 'way back in 1614 by Pope Paul V. I haven't had an opportunity to read the new manual – it is in the process of being translated into the vernacular for distribution to bishops and exorcists everywhere. I have been given to understand that the new manual retains a lot of the ancient language and symbolism, but has adopted a milder tone for cursing Satan. Also, priests are urged to spend more time praying with the person they are helping.
How was it done in the old days?
Is the RCC adopting a softer line in its dealings with the prince of this world? According to a report in an magazine that deals with the paranormal,
A bit farther along in the article, the author raises an issue that has been voiced on this forum a number of times.
Not unexpectedly, Rome says she has not changed her views concerning Satan. This was made crystal clear by Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Esteves, Prefect of the Congregation for the Divine Cult and the Discipline of the Sacraments – the guy who presented the new exorcism manual:
When Jesus cast out devils, it was a "right now" thing. No messing around. He sent them away and that was that, as this example passage clearly shows:
The Gospels record that Jesus conferred that same power to cast our devils and evil spirits on some of his disciples before sending them out. When they returned, they were excited at what they had been able to do. Christ pointed out to them that their joy was inappropriate.
There are other accounts of Jesus and the disciples casting out malevolent spirits. We don't know how long it took for the disciples to successfully exorcise devils, but we do know that Jesus did it instantly. Given that His followers were acting in His name, I suspect that they were also able to drive out demons in short order.
That was not the case when John Paul II attempted an exorcism in the year 2000. According to reports in the news, the Pope was not the first to "exorcise" whatever demon spirit possessed the 19-year-old woman who approached him shouting curses in several languages, not all of them known.
The attempted exorcisms of the Pope and of his chief Satan-buster didn't get the job done. It did not take RCC spin doctors long to rationalize the failure of Christ's Vicar to cast out whatever spirits were afflicting the young lady. James LeBar, an exorcist for the Archdiocese of New York, explained:
Let's see, now. Jesus exorcised devils instantly and, with the power He gave them, His closest followers were also able to drive out demons in short order. Roman Catholic exorcists, including the Pope, might require decades to get the job done and, even then, there is no guarantee of success.
Do you reckon it could be that RCC exorcists don't do such a good job at driving out demons could be because they have the wrong "sponsor?"
Let's see, now. Jesus and those closest to Him successfully cast out devils.
Satan cannot cast out Satan.
Roman Catholic exorcists claim to sometimes successfully cast out devils.
Pope John Paul II failed in a semi-public attempt to cast a devil out of a young woman.
Rather gives one reason to suspect that those Catholic exorcists who can't get the job done just might be on the same team as the devil they are trying to cast out, doesn't it?
Some things to think about.
Archbishop Milonga was excommunicated from the RCC after he married a Korean acupuncturist in a New York City ceremony conducted by Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. Milongo later shed his wife and his excommunication was lifted. The rambunctious archbishop remained close to the Vatican power center, however, and lived almost in seclusion in a neaerby convent. Then he slipped out of the convent and once again In 2006, he popped up in Washington, D.C. and ordained four married men. He was again excommunicated, as were the men he had ordained. To learn what more this "priest forever" has been doing, just google for "Archbishop Emmanuel Milonga."
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