Manila handles 100 cases of demonic possession every month
by Jullie Yap Daza for the Manila Bulletin
September 18, 2016
There’s a scene from one of those movies about exorcism where the priest, a fictional Jesuit played by Anthony Hopkins, is performing the ritual when his cellphone rings. “Father” Hopkins picks up the phone with his left hand and talks into it as his outstretched right arm continues to drive out the demon that has possessed the young woman he is trying to heal and make whole again.
Years earlier, the first and most memorable (because it’s the most frightful to me) movie about demonic possession, The Exorcist, was to provide the template, so to speak, for succeeding films of the genre by exhibiting scenes of the patient (or victim) levitating, speaking in a deep basso profundo voice, turning his or her head 180 degrees, spewing slime from the mouth while the tongue utters the foulest language. The movie was based on the book of the same title by a Jesuit-educated writer. (After reading that book, I had insomnia for two nights.)
Read more at http://www.mb.com.ph/what-happens-when-94-exorcists-get-together/#urd6p9G139WdgTgq.99
I cite these examples of exorcism, also referred to as spiritual liberation, after Rev. Winston Cabading, O.P., an exorcist and secretary-general of the University of Santo Tomas, challenged priests, including exorcists-in-training, to liberate themselves from misconceptions and preconceptions. In an article he wrote for the last volume of Fr. Jose Francisco Syquia’s trilogy, Exorcist, Fr. Cabading advises readers, “Why do you allow your faith to be shaped by Hollywood?”
A flippant answer would be that Hollywood imagines and pictorializes the dramatic aspects of exorcism and what exorcists are trained to do for those of us who have fortunately never witnessed such a powerful event, but as both Fathers Cabading and Syquia warn us, exorcism is not to be taken lightly. Do not play with fire or you will have the devil to pay.
Demonic possession has been around for centuries, long before Christianity arrived, but the sad news is that even as the world grows more worldly, “cases of demonic oppression, obsession, and possession (have been) increasing over the years,” with the archdiocese of Manila handling around 100 cases every month. Rising to the challenge, the Vatican conducts yearly conferences of exorcists from all over the world, including Fr. Syquia, the Manila archdiocese’s chief exorcist who may now be considered a veteran delegate.
Read more at the Manila Bulletin