I have no doubt that those of you who follow this journal have noted an absence of reporting on the subjects these pages are dedicated to illuminate; demonic possession, oppression, and Exorcism. Those inclined to question why, might ask, “Why does the Bishop not publish more stories and articles about Exorcism and posssession? Surely there are reports of such what with all the evil present in the world!”
Of course the answer to this proposed question is, yes there is a huge demonic presence on the face of the Earth and there are reports of exorcisms and possession aplenty, but, finding credible reports and bringing them to your smart device—phone, tablet or computer—is difficult at best.
St Michael’s Journal is not an official clearing house or data base to which Priests and ministers file their reports of demonic encounters; not being affiliated in any way with the Roman Catholic Church means their Priests have no obligation or reason to cooperate in our mission. Therefore we rely on the media to publish reports relative to our mission, find those reports, and republish those that adequately portray Exorcism as a viable and needed ministry.
The mainstream media, on a good day, is fickle at best. The no longer report the news without bias or slant towards the message they want to disseminate; while at one time factual, unbiased reporting was the golden rule of journalism, today it seems, that nothing can be published that does not serve the progressive agenda. This agenda of the progressive cult is to eliminate anything perceived as religious in the traditional sense and to replace that spiritual need with the acceptance of stateism and scientism; the “worship” of the socialist state and the science related fields.
To achieve this agenda, the denial of the existence of God and the Devil must be portrayed as the cultural norm; a condition that all the “normal” people accept where those abnormal religionists embrace the superstitious and irrational beliefs of old. Exorcism—the liberation of the victim from Satan’s oppression—must be perceived as dangerous and harmful; a archaic religious rite that must be banned form modern society.
Again let me say that the media can be fickle at best; if a story is sensational and one sure to draw viewers thereby increasing ad revenue, they will run with it. Not too many years ago we had stories popping up nearly daily, reporting examples of demonic infestation, possession, and or exorcism. Media outlets were having a field day reporting such stories and then watching their readership (and ad revenues) increase. All was good with the media and these stories. Then the critics, the educated liberal that is absolutely convinced Satan does not exist, began to castigate the media for reporting on these events; such reporting glamorized the subject in the eyes of the average Joe. The progressive cult simply could not tolerate such disobedience, the subject of possession and Exorcism had to be portrayed in such a light that every rube would reject the possibility that evil is real and a force to be fought against.
There fore, all reports in the media—during the last few years regarding the subject—have been either horror stories of exorcisms gone wrong resulting in injury or even death, or curious stories portraying the ministers and those seeking the assistance of exorcists as deranged simpletons, victims of their own superstition.
Seemingly, the only media outlets that seem interested in publishing actual news about this subject, are those outlets with a reputation for the sensational and not always factual news; the tabloids.
Recently two such outlets—that are considered to be tabloid type publications, perhaps unfairly—ran similar stories reporting on the statements made by attendees at the Regina Apostolorum’s 16th annual exorcism course at the Vatican in Rome. Other outlets reported variations of the same story, that Roman Catholic Priests are complaining that there are too many possessed people to manage leaving them overwhelmed with the volume of exorcisms.
In many of these reports centering around the annual course, we read of Father Giuseppe Bernardi who told researchers of a nine-hour exorcism he took part in with a woman screaming abuse in Latin and assaulting monks. Experts speaking at the symposium said they were in need of psychologists to determine who was actually possessed and who needed mental evaluation and support. Father Bernadi—in the aforementioned case of the woman screaming in Latin—revealed that he sought the help of a psychologist to evaluate the woman, he said there was no support from the church to do so. One of the researchers at the meeting reported that some of the Priests said they were seeing 30 to 50 cases a day.
These cases mentioned in the preceding paragraph are in many ways not too far removed from the treatment format found in the relationship of a patient and his or her analyst in talk therapy. The client, presumably a “possessed” person, goes to the Priest/Exorcist, answers any questions the Exorcist might have, then the Priest says prayers over the client that are thought to provoke the spirits into leaving the client. Typically these events are more like a session with a mental health care professional and nothing like the scenes from a movie like The Exorcist. Events that are—admittedly—hardly news worthy.
The cases we read about in the main stream media, the horror stories that portray Exorcism in a negative light, are almost always perpetuated by those well meaning but misinformed individuals that do great harm to the person they are trying to help.
While oppression is epidemic, possession is extremely rare. In either case, Exorcism, should only be considered after all other avenues have been exhausted. Never ever should a victim be restrained unless in those rare occasions when the victim is combative and physically attacking those attempting to render aid and then only when properly trained medical professionals are monitoring. You cannot beat the devil out or wash him out of a victim, what good does it do to beat someone to death or drown them to accomplish an exorcism?
In conclusion, Saint Michael’s Journal will continue to report from time to time about cases of reported Exorcisms, but we will not knowingly report instances in which individuals acted wrongly or with malice, thereby harming the victim. It is our onion that in these extremes it is not the rite of Exorcism that harmed the victim but the inexperience or ignorance of the provider.