If are you like those of us here at Saint Michael’s Journal in that you intently watch the Internet for particular keywords, such as Exorcism, then undoubtedly, you have been very busy reading the sensationalized details of a recent event that involved an Exorcism at the home of a famous person.

On the weekend of Halloween 2022, the media was ablaze after David Depape allegedly broke into the home of the, at the time, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. So far we have not been told of an exact motive for the break-in and subsequent assault of Pelosi’s husband, so it is only speculation that, it being the weekend of Halloween he chose to commit the crime, Depape was looking for a witch.

In all seriousness, the accused at least appears to be a good candidate for a jacket with long sleeves and an extended stay in a padded room, or, he is in need of an experienced Exorcist. We tend to favor the latter possibility.

Most recently, Pelosi’s daughter was said to have revealed in an interview with opinion columnist Maureen Dowd. “Over Thanksgiving, she had priests coming, trying to have an exorcism of the house and having prayer services.”[1]

As we mentioned earlier, the media loves to sensationalize a story, and perhaps even make an interesting story more sensational. The old idiom of making a mountain out of a mole hill comes to mind. In this case, as soon as the story was made public, the sharks went into a feeding frenzy.

One popular thread regarding the Exorcism at Nancy’s was that it could not have happened as Nancy Pelosi has been denied communion due to her pro abortion stance. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco publicly rebuked Representative Pelosi because of her staunch support for abortion, warning that it causes scandal and endangers her soul. The fact that the Archdiocese of San Francisco denied any knowledge of the exorcism did not help, although in the wake of the attack on Pelosi’s husband, the Archbishop Cordileone asked for people to join him in prayer “for the swift recovery of Paul Pelosi and comfort for his wife Nancy as well as their family, too.

As long time readers of Saint Michael’s Journal know, Exorcism of a locale is a rite that does not require the same scrutiny as the Exorcism of a person. The exorcism of a place or object, a house blessing or cleansing, is considered a minor exorcism and the Bishop does not need to be consulted first, as is required in the case of the exorcism of a person.

A minor technicality that many in the media are not aware of. As with most of us in America, say the word exorcist and immediately most people will picture in their minds the two Priests, Fathers Merrin and Karras, portrayed by Max von Sydow and Jason Miller respectively in the 1973 movie The Exorcist. Combine that with the rhetoric that The roman Catholic Church has promoted in that a Bishop must first approve of an Exorcism before the rite can be performed and you can’t hardly blame a media person for making such a mistake.

I would hazard to say that most are unaware that the blessing of water and salt, ingredients used to prepare Holy Water, is a minor exorcism. The celebrant preparing Holy water will say a prayer of exorcism to remove elementals from the water and salt.

Of course, Snopes, the long time fact checker that claims to objective and non partisan but often is non-objective and highly partisan, had to get in a word or two. While claiming the event to be true, attesting to to the truth that Nancy Pelosi did ask for an Exorcism of a locale, the writer at Snopes had to illustrate his/her lack of knowledge as well. [2]

From the Snopes page on the Exorcism at Nancy’s:

Soon after the attack, Pelosi announced her decision to step down as leader of the Democrats in the House. The incident reportedly shook her and her family, to the extent that her daughter described how Pelosi even called
priests to their San Francisco house for an exorcism.
Tabloids jumped on this detail, describing it as a “stunning admission.”
Conservatives also made fun of Pelosi, saying they hoped she didn’t “vanish” after an exorcism:

After reading the web site of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops the writer at Snopes wrote “However, the conference describes exorcisms as used primarily with “afflicted persons, so it was not clear how it (the exorcism) was performed around the house.” Perhaps the writer failed to dig deep enough to find information on a house blessing or Exorcism of a locale, as if they had done so, they would not have made such an observation.

[1] https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253440/pelosi-reportedly-arranged-an-exorcism-of-her-home-can-any-catholic-priest-do-this
[2] https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/nancy-pelosi-priest-exorcism-husband/


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