Tag: exorcism

Watch Video – An Exorcist Speaks On Generational Curses And Healing

Watch Video – An Exorcist Speaks On Generational Curses And Healing

Does it go back? Is it nearly like clockwork?

It’s usually an interesting topic towards the end of the year when families gather and when, ironically, there is the tradition of telling “ghost” stories.

Are there certain issues that seem to have been handed down the generations or passed around your family like a virus or gene: division, depression, gluttony, financial distress, alcoholism, divorce, temper, crime, anorexia, mental illness, even suicide?

When a particular type of bad trait or “luck” seems to recur, one is made to wonder if it’s more than just DNA, behaviorism, or coincidence (though these could be factors).

And so it is that we turn once more to Father Chad Ripperger, a Doloran priest in Denver and full-time exorcist with uncategorical belief that family members past and present pass “familiar” spirits between one another. There is great hope and healing for it in the Eucharist.

Just as we have guardian angels assigned to us, says Father Ripperger, Satan may likewise assign a demon, often to an entire family. Lesser demons are sent to tempt and open the door to higher demonic realms. There are also generational spirits that afflict a population at large. Such was seen with the infection during the Sixties of the “hippie’ movement, believes Father Ripperger, who has penned an unusually powerful book, Deliverance Prayers For The Laity, to relieve and dismantle such largely unrecognized strongholds.

And entire countries? Today we think of places such as the Middle East and North Korea; a while back it was Nazi Germany — although every nation and ethnic group has its spiritual “baggage.”

When it comes to illness or crime, it can be an issue of life or death, literally.

“A spirit can become ‘familiar’ if a person [it has attached to] has a particular headship in the family,” says the priest. “They can then pass that spirit on.”

“It can also be over races,” maintains the exorcist. “Every single race has one. If you look at the Native American Indians, very often they are beset by a spirit passed on by the Native American spirituality.” With Hispanics, he says, there may be an Aztec or Mayan ancestry steeped in occultism or the effects of practices such as Santeria. Pagan practices in India and deep Africa pose special issues, he notes. Sometimes you see such a spirit skip a person — such that a whole family is affected but for the one individual.

In other cases, it only affects one person in the family, leaving the others alone.

Such are the dynamics and mysteries!

Bohmos. Charter spirits.

You can also have it in corporations, where a demon gets his foot in the door and a corporation is dysfunctional and maintains that dysfunction all the way until it collapses,” he has preached.

It can be in regions. [For example] in Fresno, California, it’s a demon of illness. In Los Angeles — and this won’t be a surprise — it’s the demon of unreality. In the South, from Alabama to Georgia, there’s a particular demon that got in from the slaughter of Native Americans  and the Europeans when they also slaughtered each other. The demon has been there for a hundred or more years.”

It’s not just genes, emphasizes Ripperger, an adherent to the Latin way of Mass, which he finds particularly powerful: people also take on the traits of affecting spirits. Ignorance is not bliss. Fools die for lack of wisdom (Proverbs 10:21). Alcoholism can be genetic (one notes the stereotype of Irish), he says, but it is also passed on spiritually. “You can also get it in dioceses or religious orders, where a particular demon gets passed on,” says the Colorado priest. Most often, sin or abuse is at the root of original entry.

We think here all the way back to Eve.

Or, it can be from “some kind of curse,” which can also be passed.

Father Ripperger has observed that spirits of Freeemasony are often associated in families with respiratory illnesses.

In Italy, notes Father Ripperger, the Vatican investigated situations whereby children seemed to have become spiritually infected in the womb and maintained that infection because the exorcistic verbiage had been removed from the Rite of Baptism.

There are entire towns that labor under a “curse.”

Most often — eighty percent of the time, he claims (for our discernment) — the generational spirit begins with a man. He says the normal duration is four or five generations, before it begins to dissipate, often because God sends a person into that family who helps cleanse it.

Once a demon has attached, it’s like a fly: other “flies” come. Some families, regions, and countries have “bigger dudes” plaguing them, he notes, than do others.

The generational demon in the U.S.?

“Avarice and fraud,” says Father Ripperger.

All evil pretenses, he notes, ultimately collapse of their own weight.

Demons are allowed by God because He wants us to react with and develop virtue — for example, if there is pride, a demon may be allowed to cause humiliation that cleanses a family line and leads a family reacting correctly to humility. Humility is very powerful against Satan. If there is deception, we react with the truth. If there is avarice, we are called to react with charity, mercy, and generosity — in short, humble kindness and unselfishness, which chase many dark spirits away.

[resources: Deliverance Prayers For The Laity; and Michael H. Brown retreat: Florida and Louisiana]

‘Lack Of Believe Within The Church Enables The Diabolical Spirit’ – Dominican Exorcist

‘Lack Of Believe Within The Church Enables The Diabolical Spirit’ – Dominican Exorcist

According to one exorcist working in Italy, the average time needed for a person to be freed from demonic influence in an exorcism is taking much longer than it did in even the recent past.

Whereas before it was common for a person to be liberated in one session, even if the blessing lasted several hours, now on average sessions are growing longer and multiple meetings are required for a person to be completely freed from the devil’s grasp.

Fr. Francois Dermine, O.P., an exorcist of nearly 25 years, told CNA he believes the prolongation can be attributed to a few basic elements: the high diffusion of atheistic attitudes in society at large; the reduction of the understanding of faith as merely an intellectual concept; and a growing lack of belief within the Church, even among priests and bishops, in the devil and his actions.

Though there are no set rules for how long it should take for someone to be liberated from demonic obsession or possession, Fr. Dermine said that “some people can be liberated with very few blessings, though many require months.”

Others, if they are serious cases of possession, “can take a year.” However, longer sessions like this did not really happen until recently, after the 1960s, he said.

One blessing was enough – a blessing of one hour, two hours, three hours, six hours, but one blessing was enough to liberate one person of a possession. But now it’s different. It’s becoming very long.”

“I think the reason for that is our society is becoming more and more atheistic, people are going away from prayer and the sacraments … so there are fewer defenses against the devil.”

Another important, but “abnormal” factor, he said, is a lack of faith within the Church itself, because during an exorcism, “the exorcist prays in the name of the Church.”

“If, within the Church, you have the clergy and also a certain number of bishops who do not believe in the devil or his actions, then the exorcist is deprived of the power of the prayer of the Church.”

Because of this, “the exorcist is liberating [people] more slowly. Before it was not the case.”

Fr. Dermine was ordained a priest in 1979 and has been an exorcist since 1994, He currently serves as the exorcist for the Archdiocese of Ancona-Osimo, and was one of the speakers presenting at an April 16-21 course on exorcism offered by the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome.

In his comments to CNA, Fr. Dermine said there is a general lack of formation on exorcism and the actions of the devil in the Church today.

Noting how this year’s course on exorcism had 295 students most of whom are priests studying at pontifical universities, enroll, Fr. Dermine said the high number can be attributed at least in part to the fact that courses on exorcism and the devil are not included in theological curricula.

“There is a void,” he said, “so they want to learn what is not taught to them but should be taught.”

In the past, it was common for a theological curriculum to include courses on angels, demons, and their influence. “It was very important for moral theology and also for the theology of exorcism, but now it does not exist anymore,” Dermine said.

So it’s a sign that within the Church faith in these things is not as strong as it was before.”

However, the exorcist said that while it is crucial that priests be instructed on the topic, it is important not to dwell on the devil too much, in order to avoid superstition.

Fr. Dermine also voiced concern that the practice of the faith is becoming more intellectual, but less spiritual, and is therefore at times being reduced to a sort of “moralism” void of actual belief.

“Our faith is becoming more and more intellectual. We have to inform the person, we have to instruct the person with catechism, it’s very important. I myself am a Dominican, I am a moral theologian, I teach theology, I believe in formation,” he said, while emphasizing that “problems cannot be solved only through information.”

Faith, he said, is above all “a mystery of salvation; we have to be saved from something, from someone, and this someone is also the devil.”

Because of this, simply changing our behavior is not enough, because “this is a sort of moralism; but our faith is not a moralism.”

Moral principles are important, but they are not the full picture, he said, explaining that Christ came to save men from sin and death, and from the actions of the devil, and because of this, it is important to know the devil and how to fight him.

Speaking of the qualities needed in an exorcist, Fr. Dermine said he believes being an exorcist is a “vocation within a vocation,” and as such, is not something priests should strive for, because it is a call from God.

Rather, he said exorcists ought to be appointed by their bishop, without trying to pursue the job themselves.

A strong personal prayer life is also something essential for an exorcist, he said, and stressed that someone called to this role is not a “super priest”, but is “a person named by the Church, and that’s all.”

Fr. Dermine said the majority of exorcisms he performs are not full on possessions, but are rather blessings or prayers of liberation for people who have opened the door to the devil through actions such as fortune telling or the reading of tarot cards, or who have been attacked by the devil or cursed in some way.

He pointed to a growing superstitious and “magical” mentality in global society, saying dappling in spiritualism and occult practices can open the door to demonic activity, and make it easier for the devil to take hold of a person or influence their life.

It is important for exorcists to know the difference between someone with a genuine charism who receives spiritual gifts from God, and a medium, who is a person that may have the ability to predict or foretell past or present events, but whose abilities do not come from God.

In the case of mediums, many “think it’s normal to have these phenomena, but it’s not normal,” he said, adding that “many times these people have a lot of problems, but they don’t understand why they have these problems,” so they come to an exorcist for help.

For those who have opened the door to the devil through occult activities, “we must try to convince these people to renounce these phenomena, which is not always easy because many of these people feel important because they have these paranormal phenomena, but they pay a very heavy price for these faculties.”

“They must renounce them because they are not moved by God,” Fr. Dermine said, explaining that every true charism that comes from God is meant to produce a spiritual or salvific effect.


‘Demons I’ve Faced As An Exorcist’ – Fr. Gary Thomas 

‘Demons I’ve Faced As An Exorcist’ – Fr. Gary Thomas 

IN his 2011 film, Anthony Hopkins plays a priest who casts out the Devil… but the churchman who advised him on set reveals here how he has dealt with the real thing…

The images are terrifying. Girls scream in agony, their bodies inhumanly contorted. They spit curses and growl in unknown tongues. Demonic possession, and those who battle it, have been a recurrent theme in films from 1973’s classic The Exorcist to the thriller movie ‘The Rite’. 

But to Father Gary Thomas The Rite is no Hollywood fantasy. It’s his life. The movie tells the story of the clergyman’s own chilling journey to becoming an exorcist, learning all he knows about battling the Devil from a venerable priest, played on screen by Oscar winner Sir Anthony Hopkins.

“I don’t think I’d ever seen Satan until I became an exorcist,” says Father Thomas, who spent a week on the movie set in Hungary as an adviser. “I’m not offended if someone doesn’t believe it. What I’ve described, I’ve seen.” Hopkins plays Father Lucas, based on Father Thomas’s mentor, Rome’s leading exorcist Father Carmine De Filippis. In the film, Father Thomas is renamed Michael Kovak, played by Colin O’Donoghue, Irish star of TV series ‘The Tudors’.

But as filming progressed, the cast grew nervous of demonic possession. “The producer and the two key actors all asked me privately if they could be attacked by doing this movie,” says Father Thomas. “I said: ‘I can’t absolutely say yes or no,’ which led me to say: ‘possibly.’ They were afraid.”

Hopkins pressed ahead with the role but when he walked the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere, the Welsh star was sure to keep Father Thomas at his side as cameras swirled around them. Father Thomas, 64, who ministers to the Sacred Heart Parish in Saratoga, California, is one of the rare American priests trained as an exorcist.

Demand for exorcism is at an alltime high in the US and priests can’t keep up. Father Thomas receives a new request about every two days. Yet he fears no evil. “You don’t have to be afraid of demons,” he says, unabashed about his belief in demonic possession, despite sceptics even within his own church. “You have to give evil a certain amount of respect because demons are more powerful than humans and without Christ we are dead. But no, I’m never scared.”

He was selected by his bishop to attend a Vatican-sponsored course in Italy in 2005 in response to a disturbing increase in reported cases of possession. He was later apprenticed to Father Carmine, attending dozens of demon-battling rites. His initial scepticism and training were chronicled in a best-selling book The Rite, by Matt Baglio, which became the basis for the film.

Father Thomas recalls when “Lisa”, a married woman in her 20s, was brought to his parish office by family members worried about her sudden violent outbursts. “I felt a huge presence in the room,” says Father Thomas, who began to pray. “Her face started to distort, she started speaking in a language not known to me that she hadn’t been competent in before.

She was hissing and spitting and exhibiting a serpentine look both in her body language and her face. She kept rolling her eyes.” He had seen this before – demonic possession. “I laid my crucifix on her. She let out an incredible scream. I took my stole, which represents my authority as a member of the Catholic Church and as a priest, and I laid it on her. She slid out of the chair and on to the floor to get away from it. I said: ‘That’s enough for today.’”

A woman possessed in The Rite spits up metal nails and Father Thomas admits: “I have never actually seen that but another priest in Rome told me himself that he had seen that more than once.” To many, exorcism seems a relic of the Dark Ages that has no place in the modern Catholic Church as it tries to recover from the scandal of child abuse by priests. But Father Thomas insists: “Satan hasn’t gone away. He is relevant in and out of season.”

It was the late Pope John Paul II who sent a letter to all US dioceses asking each bishop to appoint and train an exorcist, propelling Father Thomas to Rome in 2005. Classes at the Vatican-sponsored Regina Apostolorum taught the history and theology of exorcism but Father Thomas quickly realised that he needed a mentor and began attending rites with Father Carmine De Filippis.

Being able to be apprenticed under an exorcist in Rome was far more profound,” he says. Father Thomas witnessed and assisted in more than 80 exorcisms while in the Italian capital, ranging from the sedate to the disturbingly violent, before returning to the US to perform his own rites. But most people seeking exorcism don’t receive the rite. 

“Often they’ll begin the conversation with: ‘Father, I need an exorcism,’ and my answer is: ‘I don’t do them on demand.’ In five years I’ve probably met 100 people. I’ve performed 40 exorcisms on only about five of them.” Exorcists are trained to be the ultimate sceptics, always looking for logical explanations for the disturbing phenomena they witness.

“A lot of the time it is mental health,” says Father Thomas. “On my team I have a clinical psychologist, a psychiatrist and a physician – all of whom believe in the possibility of Satan’s existence but they’re not people who say there’s a demon under every rock or chair. “Then there are things that happen that we can’t explain. When people show signs of some kind of demoniacal manifestation such as foaming at the mouth or rolling of the eyes or taking on the appearance of a serpent sometimes, or speaking in a language that they have no competency in but all of a sudden do, those are the classical signs.”

But months of questioning, prayers and psychiatric examinations precede the decision to perform an exorcism. The rite involves prayer, gospel readings, a litany of the saints, a homily, a blessing and the command for the demon to leave his victim. The ritual can take up to two tense hours. “I say: ‘In the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ I demand that you leave,’ and I will say that repeatedly in the midst of prayers of exorcism from the Solemn Rite that I pray over people,” says Father Thomas.

“The tools are very simple: holy water, stole, book of deliverance, a crucifix, the rite of exorcism and that’s it.” The demon invariably lashes out at the exorcist, either physically or emotionally. “The exorcist does get attacked,” says Father Thomas. “Most priests I know want nothing to do with it. Demons attack where the exorcist is weakest. I have never experienced a physical attack. Mine have been more spiritual, psychological, emotional. Sexual temptation, trying to jeopardise my celibacy, creating emotional disturbances in me, exacerbating the experiences of loneliness that appear in a priest’s life at times.

“I recently delivered a very powerful demon whose name was Shroud. I got attacked and so did the other priest who was with me. He had a numbness down his leg for weeks, some kind of nerve damage. In my case it was emotional. We had a hard time delivering this demon. He just wouldn’t come out.” Father Thomas defends himself by chanting protection prayers and prayers taking on authority in the name of Christ. But fighting the Devil can be a lengthy battle and often requires repeated rituals.

Demons are deceivers,” he says. “But once you get them to divulge their name, they have lost.” People open themselves to possession by dabbling in the occult and paganism, he believes. “A demon has to be invited in. Refrain from being involved in things that would be considered New Age: rituals of the occult, things such as Wicca or tarot cards, ouija boards, superstitious practices, black magic, white magic, anything that would be idolatrous.

“I think as long as people have a relationship with God and stay close to God, they don’t have anything to fear.” Father Thomas wishes more priests would become exorcists. “The people who come to me, whether it’s something diabolical or whether it’s psychological, these are mostly people who are enduring great suffering,” he says.

It’s not hocus-pocus. It’s not smoke and mirrors. It’s a profoundly healing ministry.” And the need for exorcists is soaring. “There are too many people coming. I’m not surprised given the times we live in. There’s more  demonic activity. There’s the absence of God in the lives of a lot of people.” His exorcism of Lisa was one of his most successful: three rites evicted the demon and Father Thomas says: “She was able to resume her normal life and could go back to church.” He believes that the film The Rite offers the most realistic, orthodox depiction of exorcism thus so far from Hollywood.

There aren’t any levitating beds, spinning heads or pea-green soup,” he says. Yet he watched the movie spellbound. “It was very emotional for me,” he says. “I found some of those scenes riveting. I found some very profound. They’re very accurate. That’s what I’ve seen in real life.” Now Father Thomas must leave Hollywood behind and return to his parish, knowing that soon he will yet again stare into the face of pure evil, fighting the Devil for possession of another human soul.

‘The Devil Is A Person And Not A Thing’ – Mexican Exorcist

‘The Devil Is A Person And Not A Thing’ – Mexican Exorcist

Exorcism is the religious or spiritual practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person, or an area, they are believed to have been possessed. 

Father Francisco Lopez Sedano is an 80-year-old Mexican exorcist. In the past 40 years of service, he has conducted at least 6,000 exorcisms.

And, he says, the devil is afraid of him.

Lopez told the newspaper Hoy Los Angeles (Los Angeles Today) that when the devil speaks to him through possessed people, he responds, “I am nobody, but I come from Christ, your Lord and God and you leave right now – I command you in His name that you go. Out!”

Lopez is the national coordinator emeritus of exorcism for the Archdiocese of Mexico, and he belongs to the order of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit. Now, he continues his ministry in the Parish of the Holy Cross in Mexico City.

During the interview, the priest highlighted four things that he learned during his years as an exorcist.

First, he emphasized, the devil is a person and not a thing.

He noted that Jesus confronted the devil many times and spoke to him. When speaking with a demon, “one isn’t talking with a thing, one is talking with a person.”

The evil one, he added, wants “to separate us from God, to frighten us, to threaten us, to make us tremble.”

“He brings us laziness, fatigue, sleepiness, distrust, desperation, hate; everything negative.”

Second, Lopez noted, the devil enters into persons because they allow him to do so.

“He can’t enter us if we do not open doors,” the priest said. “Because of this, God prohibits the practice of magic, Superstition, witchcraft, sorcery, divination, consulting the dead and spirits and astrology. These are the seven lands of lies and deceit.”

“That the stars influence our life is the biggest lie. They are millions of kilometers away! They are bodies formed by metals and gasses – how can they influence us? It’s the same with magic, which attributes to objects a power that they don’t have. To carry a horseshoe because it’s going to give me good luck – it’s a lie.”

Another truth that Lopez has learned from decades of experience is that the possessed exhibit specific behaviors.

He said that he has observed possessed persons who “began to shout, to bark like a dog, to scream or writhe and who squirmed like a snake on the ground. There are a thousand forms.”

On one occasion, Lopez said, a boy around 18 years old pushed five large benches that were so heavy they should have required the strength of 10 people to move.

“He had a terrible strength. We had to get him between three people to practice the exorcism. Having the presence of the Other, already explains anything. They are able to climb the walls, yes. And fly too.”

Sometimes, the possessed person “hears voices, feels hatred or rejection of God where before they believed and now they stamp on the Bible. Other people have a terrible backache, but doctors say that they are perfectly fine.”

“The injuries of Satan are outside the control of clinical medicine,” he continued. “People who live with permanent diarrhea and nothing makes it go away; people who have eye pain and ophthalmologists find nothing. These are injuries that science does not detect.”

Finally, the priest said, decades of ministry have taught him that exorcism is a divine mandate.

Regarding his appointment as an exorcist some 40 years ago, he affirmed that it was “out of necessity” after seeing “very serious and painful cases.”

“A fellow priest who was involved in it made me see that fighting the Evil One was an obligation. He said to me, ‘You have to enter into this by the command of the Lord.’ The three mandates are to carry the word of God, heal the sick and cast out demons. All three are valid in the Church.”

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