The following comes from an August 15 story on NBC.
Do you believe in exorcism? More and more people do. New information reveals Americans are turning to exorcism to deal with their demons.
NBC Bay Area take a look at two Bay Area exorcists who are being tapped more and more for their spiritual powers.
Father Gary Thomas is the official exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose.
Under order of Pope John Paul II, he traveled to Rome in 2005 to train in the Vatican-certified seminary on how to perform an exorcism.
Father Thomas was the inspiration for Anthony Hopkins’ character in the 2011 movie The Rite.
“Since the movie came out the number of exorcists has quadrupled,” Father Thomas said.
He works with a team and is accompanied by three medical professionals during the procedure, which he says does not happen in one day. He estimates 90-percent of the cases he sees are just mental health issues.
No major U.S. medical organization recognizes exorcism. It doesn’t even get one mention.Father Thomas says the ritual doesn’t need a debate or acknowledgement from anyone, except those who need it.
“If people are coming and they’re suffering from what they perceive to be demonic and even though it may not be, we’re still there to help support them however we can,” Father Thomas said.
For complete story, click here.
Ed and Lorraine Warren were the first team of spiritual “demonoligist’s”, who put themselves in great danger, by assisting people in clearing demonic forces from their homes, with the aid of the Catholic Church. Read “The demonologist”…best book ever written concerning this phenomenon…very scary, but necessary book…Annabelle the doll….still gives me the creeps
Seems a likely place….so does Washington, D.C.!
I met Peter Blatty 18 years ago in Santa Monica. We talked for quite a while and even had coffee at Pentola Tavern. What a brilliant writer and talent… “the Exorcist” is still the scariest film of all time. The scene where the girl is flailing in the clinic, as she is observed by the medical team on the monitor, still gives me the chills…
Having seen a very sobering documentary on this rite featuring, IIRC, Fr. Thomas as well as many other experts including the principal Vatican exorcist, I have to take issue with CalCath’s somewhat blithe headline for the article.
Exorcisms do not gain in popularity, despite any perceived co-relation between film releases and ritual event statistics. They are an earnest deadly matter that ought not to be trivialized in any Catholic forum. The enemy and its minions mean business when they find lodging in a troubled soul, and the damage in the wake of an exorcism can leave a wide swath of pain for many involved.
In these comboxes there is much howling about how Satan’s hatred has infiltrated the Church herself. To then treat actual possession with a less than grave tone does no service to those notions (which are real as well) and to the readership here that can help spread the Word of the antidote to the enemy’s poisonous attacks on individuals: the saving power of Christ.
Amen, Charles. There is power in the very name of Jesus Christ, and I’m reminded again of what Jesse Romero shared of his experience as a sheriff’s deputy working in the worst part of that huge prison in LA county…he promised these prisoners any kind of food from any restaurant they wanted if they would only say, “Jesus is Lord”, and though they all wanted the food not one could bring himself to say it.
OOps. Sorry, that was me that just wrote that! Forgot to type in my name.
I knew Betty Gaffney, a trained nurse who took part in a famous Mid West Exoricism. her life was never the same after that. I know someone who actually saw hidden animal tracks on her bed. Fr. Aloysius used to come weekly to her Rosary group, I drove him there, and Father performed an exorcism himself at her home. That someone who saw the animal tracks on her bed was Charles Mandina, a man who lived with St. Padre Pio for some time before the Saint asked him to return to the U.S. to form Padre Pio Prayer Groups. Charlie himself had the Grace to die on Mercy of Jesus Sunday at exactly 3:00 oclock. Fr. Leo Celano, O’Praem confirmed that to me. Charlie had told priest in attendance, there were many, that he wanted to die on Mercy Sunday, Our Lord and His Mother took it one step further and had him pass into Eternity at exactly 3:00 PM on Mercy Sunday.
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher, Founding Director
Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc.
Fr. Thomas is a good man who is working within the Diocese of San Jose status quo, but the fact is that he is using the “New Rite” (NR) of exorcism (as opposed to the classic 1614 Rituale Romanum), which was drastically revised in 1999 to “update” it for Vat 2 supposedly but also to meet the politically correct and spiritually questionable crowd in both the Curia and many dioceses (like Diocese/San Jose). It is this “New Rite” that PJ McGrath would find wholly acceptable: the NR is a series of prayers and appeals to God (nothing wrong with that); but it drops the confrontational war that happens in exorcism situations. And if it is a real demonic possession or obsession, it is nasty. The NR mostly jettisons the demands placed directly on Satan that he depart the afflicted soul (or place: places can be infested with (an) evil spirit(s), and avoids calling him Satan (instead it refers to “every power of darkness”). This is basic: You must get the demon’s name, if you can, if you hope to make any progress. Also, the BV Mary is de-emphasized in the NR, being mentioned only once in the supplement: Gabriel Amorth again and again cites that the BVM is the most potent intercessor after Our Lord against the demon. Do you know that many of the prayers of the “Old Rite” go back to Alcuin (d. 804), the great Benedictine, who was Charlemagne’s councillor?
My last comment was truncated: My point is: These prayers and received knowledge are based on “what works” and goes back to Alcuin: the New Rite is (other experts have said as well) a virtual fabrication, not based on real experience of what happens in an exorcism. Centuries and centuries of powerful prayers and procedures—set aside! Why? For examplem the NR in typical Vat 2 style has the priest “greet” the congregation. Huh? Exorcisms are never to be public: it isnt a penance rite, f’heavens sake.
The NR is Annibale Bugnini’s legacy to our once-profound ritual.
I am impressed by this detailed history of knowledge you provided here. Do you know how I would find an effective priest to bless my house we just moved to as I feel there is something there. I live in the Bay Area, northern CA.
Movies and books are one thing; actual engagement with an aspect of society which contains evil forces is another.
And thinking that such an aspect intrinsically exists in society is another . . .
I highly recommend Fr. Gabriele Amorth’s excellent books, “An Exorcist Tells His Story” and “An Exorcist: More Stories”. I haven’t read his other books, but I suspect they are also worth reading. Fr. Amorth, long-time exorcist in Rome, discusses how he distinguishes psychological from demonic maladies, the various types and degrees of demonic influence, and many case studies. These books are valuable reading for those who want to be better prepared for spiritual warfare and for those who foolishly believe that demonic influence is mere superstition.
Another good reason not to be a Catholic.
Rather be a Catholic than a troll!
haha Stan, I say hooray that I’m a Catholic, don’t you? Hip hip! (fill in the blank) Hip hip! (fill in blank) But Michael should approve of his abbreviated name JTR. It certainly doesn’t offend me, does it you? And thanks for the reference about Roy Masters. I’ll check it out.
What reason would that be, JTR?
Steve Phoenix’s post is very, very intresting. I too have read of the great conflict within Fr. Amorth’s exorcist group over the “New Rite” of exorcism introduced in 1999. But I didn’t know they were downgrading the BVM’s possible role in exorcism, that’s downright tragic. Sounds like lucifer has made some kind of headway even in exorcism, because it’s usually been well-known what POWER She has in battling the various manifestations of the demons. In fact SHE ALONE has been mentioned in Scripture as being the one who satan fears almost as much as Jesus; She’s the ONE who’ll crush lucifer’s head with HER HEEL. How humiliating for this proud seraph. And something to look forward to. GOD BLESS ALL, MARKRITE
Not to be petty, but when referring to Our Blessed Mother, is it too much trouble for all of you to write Blessed Virgin Mary as opposed to BVM which I first took to mean Bureau of Motor Vehicles? Must we denigrate even Mary’s titles to mere acronyms? Perhaps a recitation of the Litany of Loreto is in order just to appreciate the many names of Mary and none of them abbreviated. ;o) God bless!
There’s nothing wrong with abbreviations — the PBVM Order uses this acronym, and has done for ages.
Also, we see acronyms in our Church art, such as XP, which stands for Christ, Χρίστος in Greek, and of course Meter Theou (Μήτηρ Θεοῦ), often abbreviated ΜΡ ΘΥ in Greek iconography.
I didn’t say there was anything wrong with it…and I was specifically referring to the Virgin Mary. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe I’m entitled to an opinion. Oh, go ahead and call our Blessed Mother BVM…at least Muslims do not refer to muhammed as MHD. You’re missing my point entirely but somehow that is the rule rather than the exception on this site.
Michael is correct but we get your point and appreciate your respect for the Lord and His mother. You are not wrong…..in fact, you have gained many graces for speaking out in favor of Our Lady. There is so little reverence expressed by Catholics today in our speech, prayers or liturgy in reference to God or the Holy Family.
“Not to be petty?” Sorry, you’re already BEING petty. But I think Michael has nailed it better than I could. He’s obviously more learned than I. There was a lot more I wanted to post, but I’ll be back tomorrow. Pace, Dana, life’s too short, and wasn’t there something a little more profound you might have wanted to add that was a little less pedestrian than what you replied with? GOD BLESS, MARKRITE
Well Dana you are being petty, there is nothing wrong with using BVM… sheesh you must, me thinks your husband spends a lot time at the local pub…
haha. If only! I have to get him to go to coffee shops with his pals to get him out of my hair. I just got through pulling out some five foot high jewel weeds, now I’m ready to take on all you anti-petty bullies. Anyway, we’re supposed to stay on topic so let’s move on shall we? (looks sweet, angelic and virtuous) We’re talking about exorcism…maybe we’re all being tempted by demons to be rude to one another here to avoid getting down to the brass tacks of possession…like abbreviating names, etc. and creating acronyms like BVM etc. et al, RSVP & BYOB or MYOB or BRB or LOL. tsk tsk.
PS…please forgive my levity. I actually know someone who was/is possessed and is treated for schizophrenia but a relative of mine heard her speaking to someone else in a locked cell and it was a deep man’s voice. Very scary. It’s a very real and terrible thing. What I don’t understand is why some people are so completely possessed. Does anyone know why a person can be taken over like that and how can it be prevented?
Here’s the funny part, Dana and all, on why I was forced to use “BV Mary”: we are under such “word pressure” now at Cal Catholic to only use 250 words, I had to shorten it; just as “NR” for New Rite and Vat 2 for “that council.” Even so, the editors truncated my comments and cut them off in mid-explanation —namely that Alcuin, Albertus Magnus, and numerous other Catholic luminaries contributed to the classic Rituale Romanum (RR, if you will) and it (RR) should not have been tampered with. There is zero authorization for the re-write of the RR in the famed Documents of Vatican II. Zero. Just as there is no authorization to abrogate the Tridentine Mass. Or the use of Latin. As for Latin, again Amorth comments on how he will often use Latin under his breath to see the effect on a possibly demonically-affected person. If the person is demonically affected, he/she will grow more agitated. BTW, this is similar to watching some individuals grow agitated when you either talk about the Blessed Virgin (at all, that is) or pray the Rosary. Watch the “spirit of the air” (2 Cor 11:15) manifest itself. I am sorry to say that I have seen this in some priests; one in Scottsdale, AZ some years back went through the entire parish bookstore and threw out every rosary and image of the BVM . Suffice to say several of us became dumpster divers and retrieved the items: and Scottsdale has remarkably clean dumpsters, very nice, fortunately. He later was proven to have done some palpably terrible crimes (I am sorry to say) and barred, thankfully, from exercising his office. But the point is made: the demon and its adherents HATE the Rosary and the Blessed Virgin Mary. “Satin is alive and well on planet Earth”, as Hal Lindsey is fond of saying.
Wow, Steve, that is truly despicable!! I wonder if it was Crd. Bernardin that made that decision about changing the Rituale Romanum? I’m reading “Goodbye Good Men” and it’s so sad about how many men were actively involved in trying to destroy the Church from within. I’ve prayed my rosary almost every day for years…and now I am truly sorry for having said anything about your abbreviation. (tears sparkle on eyelashes ) You had alot of support and I didn’t, except from you. What a beautiful testimony to faith that you and your friends went about the humble business of saving those precious rosaries. Well, back to my Russian Baba tea cozy…thank God for being able to create at home. I added that because we have people on here that think all we do is hang around the keyboard. And thanks for letting Steve share his interesting post, editor! We truly value your hard work. I’ll pray a decade for you.
I happen to agree with Dana on this one….the abbreviation for our Blessed Mum made me confused at first because I didn’t even know people used those abbreviations for even our Virgin Mum. On this one…best that we don’t use the abbreviations….that is my take…I probably would of skipped over the comments and still kept wondering what they meant….you are not being petty Dana and you gave a very logical and reasonable response as to why you find it not appropriate….I agree and like your example too. : )
I’ve never heard “Blessed Mum” or “Virgin Mum?” What country are you from? Sounds British.
There are many books in print regarding demonic possession but I highly recommend tuning in to Roy Masters, if he is still alive, on radio and online. His explanations of how we unknowingly provide portals of possession in everyday life are really great. He also explains how we are tempted to make such allowances.
May God be with you!
“Satin is alive and well on planet Earth”, someone wrote, but they made no mention of burlap. Hmm.
I know Fr. Thomas emphasizes the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, I have heard it from his own mouth. I may even call him tomorrow to ask about all of this he is being falsely accused of. That is if I can find his phone number that he personally gave to me.
When TFP demonstrated against a blasphemous play in Orange County at which I was present, I called Fr. Thomas to tell him what I had witnessed in a woman who professed to be Catholic.
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
If there was ever a diocese in need of spiritual purification, it is Bishop Pat’s bailiwick, the bishopric of San Jose. I wish Father Thomas all the strength he will need in this corrupt environment. As long as our flagship university, the one named after Sainte Claire, celebrates gay pride week with obscene drag shows and repulsive displays of degraded behavior, the Devil will keep the upper hand. The fish rots from the head down.
There’s one thing positive in all this back & forth re abbreviations; Dana is a genuinely FUNNY person, and I DON’T mean it in a sarcastic way. Your ripostes to all of us gave me a genuine LAUGH when there’s so little to laugh about these days. And I also w/say you have a genuine GIFT for being funny. Exploit it, use it, the world desperately needs to laugh much more than it does. GOD BLESS, MARKRITE
Awww, shucks! Spare my blushes, markrite. ;o) I agree with you about laughter, though. Satan hates laughter but thoroughly approves of snickers which is the type of humor liberals respond to…ridicule and sarcasm. The daily show, where most liberals get all their latest news and views exists only to ridicule fox news or conservative values. (what they’ll be able to ‘think’ or express if those shows are ever cancelled makes one shake in one’s shoes to imagine….when they wake up their head is a blankpage until they grab the NYT. “Hmmm. What am I going to think today? Ah, here we go, those d–d conservatives are trying to pass another pro life bill! Boy, am I mad!” ) They can never come up with new or fresh ideas but only disparaging mockery because darkness thrives on imitation. Evil is never creative.
Steve Phoenix, your latest post as of this morning @ 10:27 is BRILLIANT in it’s insights. And what you say re the Bl. Vgn. Mary (pace, Dana) is SO spot on. For I’ve experienced similar things happening when I w/mention the BVM in various contexts, as well. The former pastor of the Church where I go to Mass now about 15 years ago caused a TREMENDOUS stir within the congregation by REMOVING this most beautiful and moving statue of Mary that had been in the side chapel for a very long time before. His reason: too much devotion by too many, approaching (in his stated view) adoration. Of course it was all a crock. He was a poster boy for CLERICALISM , which was my take. But there may have been much more to his Mary statue hang-up, and I suspect it was sinister. Anyway, the beautiful statue remained banished to a Nun’s residence until he was replaced by the present pastor, who is TOTALLY devoted to the BVM. And now it’s back in it’s spot for the VENERATION by all the faithful. But back to the subject @ hand: how many Catholics know that former Pope Benedict in January of 2008 dispatched MANY exorcists from Rome to many parishes throughout the world to combat what must have been an outbreak of the demonic? Even Bill O’Reilly from Fox news had to get in on the news and very truculently grilled an expert in exorcisms from America (can’t remember his name now)over the Pope’s actions. Exceedingly weird on one level, but not on another. More later. GOD BLESS, MARKRITE
I find it disrespectful to use the abbreviations for our blessed mum…no matter what excuses one may have…..well that is just me….I will probably not read comments that do that….its a pet peeve of mine! Like it or not…but that is how i feel. PAX CHRISTI
Well, you & I will happily refer to Our Blessed Mother just as we ought, Abeca, and that’s all we can do. I do think some men are rather challenged when it comes to putting one finger in front of another, especially at any significant speed. We must allow for this inherent weakness and let them muddle through…it fair wrenches my heart to see my husband beating out a tatoo with two fingers a short email to a friend…utterly spent he totters out to the garage for a cigarette to regain his equalibrium. haha Rats! I’m off the subject yet again. Sorry all.
Dana I said what I said because I agree with you….glad we agree. You are so cute…love your other comments too! lol
And some people find it disrespectful to refer to Saint Mary as “our blessed mum,” which, to American ears, sounds like “our blessed ma” or “our blessed mom.”
This particular saint is usually referred to as “The Blessed Mother,” “The Blessed Virgin Mary,” or, in the new translation of the Mass, “The Virgin.”
Words like ma, mum, mama, mommy, etc., are perhaps not the best choices…
Very kind comments, Dana, also Markrite, but ‘tween Arizona and California I’ve had lots of deviltry to practice resistance with and observation thereof. We learn from each other (and along with great churchmen like Fr. Amorth and Padre Pio and St John Marie Vianney).
Yet another abbreviation that seems to offend no one…
I find that a really ironic post, Michael…considering that the Romans inscribed this in three languages meant to insult our Lord and the Jews and to justify the death of an innocent man…and certainly meant to offend A LOT of people. That the Church embraced this insult as a symbol, just as the Cross became a symbol of Jesus’ triumph over death…an ‘in your face’ sort of symbol that spoke of their courage in the face of intimidation of the Romans. Pilate was not a nice man and from what I’ve read, he’d lost several posts because of his harshness and inability to rule well. Didn’t he end up committing suicide? I think you’re a bit overboard on this whole abbreviation thing….”Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm.” Latin uses “I” instead of the English “J”, and “V” instead of “U” (i.e., Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum). The English translation is “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Since calling oneself king was grounds for treason in Roman law, Pontius Pilate ordered that the initials INRI be inscribed on Jesus’s tomb after the crucifixion…it only became a good thing “that offends no one” because “All things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Jesus took all the evil of the past, present, future and all other dimensions upon Himself, and conquered it.
…and so many more! :)
ok? What is your point lad? Can’t you see that we were only disapproving the way people just short cut our Blessed Mary’s name and abrev?
LOL how’s that…..
in JMJ take care
Abeca, I guess my point is that abbreviations (such as the BVM) needn’t be perceived as insulting.
In theology classes I’ve taken, the professors would often abbreviate the word Christ on the blackboard by using an X, which of course is the Greek letter for “ch.” Also, they would abbreviate the word Christian on the black board by writing Xn.
They would abbreviate the word God by writing the Greek letter θ which is short for θεός (God), and they meant no disrespect.
If our very churches can display things like XP, short for Christ (or Χριστός in the Greek), why assume the BVM acronym is bad?
Look at the way the Holy Father always signs his name: if memory serves, he, too, uses an acronym which refers to the Latin…oh, I’ve forgotten what it refers to. But it now looks something like this, according to the Vatican website: FRANCISCUS PP.
Ok Michael sounds good. : )
I have to admit that I do use abbreviations such as OLOF (Our Lady of Fatima) or OMOPH (Our Mother of Perpetual Help) when describing churches in my e-mail to friends, but there is one abbreviation that I never use, other than in this instance: it is xmas for Christmas. I know X does stand for Christ, but I was brought up that it was insulting to the Lord and just cannot get over it, so I never, never use it.
Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, always put JMJ (Jesus, Mary, Joseph) at the top of his writings as most of us know.