Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Devil and Pope Francis

The following comes from Fr. Dwight Longenecker:

Deliver Us From Evil is a new film based on the experiences of New York police officer Ralph Sarchie. When the cop investigates a series of horrific crimes, he is led into the realm of the demonic and teams up with an unconventional priest to cast out the devil.

Some reviewers rate the movie as a typical exorcist horror film, scratch, and yawn then flick the channels. They shouldn’t.
Demonic possession is not only real, but as the practice of Christianity fades and fascination with the occult increases, the need for exorcism becomes more pressing. This week the Congregation for the Clergy at the Vatican approved the statutes of a new Catholic organization, the International Association of Exorcists. Founded by the well known exorcist, Fr. Gabriel Amorth, the Association of Exorcists fosters awareness of the spiritual problem, trains exorcists and holds conferences which bring together theologians, medical practitioners, psychiatrists, and clergy.
Fr. Francesco Bamonte, an exorcist from the Diocese of Rome toldL'Osservatore Romano that the Holy See’s approval of the new organization “is cause for joy." He explained, "God calls some priests to the precious ministry of exorcism and liberation, giving them the task of accompanying” those people who require specific spiritual and pastoral attention. The ministry of exorcism is an exercise of Christ’s ministry of deliverance and a sign of his victory over evil in the world.
That this organization should be approved at the top level of the Vatican show the seriousness with which the Catholic Church takes the reality of demonic forces.The ministry of exorcism is often associated with “conservatives” in the church while “progressives” prefer to dismiss demonic possession as no more than epilepsy or mental illness. The fact that Pope Francis takes the problem so seriously shows that the reality of demonic evil is not limited by labels.
In this report from the Washington Post it is pointed out that Pope Francis speaks literally and openly about the devil more regularly than any pope since Paul VI. He publicly laid hands on, and prayed for a man who it was claimed was demon possessed, he refers to the devil regularly in his homilies and speeches, dedicated a new image of St. Michael in the Vatican gardens -- praying especially for Michael’s protection in the battle against Satan.
In a homily last April Pope Francis quoted his critics, “ 'But Father, how old-fashioned you are to speak about the Devil in the 21st century!' ” The pope reminded his listeners not be fooled by the lies of Satan. “Look out because the Devil is present,” he warned.

Read the rest here.

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