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(12-01-2010, 07:22 PM)Gerard Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-01-2010, 04:27 PM)A Catholic Thinker Wrote: [ -> ]My problems with him began in reading Hostage to the Devil in which he makes some rather dubious statements about the powers of darkness - statements that don't jive well with those I've read from other exorcists.  He simply ascribes to them too much power.  It's not quite the Church's common view.

Then I read about his quotations about his exorcisms that seem impossible to be accurate.  Of course, maybe he just exaggerated a wee bit and most of what else he said was true.  And all the other stuff, that did indeed come from AngelQueen.  And it's true that all that could have been nonsense.  To delve so deeply into the personal life of one man who's no longer with us - it seems both distasteful and largely pointless.

I don't know what you're talking about.   In terms of Hostage to the Devil attributing too much power to the demons.  Fr. Martin actually focused more on the psychological attacks than the preternatural phenomena.  Fr. Amorth's books actually have more fantastical manifestations of power by the demons than Fr. Martin.  Fr. Martin mentions the usual things, infused knowledge of foreign languages, extraordinary strength, personal knowledge, levitation, but he hardly touches on those.  Fr. Amorth was the one describing the vomiting of pins and needles,  the power of witchcraft and it was Fr. James Lebar who once described possessed people spinning on the ceiling.  Fr. Fortea's book is also right in line with the power of demons.  I have copies of Fr. Eutenauer's books but I haven't read them yet. 

He stated that exorcism requires not just the power of the Church but, potentially, great spiritual power on the part of the exorcist as well.  He seemed to imply that possession can find even those who don't open themselves to it deliberately.  And he stated that fighting the demons takes something out of a priest, spiritually, that he never regains in this life.

Other exorcists claim that demons tremble at the power of the Church.  It takes only an average, faithful priest to successfully exorcise - Christ works through him.

St. Therese claimed that demons were terrified by the presence of an innocent child.  That's more in line with most of what I read from saints and mystics about demons.  We have nothing to fear from them.
(12-01-2010, 07:35 PM)A Catholic Thinker Wrote: [ -> ]He stated that exorcism requires not just the power of the Church but, potentially, great spiritual power on the part of the exorcist as well.  He seemed to imply that possession can find even those who don't open themselves to it deliberately.  And he stated that fighting the demons takes something out of a priest, spiritually, that he never regains in this life.

Other exorcists claim that demons tremble at the power of the Church.  It takes only an average, faithful priest to successfully exorcise - Christ works through him.

St. Therese claimed that demons were terrified by the presence of an innocent child.  That's more in line with most of what I read from saints and mystics about demons.  We have nothing to fear from them.

Anyone who has read "Possessed" which is a journalistic and dry treatment of the 1940s exorcism that inspired William Peter Blatty's novel, knows that Fr. Bowdern went through a tremendous ordeal trying to free the person possessed.   There is obviously a multitude of exorcists and what it does to them varies from person to person.  Some like Fr. Eutenauer find it overall to be an affirming event in their faith and others find it to be a self-sacrificing act.   Our Lord has different plans for different men and he requires different things of different exorcists.  St. John Vianney got kicked around pretty badly by the demons, as did Padre Pio. 

Also, as Fr. Fortea states in his book,  not all demons are from the same heirarchy and they don't all have the same power.  He backs it up by citing the scriptures where the Apostles were unable to drive a demon from a possessed boy.  Jesus remarks that "this kind" of demon can only be driven out with prayer and fasting.  Also he distinguishes between power over demons and authority over demons.  The reason no average priest is allowed to do exorcisms is because while he has authority, he may not have power over the demons which is increased through holiness. 

And to correct you, Fr. Martin always stated that demons can only possess a person if they have opened themselves up to them in some way, like through the use of a quija board.   Fr. Fortea and Fr. Amorth both claim that a person can be possessed by being a victim of withcraft or a parental offering to Satan.  Fr. Martin viewed those events as elements of demonic oppression, softening the victim up for possession. 
(12-01-2010, 08:17 PM)Gerard Wrote: [ -> ]Anyone who has read "Possessed" which is a journalistic and dry treatment of the 1940s exorcism that inspired William Peter Blatty's novel, knows that Fr. Bowdern went through a tremendous ordeal trying to free the person possessed.   There is obviously a multitude of exorcists and what it does to them varies from person to person.  Some like Fr. Eutenauer find it overall to be an affirming event in their faith and others find it to be a self-sacrificing act.   Our Lord has different plans for different men and he requires different things of different exorcists.  St. John Vianney got kicked around pretty badly by the demons, as did Padre Pio. 

Fr. Martin made no provision for it being a faith-affirming event.  I suggest you re-read the book if you don't recall or disagree.  I think he was pretty clear on this point: exorcists are 'wounded' spiritually by demons in a way that is not healed until the next life.  I have never read another exorcist speak of things that way.


Quote:Also, as Fr. Fortea states in his book,  not all demons are from the same heirarchy and they don't all have the same power.  He backs it up by citing the scriptures where the Apostles were unable to drive a demon from a possessed boy.  Jesus remarks that "this kind" of demon can only be driven out with prayer and fasting.  Also he distinguishes between power over demons and authority over demons.  The reason no average priest is allowed to do exorcisms is because while he has authority, he may not have power over the demons which is increased through holiness. 

Of course there are hierarchies.  But in a general sense their power - all of them - exists only by the permission of God (of course) and is comparatively weak compared to what any person of faith possesses.

I understand the authority distinction.  I didn't mean to say that any priest could perform an exorcism with a perfunctory wave of the hand.


Quote:And to correct you, Fr. Martin always stated that demons can only possess a person if they have opened themselves up to them in some way, like through the use of a quija board.   Fr. Fortea and Fr. Amorth both claim that a person can be possessed by being a victim of withcraft or a parental offering to Satan.  Fr. Martin viewed those events as elements of demonic oppression, softening the victim up for possession. 

I'll give you that point.  It's several years since I've read the book and I only meant to speak in a general way.  I'm simply describing how the book strike me in comparison to other statements and works on demonology.  The impression is not necessarily anything other than my own.  (But, I can tell you I was a big fan of Fr. Martin's at the time.)
(12-01-2010, 07:35 PM)A Catholic Thinker Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-01-2010, 07:22 PM)Gerard Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-01-2010, 04:27 PM)A Catholic Thinker Wrote: [ -> ]My problems with him began in reading Hostage to the Devil in which he makes some rather dubious statements about the powers of darkness - statements that don't jive well with those I've read from other exorcists.  He simply ascribes to them too much power.  It's not quite the Church's common view.

Then I read about his quotations about his exorcisms that seem impossible to be accurate.  Of course, maybe he just exaggerated a wee bit and most of what else he said was true.  And all the other stuff, that did indeed come from AngelQueen.  And it's true that all that could have been nonsense.  To delve so deeply into the personal life of one man who's no longer with us - it seems both distasteful and largely pointless.

I don't know what you're talking about.   In terms of Hostage to the Devil attributing too much power to the demons.  Fr. Martin actually focused more on the psychological attacks than the preternatural phenomena.  Fr. Amorth's books actually have more fantastical manifestations of power by the demons than Fr. Martin.  Fr. Martin mentions the usual things, infused knowledge of foreign languages, extraordinary strength, personal knowledge, levitation, but he hardly touches on those.  Fr. Amorth was the one describing the vomiting of pins and needles,  the power of witchcraft and it was Fr. James Lebar who once described possessed people spinning on the ceiling.  Fr. Fortea's book is also right in line with the power of demons.  I have copies of Fr. Eutenauer's books but I haven't read them yet. 

He stated that exorcism requires not just the power of the Church but, potentially, great spiritual power on the part of the exorcist as well.  He seemed to imply that possession can find even those who don't open themselves to it deliberately.  And he stated that fighting the demons takes something out of a priest, spiritually, that he never regains in this life.

Other exorcists claim that demons tremble at the power of the Church.  It takes only an average, faithful priest to successfully exorcise - Christ works through him.

St. Therese claimed that demons were terrified by the presence of an innocent child.  That's more in line with most of what I read from saints and mystics about demons.  We have nothing to fear from them.

I just read The Rite by Matt Bagglio, and all of the priests in that book suggest that someone can be possessed and not know how it happened. For example, one of the most startling occurrences are parents that, for some reason or another, place curses on their own children. In fact, the nun that is the most disturbing case in the book became possessed as a young girl because her parents dabbled in black magic or something like that. So people, from what this book states, can be possessed without opening themselves up to it. In fact, most of the possessions described in this book involved people that did not open themselves up to it.
(12-01-2010, 11:05 PM)damooster Wrote: [ -> ]I just read The Rite by Matt Bagglio, and all of the priests in that book suggest that someone can be possessed and not know how it happened. For example, one of the most startling occurrences are parents that, for some reason or another, place curses on their own children. In fact, the nun that is the most disturbing case in the book became possessed as a young girl because her parents dabbled in black magic or something like that. So people, from what this book states, can be possessed without opening themselves up to it. In fact, most of the possessions described in this book involved people that did not open themselves up to it.

Well... that seems to contradict much of what Fr. Martin wrote and what probably all the other sources I can recall write about the subject.

It's pretty disturbing too.  If true.  Which, at face value, I have to doubt.  I'll try to check out that book at some point.
(12-01-2010, 08:39 PM)A Catholic Thinker Wrote: [ -> ]  Fr. Martin made no provision for it being a faith-affirming event.  I suggest you re-read the book if you don't recall or disagree.  I think he was pretty clear on this point: exorcists are 'wounded' spiritually by demons in a way that is not healed until the next life.  I have never read another exorcist speak of things that way.

If I recall correctly, he mentions that the Irish priests in particular were good at exorcism. and one that told him he "had the touch" meaning "the touch with handling divils!"    Furthermore in his 'Kingdom of Darkness" audio interviews, he says the satisfaction of seeing a person freed from possession is like "gold."   He mentioned in his Art Bell interview that some priests had a better constitution for it and could hold themselves together while others became incontinent when they first encountered the evil present in an exorcism. 

Here is a clip from 20/20 from 1991-  Fr. James LeBar who would later be the exorcist for the New York Diocese is the main interview but the exorcist is "Fr. A" who is stated by the narrator that "with each ritual, something dies inside of him."  It's at the 3:30 mark. 





And Bishop Fellay said several years ago at his conference at St. Isidore's  " But I tell you, to kick out the devil from the soul, from the body, costs a lot.  It's a fight."

Quote: Of course there are hierarchies.  But in a general sense their power - all of them - exists only by the permission of God (of course) and is comparatively weak compared to what any person of faith possesses.

God allows them the exercise of their preternatural power, which is immense.  They are angels.  And He only restrains them in certain circumstances.  The mystery of why He allows them to do what they do is wrapped up in His plan and He can draw a greater good out of it. 

Fr. Fortea notes that a demon, never rests, spends a long time studying a person, learning their weaknesses and gradually working out strategies to make them fall. 

Quote: I understand the authority distinction.  I didn't mean to say that any priest could perform an exorcism with a perfunctory wave of the hand. 

Well then how tough can an exorcism be?  What's the worst scenario and the worst damage that can be done to a priest in an exorcism? 

Quote: I'll give you that point.  It's several years since I've read the book and I only meant to speak in a general way.  I'm simply describing how the book strike me in comparison to other statements and works on demonology.  The impression is not necessarily anything other than my own.  (But, I can tell you I was a big fan of Fr. Martin's at the time.) 

Very little of what exorcists learn is "de fide" doctrine.  They have to sift through the lies and get to the truths based on experience guided by the teaching of the Church.  There are always going to be differences betweeen exorcists.  Fr. Fortea makes distinctions in demons that Fr. Martin doesn't even mention.  Fr. Amorth is like a little crazed Italian exorcizing anything, anyone and everything,  He's like a vacuum cleaner for evil.  And he comes from a line of similar exorcists like his stories about Fr. Candida describe. 

Also, you have to remember, at the point of writing "Hostage" Fr. Martin had only met 15 exorcists.  By 1991 when he did "Kingdom of Darkness"  He'd been at it for another 15 years and was very aware of other busy exorcists like Fr. Amorth whom he mentioned by name. 


(12-01-2010, 11:28 PM)A Catholic Thinker Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-01-2010, 11:05 PM)damooster Wrote: [ -> ]I just read The Rite by Matt Bagglio, and all of the priests in that book suggest that someone can be possessed and not know how it happened. For example, one of the most startling occurrences are parents that, for some reason or another, place curses on their own children. In fact, the nun that is the most disturbing case in the book became possessed as a young girl because her parents dabbled in black magic or something like that. So people, from what this book states, can be possessed without opening themselves up to it. In fact, most of the possessions described in this book involved people that did not open themselves up to it.

Well... that seems to contradict much of what Fr. Martin wrote and what probably all the other sources I can recall write about the subject.

It's pretty disturbing too.  If true.  Which, at face value, I have to doubt.  I'll try to check out that book at some point.

Again,  Fr. Martin called that "generational possession" and a demonic "familiar" is attached to children by their parents, and this goes on for generation after generation. 
(12-01-2010, 08:17 PM)Gerard Wrote: [ -> ]And to correct you, Fr. Martin always stated that demons can only possess a person if they have opened themselves up to them in some way, like through the use of a quija board.   Fr. Fortea and Fr. Amorth both claim that a person can be possessed by being a victim of withcraft or a parental offering to Satan.  Fr. Martin viewed those events as elements of demonic oppression, softening the victim up for possession. 

I don't remember which one it was, but in one of his interviews with Art Bell, Fr. Martin told a caller that satanists can and have sent their own children to hell.
(12-02-2010, 10:30 AM)Jacafamala Wrote: [ -> ]I don't remember which one it was, but in one of his interviews with Art Bell, Fr. Martin told a caller that satanists can and have sent their own children to hell.

I don't recall ever hearing him say that, but if he did, that would have to be taken figuratively.  God doesn't suspend free will and does give sufficient grace to everyone to be saved.  Nobody sends anyone to hell, people go there because of their own choices.  Parents may help in the corruption, but everyone in hell is there because they deserve it and they have rejected God's graces.
I know, it's hard to understand--as he said during the interview... I'll see if I can find that interview later on, and if I do I'll post the link... I'm a little pressed for time now.
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