Protestant Exorcisms
#21
I'm hoping this jogs someone's memory, cause I can't remember it all, and I don't know where to look. In the time after the Prot. Reformation, there was an accidental competition of exorcism over a possessed person. In the process the Prot. minister admitted he was way over his pay grade. The account had some detail and specifics but I can't remember where I read it. (senior day, maybe week, sorry)
tim
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#22
(07-12-2010, 06:17 AM)Zedta Wrote:
(07-12-2010, 12:00 AM)Miquelot Wrote: "Ya just can't get the job done with second-best." -- But can second-best get the job done is the question? 

I think ya answered your own question and I thought that very cited sentence was clear...I guess not.

Begging your pardon, it was late and I read and wrote in haste.  What I meant to write was, "But why can't second-best get the job done is my question?"  I see since then "why not" has been explained and debate.  There are several reasons why I am struggling with the conclusion that Protestant exorcisms are regarded as ineffective rather than less effective.  I see phrases bandied about here like "demonic oppression," etc., and it was my understanding -- and I could be completely wrong here -- that this kind of phraseology originates in fundamentalist Protestantism, even though it is now commonly used by Christians of all traditions.  Can someone else verify this fact? 
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#23
I suspect the demons may feign and simulate a successful exorcism so as to deceive the Protestants into believing their heresies with greater sincerity, thereby endangering more souls than simply the possessed. Exorcism is a rite of the authentic and universal Church, and a proof of Her authority and status as the true Body of Christ. By feigning in this matter, the devils would undermine in the eyes of the faithful and infidels alike the Church's exclusive and unique status as the true Church of Christ, suffusing it among a thousand counterfeits.
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#24
This was interesting:




http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/100723


July 23, 2010

Demonic possession, free will, and 'Theology of the Body'

By Matt C. Abbott

Regarding Father Tom Euteneuer's recently-released book Exorcism and the Church Militant, a reader inquired (edited):


I get a little confused when I hear exorcists, most recently Father Tom Euteneuer, state that possession is when the devil is in the body, but the soul is still free. That makes no sense. I know this is his field, but the statement is meaningless.

Peter Kreeft stated in his book on angels and demons that the devil can posses our soul if we invite him in. The late Malachi Martin was always emphatic that the devil does not 'physically inhabit' the body — he controls minds and wills in a possession and, of course, controls the body. But that does mean he is 'in' matter. (Father Gabriele Amorth said the devil can possess thousands of people at one time.) Martin also said in the cases he wrote about, all five possessed persons said they felt that an alien presence was 'inside' them in some way, and he did speak of a demon 'gaining entry,' not to the body, but to the individual.

Possession, as I understand it, is control and domination of a person's will, personality and mind — hence the changes in the possessed person's personality. I'm not talking about 'obsession,' such as Padre Pio experienced. And even he said the devil can get to us only through our free will.


Father Euteneuer's response:

"Your correspondent raises an important point, so I'll go into some detail in order to make the necessary distinctions. The question that occurs when we say that demons do not inhabit bodies is, 'Who, then, is spitting on the crucifix when the person is totally unconscious and in a possessed state?' The same can be applied to any other blasphemous or violent action that is done through the body of a possessed person. The problem is more one of terminology than theology.

"For example, a demon is 'there' in a specific 'place' and exercises some influence on human affairs but is not physically present. He is spiritually present. Even if the demon is not 'in' the body the same way that a cancer is 'in' the body (as a physical presence), he is still present there, and it is from the inside of a person that the demon is cast 'out.' The easiest way to say that is to say that the demons are 'in' a person's body because it looks like that!

"The questioner quoted Peter Kreeft saying that the devil possesses the soul. Actually in that question (#88 of his book on angels and demons) he is talking about how a demon enters the person, not about the mode of possession. Kreeft was saying that in a non-technical sense because the spiritual 'faculties' of the soul — mind and will — cannot be penetrated by a demon. Even though a person can be controlled and manipulated when an evil spirit is present, the human mind is ultimately free to think its own thoughts and the will is ultimately free to choose God. Remember that the Gadarene demoniac who had Legion in him actually ran toward Jesus when He came on the scene. One would imagine that a possessed person would fly from the Holy One, but the free human being in a state of possession knew where his redemption lay and ran toward Him.

"In that book Kreeft also uses the analogy of a 'stage' which is like a 'theatre' of a demon's action in a possession. He clarifies that while it is common for us to think that a demon is 'in' a body, it is more true to say that the physical body is surrounded by and penetrated by the demonic will and power like a stage encompasses the actors in a play. Kreeft says in #39 of the same book: 'So angels 'contain' (surround) the space in which they operate, which is something like the setting of the play they perform.'

"The insight of [Catholic author-theologian] Frank Sheed is not substantially different than this position. Sheed recognizes that to say that a demon is 'in a place' essentially means 'acting in a place,' that is, exercising his power there in some physical location. Likewise, Malachi Martin and I do not disagree in essence that the demons do not 'physically inhabit' a person. They try to control everything they work on, and the body of the person is just the most dramatic expression of that control. This would also apply to Father Amorth's saying that a whole group can be possessed. He is admitting that some demons can act very powerfully over human community when the circumstances are right.

"Maybe an analogy to the Theology of the Body is helpful here. When the demon enters the life of a person, his malevolent presence is symbolized, here meaning 'manifested,' most overtly by its effect on the body. In the Theology of the Body we talk about the nuptial meaning or symbolism of the body as a symbol of God's design, so why can't we also say that the body manifests and even symbolizes in a grotesque way the actions of evil on the inner life of the person? For example, we know the marital act is a symbol of the communion of persons that has its own 'language' in the actions of two bodies interpenetrated by human souls. That in itself expresses outwardly the communion between them as individuals and between them and God.

"Demonic possession is similarly an outward symbol of an inner reality. It symbolizes a brute spiritual power overtaking a body and violating the very essence of personhood, that is, violating the person who is made in the image and likeness of God. It manifests itself in horrible ways like ugly languages (the antithesis of interpersonal communion), contorted eyes and facial features (the antithesis of human beauty), violence (the antithesis of the sweet action of grace) and blasphemous, obscene gestures (the antithesis of reverence), among other things. These are not the actions of the person, they are the actions of the demon who, in the sense we have discussed, inhabits the person's body.

"Finally, expelling a demon from a person is not equivalent to, for example, physically vomiting something out of the stomach. It is a matter of breaking the will of the demon and dissipating his power over a person. The fact that people convulse when demons leave or that they will often cough and retch, is, I believe, God's way of showing that the inner control of something has been broken and sent away. It looks like it is something coming out from inside because of the symbolism of its effect on the body."


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