“Coincidentally,” a number of priests made their may to this most remote mountain parish a while back, some independently, some coming in pairs, some from out of state, some from overseas. The idea, inspiration if you will, was voiced concerning what many of us have been thinking for years, that there should be a group of priests and bishops dedicated to confession, spiritual direction and… and… the exorcism ministry, all exclusively for the benefit of priests and bishops. Whenever this kind of “coincidence” takes place, for we did not plan this, I think that it is a plot, plan if you will, of guardian angels. You have to know, guardian angels are spectacularly our very best friends and are our co-workers and so, and most importantly, co-workers of Jesus. Their Queen is the Immaculate Conception, Jesus’ good mom. For what more could we wish?
But is this possible? Yes, I say. But I am a bit intimidated by what happened between Jesus and Judas and Satan. Judas is lifting up his heel against Jesus at the Last Supper forcing the irony of Genesis 3:15 upon himself, even as Satan enters into him, even as Jesus says to “him”, “What you going to do, do quickly.” To whom was Jesus speaking? Was it Judas or Satan or both? I say that it was Satan to whom Jesus was speaking, though Judas was the willing accomplice. After all, when Jesus soon thereafter met Judas in Gethsemane whereupon Judas gives Jesus the kiss of death, Jesus called him “Friend.” Jesus was trying to save Judas right to the last moment. Jesus does not exorcise Judas, not at the Last Supper, not in Gethsemane. Why not? Because Judas was not willing. You can’t exorcise someone who is purposely in cahoots with Satan. Why bother? It’s possible only if you have willing clientele.
Is is my experience since the early 1990s that priests who are believers are eager to submit themselves to an exorcism, knowing clearly that Satan is on the prowl seeking the ruin of souls, particularly the souls of priests and bishops upon whom so much depends for the salvation of souls. What I’m saying is, there would be plenty to do.
It is things like this which “just happen to happen” which make me think – again – that I need to republish my series on exorcism, some 40 articles if I remember.
There are, of course, various considerations, such as confidentiality. Yikes! Can you imagine a parish saying: “How come we got to get the possessed priest?” Or how about a Diocese and its presbyterate: “Our bishop is possessed. So that gives me permission to do whatever the hell I want to do.” Yes, fallen human beings throw themselves under the bus with their own self-made irony. It happens all the time. This works the same way with Confession: “He must really be a sinner going to confession like he does,” when the one going to confession is about the only one who is going to go to heaven.
But there are other pitfalls. I can just see it now. There would be those bishops who, with the typical demonic, self-congratulatory, self-referential CYA modus operandi, forever forbidding all due process for priests, send the inconvenient priest (often just a believer) off for evaluation to those evaluation centers which are fully guilty of having raped priests with plethysmography with the full knowledge of the bishops, still not having apologized for this and so still literally not giving a damn (and they should be careful of that), and who then send them off for an exorcism and, regardless of the outcome, use that fact with their request to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith that such a priest be dismissed from the clerical state (laicized). That’s likely, even probable.
So, such an exorcism ministry would have to be something which is done completely off the record. There are some exorcists who need a continuous mandate expressly given instead of every time asking the bishop for express permission. There are some things even bishops shouldn’t know! Imagine a bishop trying to figure out what to do with an insurance company which recommends against assigning a priest undergoing an exorcism to a parish! As one civil Judge, a believer and a gentleman, told me the other day about all such things CYA, such a modus operandi is diametrically opposed to evangelization, diametrically opposed to the goodness and kindness of Jesus. And, just to say, by the way, if a priest or bishop is harassed by Satan, that doesn’t mean at all that they are bad and evil or otherwise to be shunned or mistreated. Indeed, it might well mean that the priest or bishop is mighty holy like, say, Pio of Pietrelcina (poor Agostino Gemelli), John Marie Vianney, Paul of Tarsus and, don’t forget, He who bore the brunt of all of hell broken out on Calvary, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, who rose from the dead, victorious, the Conqueror, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.