As Occult, New Age Practices Increase, so Does Need for Exorcists (” Is exorcism simply a hot topic — or has the need for the rite grown?”)
Evil has not fallen out of fashion. Exorcism is a rite developed — and promulgated — to meet a need that still exists, due to more people delving into New Age and occult practices.
And, yes, satanic worshippers are a reality.
“They come in the church and steal the Blessed Sacrament to use in a ‘black mass,’” explained Father Gary Thomas, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Saratoga, Calif., and the exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose.
He has alerted his fellow priests to this danger — and trained his extraordinary ministers of holy Communion so that they note whether people receiving Communion are actually consuming it, not simply transporting it elsewhere for obscene purposes.
Father Thomas, a priest for 28 years, has even addressed people who appear not to be consuming the Eucharist.
“If I don’t know them, I’ll say, ‘Excuse me, will you please finish consuming the body of Christ in my presence?’” he said.
Father Thomas — the subject of the book The Rite and the 2012 movie of the same name — was one of a half dozen exorcism experts to speak at the Southern California Renewal Communities’ Catholic Renewal Convention held Labor Day weekend in Anaheim, Calif.
In addition to the workshops on healing, the Holy Spirit and prayer, the convention offered two tracks called “Christ Triumphant,” which focused on exorcism and deliverance ministry — a general track and a pastoral track for clergy and lay ministers.
The day preceding the convention, organizers also hosted a “mini-conference” for 175 registered priests and three bishops featuring the expert speakers (among them four active exorcists and one retired exorcist).
Which begs the question: Is exorcism simply a hot topic — or has the need for the rite grown?
It’s certainly a popular subject. The Rite was…
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