Exorcistic Christianity

Here is a short excerpt from a book I am working on, concerning the Harry Potter phenomenon and the occult.  And yes, I read the books.  I have followed the controversy for years.  This has been stewing for a long time.  Preoccupation with my duties as a superior and this writing project has kept me away from blogging.

Christianity as Spiritual Warfare

That the practice of Christianity is spiritual warfare and that our mortal enemy is Satan is a fundamental dictum of our faith.

In his book, Jesus of Nazareth, written as a private theologian, Pope Benedict XVI stresses the “exorcistic character of Christianity.”  Commenting on Mark 3:14 ff., he points out that Christ’s mandate to his apostles to preach the gospel is inextricably linked to the power to exorcize and to heal.  He says that preaching is “never just words, never just instruction.”  Rather, Pope Benedict tells us that preaching the Kingdom of God “is an event, just as Jesus himself is an event, God’s Word in person.”

Preaching the Kingdom, then, is a struggle with the “powers of evil” that rule world in order to deliver it from darkness and give it over to the dominion of Christ.  The preacher is an instrument of the Holy Spirit in the order of “exorcist.”  Referencing the work of Henri du Lubac, the pope points out that the birth of Christianity was experienced as “a liberation from the fear of demons.”  In a like manner, the tells us, today where Christianity replaces paganism, the works of the “gods,” or better, of the demons must be purged and only those customs worthy of the worship of the one true God permitted to remain.

Thus, Christianity is characteristically a matter of spiritual warfare.  The fall of our first parent’s was a matter of being spiritually “killed in action,” or better, “killed in inaction.”  It was a failure to protect the territory of the garden of paradise, of the family and of the heart. God’s subsequent revelation to Adam and Eve, and through them to us all, was that life is a war between the serpent and his seed and the Woman and Her seed (Gen. 3:15).  Ultimate victory has been promised to those who persevere in the fight.  Serpent enmity and head-crushing are our marching orders.

Principalities and Powers

St. Paul tells us that this warfare is spiritual and that our enemies are not flesh and blood (Eph. 6:10-12).  Our conflict is not fundamentally with other men, with the enemies of the Church, or with the practitioners of the occult.  It is worse than that.  In effect, but for the grace of God, we are totally outmatched.  Quoting Heinrich Schlier, Pope Benedict reminds us that the host sent against us, “never stops coming,” and “cannot really be pinned down and have no proper name.”  It starts out with an advantage because of its “superior position,” which is “impenetrable and unassailable.”  Furthermore, that host of enemies wields a malice that is deadly and undying.

The Holy Father also reminds us that satanic influence is, in a sense, “something in the air,”  “poisoning” the “spiritual climate.” He says that “[t]he individual human being and even communities of human beings, seem to be hopelessly at the mercy of such powers.”  So, while on the one hand, our enemy is not of this world, he uses those who are under his influence.  Father John Hardon, commenting on the Two Standards of St. Ignatius of Loyola affirms that Satan has the “capacity to so use people or human institutions that they become, in effect, instruments of the demonic will” (The Catholic Catechism, 90).

Exorcism and Healing

The salvific will of Christ, on the other hand, separates light from the darkness.  Prayer must take the form of deliverance.  Spiritual warfare is a healing of the wounds that have been inflicted on us by our enemy.  Our confidence is in God, because we have put on His armor and have been promised victory, but we must, at all costs, remain under the protection of Christ’s Church by accepting and making fruitful her preaching, exorcizing and healing ministries.

Pope Benedict shows that healing is related to the exorcistic characteristic of Christianity.  All of Our Lord’s miracles of healing point to the “entire content of redemption.”  But healing can only come through Him:

The authority to cast out demons and to free the world from their dark threat, for the sake of the one true God, is the same authority that rules out any magical understanding of healing through attempts to manipulate these mysterious powers.  Magical healing is always tied to the art of turning the evil onto someone else setting the “demons” against him.  God’s dominion, God’s Kingdom, means precisely the disempowerment of these forces by the intervention of the one God, who is good, who is the Good itself.

Spiritual warfare is, then, first of all, a matter of the heart, that is, it is a matter of remaining morally free of demonic contamination.  Such contamination we call sin.  Exorcists will tell us that the primary way to guard against extraordinary demonic influence is to resist the ordinary one that takes the form of temptation.  For this the “armor of God,” consists in the faith, prayer and the sacraments.  More often than not, if we are living a faith-filled, sacramental life we will be protected from evil.

10 thoughts on “Exorcistic Christianity

  1. Pingback: Fr. Angelo Geiger on Spiritual Warfare « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics

  2. Dear Father I read this most interesting post. Please forgive me I am a mom and not a theologian or even academic. But I am one with quite an extensive background in the entertainment industry. From reading your post I could not readily tell your exact conclusion on the Harry Potter series. I have read quite extensively on Father Gabriele Amorth’s definitive warnings against the series and I have perceived many red flags myself from my time in the industry.

  3. Monica,

    Harry Potter is definitely linked to the historical occult and is not merely a story about fantasy witchcraft. It is particularly insidious insofar as it pitched in the form of occult Christianity, or christic esotericism. The theme of tolerance is akin to the religious syncretism of Freemasonry which is an occult religion. That is the simple statement of my opinion. The book will lay this out.

  4. Thank you for your elaboration Fr. Geiger I look forward to reading your book with great anticipation. This is one of a few topics that I am gravely concerned about given both my background and my love for many good souls who in this case are stridently defending the HP series. Ave Maria!

  5. Some in occult orders have written about through the process of their initiations they felt demonic familiars became attached to them. There are some writings indicating that as one progresses through the degrees
    of Freemasonry Rites this attachment becomes more powerful or that even different degrees correspond with different demons, which is what a familiar is according to Fr. Malachi Martin, a type of intermediary ‘character’ created by the demon through which contact is made with the initiate/possesse.

    Also your conclusion about the Knights Templar being absolved of heresy in the Chinon Parchment is cr.p.

    Denying Christ and spitting on the cross? They all admitted to that. How could a Priest/Knight admit to such a thing? There is no mention of any test or training regarding capture by muslims in the parchment.

    Demolay and chums were granted absolution they weren’t absolved in the current english language usage of the term.

    I completely disagree with your conclusion regarding this Chinon business proving corruption in the Church, on the contrary the document shows professionalism and fairness by those investigating the matter and completely vindicates those charged with ‘conspiracy theory’ for accusing the Knights of heresy.

    http://www.inrebus.com/chinon.php

    If demanding that the initiate denounce christ in a ‘private’ ceremony after receiving the robe isn’t heresy then what is?

    There is something very wrong going on inside the Knights Templar of an occult nature.

  6. FW,

    In current or ancient ecclesiastical language to be absolved and to receive absolution mean the same thing. The Templars were absolved.

    I never said there were no problems in the Templars, nor did I question the proceedings in Chinon. In fact, I held the testimony of the document to indicate professionalism. If I gave the impression to the contrary, please let me know specifically where that is so I can correct it.

    What I did say is that the proceedings of 1314 which led to the suppression and execution of some of the Templars, does not seem to have arisen from a legitimate and new case against the knights who had been previously absolved, but from the political motives of Philip the Fair. If you know it to be otherwise I would be interested in the facts (from known sources, not conspiratorial theory).

    If you click on the Templars in the category bar on the right you will find a number of posts on the Chinon parchment in which I criticized the pretended modern templars for their sensationalizing a misreading of the parchment to the effect that the Templars were innocent.

    To say that there were some serious problems in the Templars is one thing. To say that the order was the origin of an occult religion that developed into the Freemasons in something else. The only way to establish that is by facts, not by theory–not simply because it fits a conspiratorial world view.

    I don’t buy this line of thinking when it comes from the occultists as they want to make the Church the origin of all conspiracies and I don’t buy it from more conservative conspiracy theorists as they turn every shadow into a presumed fact of corporate devilry.

    As far as some kind of devilry going on inside the Templars, to the extent that that was true, it was true, not is true. The Templars no longer exist and those who pretend to the title are living in fantasy land.

  7. Most of the ‘spin’ over the Templars being ‘absolved’ was in the Press – and it was used to attack those who accused the Templars of ‘conspiracy theory’. In fact you can go to the current Wikipedia entries on the Chinon related to the Templars and find this slant being used, probably put there by Freemasons who incidently completley control any Wiki pages related to the subject.

    Whatever eccelsiastical hip hop that has been done on the meaning of absolved doesn’t change the fact that the Chinon parchment confirmed the confessions made to King Phillips inquiry with the exception of Sodomy although the carefully worded answeres given by the Templars to those particular questions don’t provide any definitive concusions. In short the Templars were heretics, regardless of what the Papal deputee ‘declared
    . They spit on the cross and denied it in a secret ceremony. This IS heresy.

    If you don’t want to take the Freemasons at their word that they came from the Templars fine, then we will switch to their heresy came from within the Fraternity of Catholic Priests, the conclusion Professor Robinson, a Freemason, came to in his Proofs of a Conspiracy – a book you should definately read, which if you do you will learn that Freemasonry existed around the Scottish Catholic Court of Charles I and II, and that claims used to spread it inside the Catholic Priesthood and Royal circles.

    As you may know the Masons claim the Templars fled to Scotland and founded Freemasonry.

    In your video you specifically commented on the accusations against the templars being ‘political’ and suggest this proves wrongdoing on the Church. You are completly wrong. Your repeated citing of ‘conspiracy theory’ directed both towards those in the Church and elsewhere who made accusations against the Templars was proven in error by the Chinon Parchment. I am saddened Father that you choose to continue using this term of ‘conspiracy theorists’ – it is ad hominem, as well as being a frequent brick thrown by Masons.

    Fr. Kolbe, the MI Founding, and and the conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne
    http://www.marypages.com/KolbeEng.htm

    [deleted]

    God Bless,

  8. FW,

    If you wish to discuss this further, then read all my posts on theTemplars, specifically those concerning the Chinon Parchment. There is a category for Templars, you will find all the posts there. If you don’t do that you will continue to misrepresent my position and so discussing this with you will be a complete waste of time.

    The Chinon affair was not an inquiry under Philip the Fair, but one established under Pope Clement V, who absolved the guilty Templars of their crimes and left them in good standing. At the time of the Templars suppression the crimes for which they had been absolved were not at issue. That is a fact. If the Templars were really as horrible as you say they were, why were they absolved at all? Why weren’t they just suppressed in 1308? Instead, they were left in good standing. Why is that? And please give me some facts, not circular reasoning.

    I am not aware of any serious historian who holds your position? Are you? Or am I to believe that all historians who are expert on the matter are simply shills for the Freemasons.

    Why would I want to take the Freemasons at their word? Do you? You actually believe the Freemasons are accurate and sincere witnesses of their own history? If so you are completely inconsistent. I certainly know what they claim to be their origins, and there isn’t a shred of evidence for it.

    Philip IV was certainly politically motivated in his efforts to bring down the Templars. Please, if I am really all washed up, show me some historical evidence from an objective historian to the contrary. Please don’t tell me that it was a conspiracy so there is no evidence and the lack of evidence proves it was a a conspiracy.

    I make a distinction between historical conspiracy and the logical fallacy of conspiracy theory because the distinction is real. What makes it ad hominem? I simply do not subscribe to conclusion drawn a priori and then “proven” by an interpretation of shadowy suggestions and reinforced by the assertion that the conspiracists have kept everything hidden. I know the Freemasons are conspiracists, but that still does not make a paranoid habit of mind an exercise of either reason or faith.

  9. The Chinon Parchement proves the Templars were appalling heretics. The Pope was wrong, his decision was obviously political, as was likely the buring of the Chinon Parchement in the stacks of the Vatican. The continuous slandering of the King of France by Freemasonry for forcing the Church’s hand on allegations he had received about the Templars anti-christ secret oaths and practices is fully exposed. If the Knights repented for their sins then they could be absolved. The absolution only goes to this, not the facts of their guilt.

    After reading the Chinon Parchment I have no problem believing the Freemasons ‘Legends’ of descent from the Knights Templar who they say gained refuge in Scotland.

    It makes perfect sense.

  10. FW,

    Earlier, you defended the proceedings at Chinon, saying that they had been conducted professionally. It was the ecclesiastical commission in Chinon in virtue of the Pope Clement’s authority that absolved the Templars. The parchment testifies to this. So, in your opinion, were the proceedings professional or were they rigged before they began so as to conclude with the absolution of the Templars? You can’t have it both ways. Either the commission was professional or it was a farce. Either the parchment records a reliable testimony or it is worthless.

    It is interesting that historians, including Catholic ones, indicate the opposite of what you assert, namely, that it was King Philip who pressured the pope for political reasons to suppress the Templars, not the pope who absolved the Templars for political reasons and then seven years later suppressed them because the pious King wanted him to do what was religious and virtuous. Are you saying that King Philip had only the Catholic faith at heart, that he had no political motives?

    Do you have any historical evidence that the Freemasons are traceable to the Templars, or is this simply a conclusion argued from the logical error of conspiracy theory? Do you only accept the Freemason’s testimony in this instance because it fits the conspiratorial view, or do you always consider their testimony to be reliable?

    Do you believe that the Masons have effectively written the historical record in which the weight of historical research concludes that the Templars were suppressed for political motives and that the Freemasonic claims are a myth? Can you offer any historical testimony in support of such opinions?

    Do you have any idea, or have you cared to look into why the Chinon Parchment was lost in the Vatican Archives? Have you any interest in reading the research of the person who found the document and published it?

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