The thirteenth edition of the course on exorcism and the liberation prayer organized by the Sacerdos Institute of the Pontifical University Regina Apostolorum in Rome was held from April 16 to 21, 2018.
“To tell the truth, exorcism is a difficult field,” Fr. Pedro Barrajon, professor of theology at the Pontifical University Regina Apostolorum, told Vatican News on April 8, 2018. “But we must never forget,” he added, “that it is a ministry of charity and mercy.”
When asked about the difficulties in finding priests willing to accomplish their mission as exorcists, Fr. Barrajon answered: “A priest should always be ready to welcome the ministry of exorcist if the bishop asks it of him, even if he does not like the idea. I understand that it is not very attractive on first sight,” remarked the priest, adding that this ministry is important, not optional. “Every priest needs to be accompanied, to be formed to face concrete cases. An act of exorcism is not an act of magic.”
Speaking of the history of the course, the professor of theology said, “Fifteen years ago, priests who came to our institute asked us to teach them more on exorcism and the liberation prayer. They did not feel prepared. This gave birth to the idea of offering them a serious, scientific, theological, interdisciplinary panorama” on the subject. “For several decades,” admitted the priest, “theology abandoned the teaching on this subject.”
However, according to Vatican News, recourse to exorcism has tripled in the past thirty years. In Italy, according to recent numbers, there are at least half a million people involved in exorcisms.
Why Have Recourse to Exorcism?
It is important for priests to be able to use their power as exorcists in a world where Satan has almost complete freedom. But can we not also regret the disappearance of the sacrosanct rites of the Church intended to fight against the devil and his influence?
With the application of the Vatican Council II, the order of exorcist was abolished, and became a simple service like all the other minor orders that candidates to the priesthood receive. And almost all the exorcism rites meant to expel the devil and make room for sanctifying grace were removed from the new baptismal rite.
Worse yet, the Holy Mass, by which Satan is defeated, underwent a Protestant-flavored reform that denatured its value and its efficacy.
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, in his fight to maintain the Tradition of the Church and the Sacrifice of the Mass with its rite unchanged, understood the mystery of iniquity at work in the sanctuary:
I owe it to the truth to say and affirm without fear of error that the Mass codified by Pius V expresses clearly these three realities: sacrifice, real presence and the priesthood of the clergy. It takes into account also the essential relation with the sacrifice of the Cross, that is the source of the supernatural virtue of the Mass.
Diminishing or blurring in any way the expression of our faith in these realities, which constitute the very essence of the sacrifice bequeathed to us by our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, can lead to the most disastrous consequences, the sacrifice of the Mass being the heart, the soul, the mystical fountain of the Church.
The entire history of Protestantism is an illustration of Luther’s blasphemous words: ‘Destroy the Mass and we will destroy the Church’ (conference 1971 in Barcelona). That is Satan’s masterstroke.
In this same conference, the founder of the Society of St. Pius X quoted the poet Jacques Debout, in whose poem Satan, speaking against Our Lord, describes the value of a Mass:
The demon of Wealth: What does he use against us?
Satan - J. Debout:
The Eternal Sacrifice
That crushes my head and hard as I strive
Steals from me daily souls dead and alive.
These Masses are so many Revolutions
In the true but hidden destiny of nations.
Unseen their action, and yet so profound
That they alone can turn the Worlds around.
The Mass, surpassing both the Priest and Missal,
Is an event that’s always universal.
And when I fail before some obstacle,
Somewhere in a church, a barn, a hovel,
The hands of a man poorer, weaker than mine,
Have held the dread Host and the terrible Wine.