Pope tells priests to call in exorcists when needed

Pope tells priests to call in exorcists when needed

Pope Francis kneels before a priest to confess during the Liturgy of Penance on March 17, 2017 in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican

Pope Francis hears confession from a man during a penitential liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican

[Hat-tip to gpmtrad: “Credit to Pope When Credit is Due”]

Yahoo News March 17, 2017

Vatican City – Pope Francis on Friday advised priests who hear troubled confessions from parishioners to not hesitate to call on the services of an exorcist.

A good confessor has to be very discerning, particularly when he has to deal with “real spiritual disorders,” the 80-year-old pontiff told priests at a Vatican training seminar on the art of hearing believers recount their sins.

Disorders could have their roots in all manner of circumstances, including supernatural ones, he suggested.

In such circumstances the confessor “must not hesitate to refer to exorcists… chosen with great care and prudence.”

It is not the first time the pope has talked about exorcising demons from a believer’s person, and he generally refers more frequently than his predecessors to the devil, characterising him as a physical presence in this world.

Francis has described jihadists who stabbed a French priest to death as satanic and the acts of priests who sexually abuse children as akin to participating in a satanic mass.

Vatican universities also regularly hold training courses for would-be exorcists despite the practice being frowned upon by some Church intellectuals.

Francis also presided on Friday over a celebration of penitence in St Peter’s cathedral, during which he confessed himself before hearing confessions of several of the faithful.

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7 comments on “Pope tells priests to call in exorcists when needed

  1. Thanks for posting the piece, Tom. Always good to see something actually Catholic taking place in this day and age. Not one of us is formally lost while we still draw breath. Repentance being shown by the pope going to Confession is setting a good example.

  2. Oh, and his advice on exorcism is very well founded, as well. Now, more than ever.

  3. Yes, thanks to both of you for this, it is always praiseworthy to be fair-minded. I still marvel at the pope’s commendable fixation on the satanic, more so than any other VII pope. And yet he is so non-traditional in some many other respects. I guess I just don’t get it. But I will take whatever traditional elements I can get.

  4. Ironically, this is true and is sound advice. That is what is so puzzling about Pope Bergoglio. Every now and then he says something which has a ring of truth. If he could just stay on that path and give up the modernist Situation Ethics for Lent, at least.

  5. FrancisChurch Hypocrisy: “Utilize Exorcists More!”

    Posted by Laramie Hirsch on 3/17/17

    So, Pope Francis has decided to acknowledge that the Devil exists this week …

    This advice is in stark contrast to the spirit of his actions for the past few years. By all accounts, Pope Francis has shown that he hardly believes in the Devil at all.

    But more insane than that, Pope Francis’ pick for Tulsa bishop speaks against his own advice. Don’t forget, friends, Bishop Konderla, Pope Francis’ pick for Eastern Oklahoma’s latest bishop decided it was for the best to dissolve an entire order of exorcist priests who were formed to do battle with an increasingly large amount of literal Satanism in Oklahoma.

    This exorcist society led by Fr. Ripperger was suppressed, and later they had to remove themselves to Denver. As for us folks left in Oklahoma, we are to fend for ourselves against principalities and powers we have no authority to deal with.

    “Call an exorcist,” indeed. What an insult to us Oklahomans.

  6. Followup from Eponymousflower blog:

    Saturday, March 18, 2017
    Pope Francis: The Mission of the Exorcist is “Irreplaceable”

    Francis: Exorcists must be chosen “very carefully and with a great deal of prudence” – 

    VIDEOS: Pope directs a ceremony of repentance, he confesses himself and hears confession

    Vatican City (kath.net/KAP) Pope Francis has looked with generosity from the confessional chair and has suggests an exorcist on a case-by-case basis. The Catholic penitential practice must be “a credible mirror of the mercy of God,” he said on Friday to those in attendance at a course on the Vatican Court of Grace, the so-called Penitentiary. It is necessary to avoid rigor and lack of understanding. A confessor who reflects his activity in prayer knows well “that he himself is the first sinner, and the first to be forgiven.”

    Francis continued to admonish confessors to ask for “the gift of humility.” It should be clear that forgiveness is a free gift of God. Priests played only the role of “simple but necessary administrators” according to the will of Jesus, according to the Pope. “He will certainly be pleased if we make generous use of his mercy,” he added.

    The use of exorcists remains indispensable even today, said the Pope. Sometimes those with “spiritual disturbances” appear at Confession. Unless, as in most cases, they have psychological causes, pastors are not “reluctant to turn to those who are entrusted with this sensitive and necessary ministry in the diocese,” the exorcists, said Francis to those attending a Course on Confession this Friday in the Vatican.

    The Pope stressed that priests should consult psychologists and physicians for the assessment of supposed “spiritual disorders”. It is also necessary to consider the “existential, ecclesiastical, natural and supernatural circumstances.” The pope did not mention concrete examples. With a view to the exorcists, Francis said they had to be chosen “very carefully and with a great deal of prudence.”

    The Apostolic Penitentiary is one of the three highest courts of the Catholic Church. Among other things, it is responsible for the discharge and the lifting of penalties.

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