Possessed by ghosts exorcisms in the 21 st century
From Wanda Pratnicka’s book “Possessed by Ghosts - Exorcisms in 21st Century”Post: 1stIf knowledge about exorcisms had been passed down from one generation to thenext, then beside the votary priest there would be other priests - the masterexorcists who would have many years experience of exorcisms. He would havetaught the novice, encouraged him, but above all would have cleansed him whenhe was possessed during the instruction. In the history of the Church there wereonly a few who felt the need to practice exorcism. Hundreds of people beggingfor help came to their door. There were, however, so few of them that theycollapsed with exhaustion wanting to help them all. They had nowhere theycould find models so they acted by trial and error. Many of them fell victim topossession and needed an exorcism themselves. Another priest wasnt at suchcase always able to help. Often he was unable to do so, and seeing his colleaguesfate was afraid for his own safety. These exorcists were like lone sailors left tothemselves and often ridiculed for their work.
Whether or not a priest will become an exorcist at all let alone a good onedepends in large measure on the ghost which has possessed a person. If itwanted to leave after the first session then the priest scored a success andacquired faith in his abilities to do it. With every successful case it became easierfor him even if he suffered a setback. An exorcist priest who fails at the first stepwill soon lose his enthusiasm. He may even want very much to become anexorcist and to help people but when he constantly fails he loses faith in whathes doing for ever. Discouragement may also be the result of a conviction thathe is fighting against something powerful which he will never overcome. It maynot even occur to him that it was only the way in which he carried out theexorcism that was unsuccessful. Either way, a defeat brings about a lack of faithin what the church exorcists are doing. Often horror starts to creep in, too. Theghosts not only refuse to leave but they also try to frighten the priest more andmore. Thats why many exorcist priests give it up, and many others watchingthem dont even start on exorcisms. Many priests are frightened of the devil, hisvengeance, and they also fear possessed people. In such cases it is easier toascribe mental diseases to every symptom and to send the patient off to ahospital just to have at least one case taken off ones hands. But these instancesdo not diminish, there are more and more of them.Post: 2ndI have often asked myself why I look at the problem of ghosts so very differentlyfrom the way exorcist priests do. Is my view of the matter mistaken? I havereached the conclusion that my experience and the experience of exorcist priestswere acquired in completely different ways. Our views are different because Ididnt do exorcisms under compulsion. Nor did I have to think that exorcism wasa battle with the devil. I was not given a strict formula telling me that theproblem is a devil and, consequently, I have to act in such and such a way, saythis, ask about that.
When we think of the devil as a creature (or person) then though people fear itthe fear is not constructive, merely paralyzing, disarming. It brings more harmthan benefits. In-stead of leading to understanding, it leads to giving up, and itshows fear among church exorcists. That is one of the reasons why there are sofew exorcists in the world willing to help people. Priests performing exorcism arepanic-stricken about Satan. When they understand the idea of the devil correctlythen the time needed for exorcisms will shorten markedly, needless sufferingexperienced by the possessed person and the ghost alike will end, as it will for theexorcist priest. If the devil really did exist then God could not be God Almighty.He would rule over just a part of the Universe and Satan would rule over theother part.Post: 3rdBesides which, the Church has often declared its faith in something which waslater discredited when it turned out to be false, e.g. that the Sun moves round theEarth, or that the Earth is flat etc. Subsequent discoveries overturned thesignificance of those that existed previously. Is it not the case also that in thematter of the exorcisms, the devil and of the possession of people by ghosts thatthe Church is in error?
Summing up, since the times of Jesus every human being who believed in Godcould perform exorcisms for themselves and for their nearest and dearest. Theseexorcists were effective and no-one needed to help them do it. Later this wasforbidden and people were commanded to turn exclusively to priests. Then they,too, were forbidden to do it. Fear of punishment excised very effectively theknowledge of exorcism from peoples memories. Contemporary man turns toexorcist priests for exorcism. They for the most part are unable to help. So, overa period of centuries, people have gone round in a huge circle. Unable to get theexorcism from priests, contemporary man is forced to help himself, just as inJesus time, and to use the power that God gives to every believer. Those who areinterested in studying this subject should refer to, among others, the works ofFather Gabriele Amorth, who is an exorcist in the diocese of Rome and thepresident of the Association of Exorcists. In his books he writes about people whohave come to him and who had unsuccessfully sought help over many years. Heasks this question: "And how many are there who will not receive this help?".And he himself gives this reply: "Very many, and thats because there are very fewpriests who want or know how to do it".
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