Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Exorcists, do we got any in Wisconsin?

The Anchoress(devils are hot article) reminded me of a conversation I had with a diocesan priest.  He said our diocese does not have an exorcist.  She quotes Tim Muldoon who said:
“. . . it’s hard to avoid the fact that there’s suddenly a fascination with all things demonic. Consider this Discovery Channel series in production, cooperating with the Vatican (though the article does not specify who or what office of the Holy See). Then there are the films The Last Exorcism and, coming this month, Anthony Hopkins in The Rite– the latest in a more-or-less constant fascination with demons dating back to films like The Exorcist (1973), The Omen (1976) and others. And even the Catholic Church–at least in the United States–convened a conference in November for the sake of educating bishops (56 attended!) and priests on exorcism. Catholic News Service reports that a 2005 document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith specified that every bishop is to appoint an exorcist in his diocese.”
Amazing that only 56 bishops attended.  Some of us love to appear superstitious(okay, maybe out of spite for modern thinkers), some of us avoid it at all costs.  But if every bishop is to appoint an exorcist, is there one diocese in our state that does have one appointed?  That's not to say we need to know WHO that priest is, just that one exists when needed.  Sure, any priest can perform the much disintegrated rite, but he should at least be assisted or in consultation with a trained exorcist.  Anybody know? 

6 comments:

  1. Not in the Diocese of Madison. I just confirmed that yesterday.

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  2. It's a bit scary that the bishops aren't more motivated on this.

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  3. Without getting into details I do know of 1 who (I am 98% sure) can and is not retired.

    Also, what I have no clue about, we do have all kinds of religious order priests in this state, maybe some of them are trained in this?

    Bishop Burke had a few years to shape things in the Diocese of Lacrosse, I am very surprised there is no one in that diocese.

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  4. Yes, I was surprised also unless this priest felt he shouldn't reveal that information to me or anyone else. I think it is important that the people know they have a diocesan exorcist, but not necessarily the identity of the priest. This priest also told me though that he had performed the rite when people asked him to but not in official capacity(which requires a bishop's approval). He stated his experience from these initial investigations showed that the persons were either troubled by mental instability or misguided devotion, but he did not find their situation to have any preternatural character.

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  5. Badger, as to the Vatican officially ‘cooperating’ with the Discovery Channel on their series (much less ‘opening their files’…), this was denied by Fr. Lombardi as reported by Paolo Rodari on his blog, Palazzo Apostolico.

    That ‘someone’ at Disc. Chan. talked with ‘someone’ who works in the Vatican is possible (a lot of tongue wagging goes on in the Vatican…), but that the Vatican would officially cooperate in something like this seemed improbable to me – which Fr. Lombardi confirmed.

    As to diocesan exorcists, it used to be that all or most dioceses had a priest assigned to this, but the identity of the priest was not public knowledge. Also he had to be an experienced and devout priest as exorcisms can be dangerous for the exorcist also.

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  6. 1. I recall speaking to an exorcist ("retired") when I was in seminary. He stated that when he was active it was the policy of the diocese NOT to release his name, nor was he to do so.
    2. The older Rite of Exorcism is still allowed to be used.

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