Blog Post

Archdiocese Against Tonight’s Live Exorcism Show

missouri houseA live TV exorcism, set to air on the Destination America network tonight, has drawn criticism from the Archdiocese of St. Louis for sensationalizing a very serious subject while giving too much publicity to Satan.

The Daily Mail is reporting on the network’s Exorcism: Live! show which will supposedly feature a live attempt to rid a suburban home of malevolent spirits. The spirits are supposedly left over after the exorcism of a boy named Roland Doe, aka “Robbie”, whose 1949 exorcism became the basis for the book and movie entitled, The Exorcist.

The house, located in Bel-Nor, Missouri, was said to have been Doe’s home at one time although the exorcism did not take place there. He is currently aged 80 and living somewhere in Washington DC. He is not participating in the show.

A psychic named Chip Coffey who will be participating in the show claims that the spirits communicated with him during a visit to the house and ripped a picture of Pope Francis out of his hand.

“This stuff is real,” Coffey said. “This is nothing to play around with.”

No one would know that better than Bishop Robert Herman of St. Louis

“Exorcism is not entertainment. Exorcism is serious business,” Bishop Herman said, and warned that the event is also dangerous. “It can only be done with the authority of the Archbishop by someone appointed by the Archbishop who is the exorcist for the diocese. Exorcism is to be done privately so as not to give Satan a lot of publicity.”

bishop robert hermannBut his warnings are falling on deaf ears.

Henry Schleiff, group president at Discovery Communications who oversees the network, has no intention of backing down from the project.

“This, to me at least, is probably the quintessential American horror story,” he said. “I genuinely believe this will be an entertaining and informative show and I'm very proud to be associated with it.”

Destination America is a three year-old program that is only available in half of the nation’s homes. It’s specialty is paranormal program such as Ghost Asylum and A Haunting.

As a result, Coffey and a few cast members of the Ghost Asylum series will help with the “psychic cleansing” of the house. The show will involve a séance in which the psychic will attempt to communicate with the spirits in the house. Six TV cameras will be stationed throughout the house and streamed live online.

There will also be some pre-produced segments, including stories of past demonic possessions and excerpts from the diary of the exorcist who freed Roland Doe.

Jodi Tovay, who developed the show, said the show won't involve the exorcism of a person. “This will be the exorcism of a house that was the epicenter of evil 66 years ago," she told the St. Louis Post  Dispatch.

She's also aware that the spirits may not cooperate with the TV show which is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. EDT tonight.

“I can schedule events, but I can't schedule demonic activity,” she said. “If that happens, I'm not going to fake it.”

Tovay is correct. She has no control over the event, nor do the psychics who will be conjuring spirits during the episode. We can only pray for the protection of the people involved in what can only be called a dangerous stunt.

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