In our last blog, we reported on an address by Father Francesco Bamonte, chairman of the International Association of Exorcists (IAE) who is calling for more training for seminarians and priests about the nature of evil and workings of Satan. This is a call that needs to be answered!
Having worked in this field for years as both a researcher and reporter, one of the most frequent requests we get is for priests who are knowledgeable about the occult to help people with problems such as infestations, oppression, spiritual bondage, the breaking of curses and other occult-related ills.
These problems are increasing at an alarming rate as more and more people routinely dabble in occult practices, particularly Ouija boards, Reiki, “angel guides,” Wicca/witchcraft, magic, and necromancers (people who conjure the dead). They think nothing of it until all of a sudden things go terribly wrong.
In my experience, these “things” range from people who had mental breakdowns as a result of being cursed by a sorcerer to hauntings, poltergeist activity and, perhaps most common of all, oppressions of every kind imaginable (unable to sleep, confused thinking, nightmares, sudden inability to focus, etc.) – all due to toying with things such as voodoo dolls, tarot cards, astrology, and channeling spirits, to name a few.
What most people don’t know is that there’s no such thing as dabbling in the occult. Once you turn toward it, you open a door that can only be closed by full renunciation and repentance in the sacrament of Reconciliation. And until that door is closed, Satan can get at you much more directly than he could before that door was open. When it is closed, he can only tempt you to sin; once it’s opened, he has more direct access to you and can start to manifest in other ways such as through infestations, oppressive thoughts, etc.
Once these problems begin, the “dabbler” quickly realizes that what started out as fun isn’t fun anymore – and it’s seemingly impossible to get it to stop.
That’s where priests who are adept in this area can be of such enormous help. Although there are still too few of these priests to serve the ever-increasing number of people in need, the situation is improving. Most diocese now have an exorcist and may also provide more minor assistance in the form of deliverance teams or contact information for knowledgeable priests.
Another good place to go to find one of these priests is through local Catholic charismatic prayer groups which are typically attached to parishes. The members of these groups, who tend to be schooled in demonic activity, are often under the direction of a skilled priest, or know where one can be found. A person can usually contact the leaders of these groups through the parish office.
We have assisted hundreds of people who have suffered negatively from the occult and will continue to do so until that happy day arrives when our email box is finally empty.
In the meantime, educate yourself about the occult. Read Johnnette Benkovic’s classic book, The New Age Counterfeit. Our most recent publication is my Learn to Discern Compendium. Both are full of information you need to protect both yourself and your loved ones!