Grob: I always had a strong desire to know God and understand my vocation. The Apostles suffered persecution for the sake of Jesus’s name. Our goal is to honor and to foster a greater understanding of the rich liturgical traditions of the Catholic Church, and to answer the most important questions in the matters of faith. AB: What did the revisions to the Rite of Exorcism entail? It’s not child’s play. FG: Early on in the Church, figures such as St. John Chrysostom and Tertullian said that anyone in virtue of their baptism could exorcise. PO Box 385 Chicago archdiocese’s exorcist won’t be attending Vatican training on possession, Even if we ignore Trump’s poor personal character, he has been an awful president. Father Jeffrey Grob (FG): After ordination, I was an associate pastor for six years but then was asked after a few years of ordination to work part-time in the chancery at Chicago, from 1994 to 1998. It is similar to a judge in a marriage nullity case: moral certitude is not absolute certitude, but it’s more than possibility. Today, in his capacity as vicar for canonical affairs and judicial vicar of the archdiocese, Father Grob has plenty of first-hand knowledge of the Rite of Exorcism and the ministry which serves those suffering spiritual affliction. AB: Can souls be possessed against their will or does possession take place by “invitation only”? Right after that, I wanted to do something in the area of liturgical law, and the priest who was my thesis director suggested I write on the revised Rite of Exorcism since virtually nothing had been written up to that time on the revision. But we are looking for the hot-spots and pressure points, the prayers which elicit a response, if you will—and return to those prayers, phrases, references to saints, or titles of Mary—it could be a whole host of things—that have a demonstrable effect. Effectively, from 1614 down to 1998, there were a couple minor changes to the rite down through the centuries. After all, Streep works for the same business that produced a legion of movies about the devil—from Rosemary’s Baby to The Omen to The Exorcist—all in one way giving the devil more than his due by sensationalizing evil. FG: Are there cases similar to what was depicted in, say, The Exorcist? FG: The underlying question for possessed objects is similar to that of a possessed person. Know our tradition if you want to understand exorcism. C.S. Oppression, which targets the body, usually entails an attack of the senses; for instance, everything a person smells or tastes is putrid. Where and when did you study for the priesthood? But, perhaps to the disappointment of the sensation-seekers, the vast majority of cases is much more low-key. There is only one God, though, and the Evil One is a creature. AB: How did that work take you to the work of processing exorcisms for the Archdiocese of Chicago? On the other hand, there are cases—look at the saints—where horrible things happened to them. It is part of the ordinary activities of evil. Interestingly, it finds itself among a handful of canons that speak about sacramentals, because the Rite of Exorcism is a sacramental. I would like to ask some preliminary questions. How close is the celluloid account close to the reality of exorcism? This law is necessary because, as with all laws of the Church, it is meant to protect the faithful. Is this genuine?". There is no absolute rule, but by and large possession happens when someone willfully—and not always ignorantly—opens himself up to something dark or evil. In the revision of the rite, it restored an earlier sense of how closely the exorcist is tied to the ministry of the bishop and his authority and pastoral care of souls in a particular diocese. If you put side by side the outline and structure of the ancient rite and the revised rite, you see that there is very much a catechetical movement in the revised rite, as reflected in the emphasis on the renunciations and a renewal of baptismal promises, among other things. AB: How does possession differ from obsession? But when it comes to demonic possession, Grob is the first to admit he's a skeptic. Modern science to the rescue! The Religion Roundup is also featured on WBBM Newsradio (780 AM and 105.9 FM) on Sundays at 6:22 a.m., 9:22 a.m. and 9:22 p.m. For more religion coverage, check out suntimes.com. The Ouija Board is a good example. He should have that letter granting the express permission of the bishop. I asked to go into the seminary already in high school. There were many indigenous, localized prayers used, and a few small manuscripts here and there, many of which contained the Prologue of John as a principal scripture piece in those prayers. Third, the person would have extraordinary strength. They’ll go to a healer or some sort of occult medium, which will often make matters worse. In this ministry, exorcists are trying to bring solace and relief to the suffering; we’re not looking to make them suffer more. The second paragraph talks about the qualities of a priest in terms of piety, knowledge and basic holiness of life. The Evil one loves woundedness. Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. You don’t simply wake up one morning and find yourself demonically afflicted or possessed. There are a lot of borderline cases, obsession or oppression; those have increased because of the number of people opening themselves up to all sorts of dark things. But this notion is grounded in scripture. An early December story in The Hollywood Reporter recounts the first time that Hollywood actress Meryl Streep and legendary director Steven Spielberg met. Effectively, the ministry is the Church freeing someone or something from some kind of attack from or domination by the Evil One, the devil. Theresa of Avila was pushed down the stairs by a demon; Padre Pio and John Vianney and Mother Teresa of Calcutta were all demonically afflicted. "One good sacramental confession is more powerful than 100 exorcisms.". But then crossing the line from ordinary temptation to extraordinary affliction, we say a person has actively opened a doorway to something—to a darkness. So this collection, forming Appendix II of the revised rite of exorcism, the laity can use with peace of mind, knowing it has been approved by the Church. AB: Do exorcists find some prayers more effective than others? These prayers were intended to be used by the laity because, truth be told, there are so many pamphlets and booklets and prayer books with a whole host of authors—including some questionable authors who do not have the approbation of the Church and, frankly, have poor theology. There is a polarity between extremes—either the Evil One doesn’t exist at all and was a creation of the Middle Ages which nuns ever since have used for centuries to torment students to make sure they behave in the classroom—or he’s responsible for everything, hiding behind every rock, bush, shrub, you name it. There’s an order to the prayers, too. That’s why oftentimes, exorcists do have someone as part of the prayer team who keeps notes of those kinds of things. First, there is the knowledge of languages, which is more than picking up a phrase book of a language an individual doesn’t know and spouting off a few well-known expressions in French or Italian. The devil - "the evil one" - is very real, he said. You must always address a prayer to God first and then you may wish to use the prayer addressed to the demonic entity. The only time a person needs to see an exorcist, I maintain, is when the person is demonically possessed. It’s one thing for an Arnold Schwarzenegger in his heyday to bench-press 300 pounds; it’s quite another for a 70-year old woman of slight build to throw five or six grown men around like ragdolls. FG: It begins with preparation of the exorcist and the team who pray with the person. Those are the things you want to revisit. Phone: (608) 521-0385 When he receives the call - "Father, I am possessed by the devil" - he doesn't drop everything, grab a black bag and run to the victim to say some prayers.

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