Sexually Abusing Children in the Church Isn’t Just Devastating, It’s Demonic, Says Exorcist
The crimes of sexually predatory priests may be sickening, but according to a renowned exorcist, their abuses and tactics may also literally be demonically inspired.
Father Gary Thomas, exorcist for the diocese of San Jose, California, and subject of Matt Baglio’s The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, said that the intimidation tactics that predatory clergy used to silence their victims are methods inspired by Satan himself. Spiritual warfare between God and the devil is real, according to Thomas, and in this particular battle, the devil is in the details.
Predatory priest’s taunt toward their victims of “Who’s going to believe you?” is a dead giveaway, according to Thomas.
“Convincing people that no one will believe them is what Satan says when something is so outside the bounds of what is reasonable as to be unbelievable,” Thomas said in an interview with National Catholic Register.
“Reading the accounts of what those children in Pennsylvania went through [as detailed in the Grand Jury Report] we wonder, how could this happen? It’s other-worldly — outside what people thought was possible — that’s what makes it demonic,” he added.
Thomas said that the devil’s goal in this abuse scandal is clear — to destroy the church by destroying its most vulnerable members, namely children.
“By sexually abusing children, Satan desires to destroy the icon of the kingdom of God. He wants to destroy the most innocent version of humanity, which is the child,” he said.
The exorcist explained that the church believes that tragedy and evil are sometimes separate things and that in any case where humans willfully commit acts of evil, they do so in concert with or in service to the spiritual forces of evil, which are Satan and his demons. The belief stems from the Christian worldview that there are no neutral actions or parties, that everyone serves one of two masters — either God or the devil.
“With natural disasters, people die sometimes. Even if there’s great destruction, we don’t consider that evil because it’s in the realm of the natural. When there’s a car accident, we don’t call it an act of evil. But when it’s outside the bounds of what is conceivable — like murder — we call it evil,” Thomas explained.
Thomas cited ISIS and drug cartels as examples of Satanically driven human forces.
“ISIS is a satanically driven organization because they have a premediated will to kill as many as possible who don’t believe their way of life. Even drug cartels are demonic and often pray to Satan to curse their drugs and they refer to Satan as their father and pray to him. I’ve seen documentaries on this and attended workshops with government task forces and prayed over some of the cops because of what they are dealing with,” he said.
As for how to confront the demonic and root out evil from the church and from wherever else it is found, Thomas said the best tools available to the faithful are prayer and fasting combined with intentional action on the part of both the clergy and the laity.
“Prayer, fasting and the sacraments are efficacious, but it cannot be without the intentionality of action that comes out of prayer. We want prayer to change us and we are praying for a change in the whole Church, all the way up. And we are also praying for the victims who have gone through decades of terrible trauma,” Thomas said.
Thomas also joined his voice with those who have recently called for the laity to conduct an independent investigation of allegations of abuse and how the church has handled them.
“It can’t just be the removal of a few. It has to be a complete reshaping of the paradigm of the way our Church governs; we need a complete cleaning up. We need a lay commission to set up an independent study. The bishops can’t do it; they don’t know how to do it,” he said.
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