Esotericism, occultism, Satanism. Worlds that are closely linked one with another, interconnected , entangled, and very dangerous. The action of the evil is incessant and targets especially young people. A constant presence, that finds a barrier in the equally constant commitment of the exorcists.
One hundred fifty of them gathered on the occasion of a conference held during the past few days in Sacrofano, near Rome. A necessary yearly appointment to confront, dialogue, analyse… and pray. Among the discussed topics there were “the entrance doors of the evil”, comparison between the rituals, the used symbology. Insights that are necessary for the exorcist in order to intervene where it is truly needed. Were highlighted – as it is reported in the official statement of the close-out work – the serious consequences of the action of the devil through the vast world of the sects, proliferating especially among younger generations; pastoral interventions, that aim at limiting their effects; the exorcist’s identity, as it can be evinced from the magisterium of the church and the “preconditions” that accompany the rite of exorcism; the importance of a qualified pastoral ministry in the diocese, the Word of God, the Sacraments and prayer as tools offered by the divine grace to fight temptation and keep away the diabolic action from their lives.
But who is an exorcist? “He is always a priest – explains don Aldo Buonaiuto, who has given a lecture during the congress – ; he has the official mandate of the bishop and follows the ritual of the Catholic Church. A layman cannot be an exorcist, nor a priest who does not have the specific mandate. To practice, he must follow strictly the standards described by the Church and follow the rite of exorcism. It cannot be improvised and does not represent a magical act, but an act of celebration lived in faith. Those people who desperately run wherever it happens to ask for an exorcism, make a mistake…”
At the assize talked, among others, S. Em. Eminence Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome, the Vicegerent, S. E.Mons. Filippo Iannone, and S. E. Mons. John D’Ercole, bishop of Ascoli Piceno.
Pope Francis, via the Secretary of State, the Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent to the Association “his heartfelt greetings, accompanied by the hope that this important meeting will enhance the pastoral dedication to those who are particularly affected by the spirit of evil”.
Father Francesco Bamonte, president of the International Exorcists Association, recalled during his homily: “To draw abundantly from the merits of Jesus Christ, each one of us, like Mary and through Mary, must offer Jesus to the Eternal Father, and at the same time, join the sacrifice of Jesus. This way, in the Holy Mass, the sacrifice of Christ becomes our personal sacrifice offered to God”.
Exorcists operate on those who are victims of the mysterium iniquitatis. “When in a certain place or in some of the things one feels deep inner agitation provoked by a presence -,” explains don Aldo – it can be a diabolical infestation; the malady, even physical, that manifests intermittently in a person’s life, is defined as devil’s harassment; when the torment is continuous and uncontrolled, it is called demonic possession and obsession; finally, if a person seeks the assistance of the devil, promising him/herself to the devil – in order to achieve a goal – also with what came to be known as the ‘blood pact’, it is devilish subjection”.
One of the most thorny issues was that of the adolescents’ fragility, often lured by the sects via new technologies… “The occult sects – clarifies don Aldo – are the belly of a roaring lion, terrible because ruthless, unscrupulous and strongly motivated to celebrate the annulment of the person, while exalting evil and the curse in all their manifestations, to the point of welcoming death”.
Terrible words, unfortunately supported by many apparently inexplicable current events at a first glance, that become later dramatically clear in light of those experiences.
“The real sects – concludes don Aldo Buonaiuto – i.e. those lobbies that handle Satan’s power, are mysterious, elusive, ambiguous, veiled precisely as their secret societies. Symbols, rituals and orders, sacrifices, blood, daggers, skulls, mantles, hoods and gloves, candlesticks, goblets and, when possible, consecrated hosts, are all ingredients of their meetings. They are looked up on the Internet which allows instantaneous communication, and almost always meet during the night, between 2AM and 4AM. Then they practice the kind of rituals that open the doors of the evil, and the young men who think it is a masked game, are at the core of those deceptions”.
An increasing trend, a more and more evident danger. And yet, as it often happens, we do not see what is right in front of us: cartoons for children full of skulls and monsters, movies for teens that are full of blood, television programmes where transgression is normal. Everything becomes normal, and therefore, it does not scare us anymore. To the point of inducing us to doubt the actual existence of the devil, doing him an enormous service this way, because we break down all the barriers between him and his next victims.