American Dream » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:20 pm wrote:Jakell might even end up explaining to us how he himself is an anti-fascist- but sometimes the Devil is in the details.
Just a guess...
Man is in various ways subject to the influence of evil spirits. By original sin he brought himself into "captivity under the power of him who thence [from the time of Adam's transgression] had the empire of death, that is to say, the Devil" (Council of Trent, Sess. V, de pecc. orig., 1), and was through the fear of death all his lifetime subject to servitude (Hebrews 2:15). Even though redeemed by Christ, he is subject to violent temptation: "for our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places" (Ephesians 6:12). But the influence of the demon, as we know from Scripture and the history of the Church, goes further still. He may attack man's body from without (obsession), or assume control of it from within (possession). As we gather from the Fathers and the theologians, the soul itself can never be "possessed" nor deprived of liberty, though its ordinary control over the members of the body may be hindered by the obsessing spirit (cf. St. Aug., "De sp. et an.", 27; St. Thomas, "In II Sent.", d. VIII, Q. i; Ribet, "La mystique divine", Paris, 1883, pp. 190 sqq.).
Cases of possession
Among the ancient pagan nations diabolical possession was frequent (Maspero, "Hist. anc. des peuples de l'Orient", 41; Lenormant, "La magie chez les Chaldéens"), as it is still among their successors (Ward, "History of the Hindoos", v., I, 2; Roberts, "Oriental Illustrations of the Scriptures"; Doolittle, "Social Life of the Chinese"). In the Old Testament we have only one instance, and even that is not very certain. We are told that "an evil spirit from the Lord troubled" Saul (1 Samuel 16:14). The Hebrew rûah need not imply a personal influence, though, if we may judge from Josephus (Ant. Jud., VI, viii, 2; ii, 2), the Jews were inclined to give the word that meaning in this very case. In New-Testament times, however, the phenomenon had become very common. The victims were sometimes deprived of sight and speech (Matthew 12:22), sometimes of speech alone (Matthew 9:32; Luke 11:14), sometimes afflicted in ways not clearly specified (Luke 8:2), while, in the greater number of cases, there is no mention of any bodily affliction beyond the possession itself (Matthew 4:24; 8:16; 15:22; Mark 1:32, 34, 39; 3:11; 7:25; Luke 4:41; 6:18; 7:21; 8:2). The effects are described in various passages. A young man is possessed of a spirit "who, wheresoever he taketh him, dasheth him, and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away, . . . and oftentimes hath he [the spirit] cast him into the fire and into waters to destroy him" (Mark 9:17, 21). The possessed are sometimes gifted with superhuman powers: "a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling in the tombs, and no man now could bind him, not even with chains. For having been often bound with fetters and chains, he had burst the chains, and broken the fetters in pieces, and no one could tame him" (Mark 5:2-4). Some of the unfortunate victims were controlled by several demons (Matthew 12:43, 45; Mark 16:9; Luke 11:24-26); in one case by so many that their name was Legion (Mark 5:9; Luke 8:30). Yet, evil as the possessing spirits were, they could not help testifying to Christ's Divine mission (Matthew 8:29; Mark 1:24, 34; 3:12; 5:7; Luke 4:34, 41; 8:28). And they continued to do so after His Ascension (Acts 16:16-18).
The history of the early Church is filled with instances of similar diabolical agency. A quotation from Tertullian will suffice to bring before us the prevalent conviction. Treating of true and false divinity he addresses the pagans of his time: "Let a person be brought before your tribunals who is plainly under demoniacal possession. The wicked spirit, bidden speak by the followers of Christ will as readily make the truthful confession that he is a demon as elsewhere he has falsely asserted that he is a god" (Apolog., tr. Edinburgh, p. 23). The facts associated with possession prove, he says, beyond question the diabolical source of the influence — "What clearer proof than a work like that? What more trustworthy than such a proof? The simplicity of truth is thus set forth: its own worth sustains it; no ground remains for the least suspicion. Do you say that it is done by magic or by some trick of the sort? You will not say anything of the sort if you have been allowed the use of your ears and eyes. For what argument can you bring against a thing that is exhibited to the eye in its naked reality?" And the Christians expel by a word: "All the authority and power we have over them is from our naming of the name of Christ and recalling to their memories the woes with which God threatens them at the hands of Christ as Judge and which they expect one day to overtake them. Fearing Christ in God and God in Christ, they become subject to the servants of God and Christ. So at our touch and breathing, overwhelmed by the thought and realization of those judgment fires, they leave at our command the bodies they have entered." Statements of this kind embody the views of the Church as a whole, as is evident from the facts, that various councils legislated on the proper treatment of the possessed, that parallel with the public penance for catechumens and fallen Christians there was a course of discipline for the energumens also, and, finally, that the Church established a special order of exorcists (cf. Martigny, "Dict. des antiq. chrét.", Paris, 1877, p. 312).
All through the Middle Ages councils continued to discuss the matter: laws were passed, and penalties decreed, against all who invited the influence of the Devil or utilized it to inflict injury on their fellowmen (cf. the Bulls of Innocent VIII, 1484; Julius II, 1504; and Adrian VI, 1523); and powers of exorcism were conferred on every priest of the Church. The phenomenon was accepted as real by all Christians. The records of criminal investigations alone in which charges of witchcraft or diabolical possession formed a prominent part would fill volumes. The curious may consult such works as Des Mousseaux, "Pratiques des démons" (Paris, 1854), or Thiers, "Superstitions" I, or, from the Rationalistic point of view, Lecky, "Rise and Influence of Rationalism in Europe", I, 1-138, and, for later instances, Constans, "Relation sur une épidemie d'hystéro-démonopathie" (Paris, 1863). And though at the present day among civilized races the cases of diabolical possession are few, the phenomena of Spiritism, which offer many striking points of resemblance, have come to take their place (cf. Pauvert, "La vie de N. S. Jésus-Christ", I, p. 226; Raupert, "The Dangers of Spiritualism", London, 1906; Lepicier, "The Unseen World", London, 1906; Miller, "Sermons on Modern Spiritualism", London, 1908). And if we may judge from the accounts furnished by the pioneers of the Faith in missionary countries, the evidences of diabolical agency there are almost as clear and defined as they were in Galilee in the time of Christ (cf. Wilson, "Western Africa", 217; Waffelaert in the "Dict. apol. de Ia foi cath.", Paris, 1889, s.v. Possession diabol.).
Reality of the phenomenon
The infidel policy on the question is to deny the possibility of possession in any circumstances, either on the supposition, that there are no evil spirits in existence, or that they are powerless to influence the human body in the manner described. It was on this principle that, according to Lecky the world came to disbelieve in witchcraft: men did not trouble to analyse the evidence that could be produced in its favour; they simply decided that the testimony must be mistaken because "they came gradually to look upon it as absurd" (op. cit., p. 12). And it is by this same a priori principle, we believe, that Christians who try to explain away the facts of possession are unconsciously influenced. Though put forward once as a commonplace by leaders of materialistic thought, there is a noticeable tendency of late years not to insist upon it so strongly in view of the admission made by competent scientific inquirers that many of the manifestations of Spiritism cannot be explained by human agency (cf. Miller, op. cit., 7-9). But whatever view Rationalists may ultimately adopt, for a sincere believer in the Scriptures there can be no doubt that there is such a thing as possession possible. And if he is optimistic enough to hold that in the present order of things God would not allow the evil spirits to exercise the powers they naturally possess, he might open his eyes to the presence of sin and sorrow in the world, and recognize that God causes the sun to shine on the just and the unjust and uses the powers of evil to promote His own wise and mysterious purposes (cf. Job, passim; Mark 5:19).
That mistakes were often made in the diagnosis of cases, and results attributed to diabolical agency that were really due to natural causes, we need have no hesitation in admitting. But it would be illogical to conclude that the whole theory of possession rests on imposture or ignorance. The abuse of a system gives us no warrant to denounce the system itself. Strange phenomena of nature have been wrongly regarded as miraculous, but the detection of the error has left our belief in real miracles intact. Men have been wrongly convicted of murder, but that does not prove that our reliance on evidence is essentially unreasonable or that no murder has ever been committed. A Catholic is not asked to accept all the cases of diabolical possession recorded in the history of the Church, nor even to form any definite opinion on the historical evidence in favour of any particular case. That is primarily a matter for historical and medical science (cf. Delrio, "Disq. mag. libri sex", 1747; Alexander, "Demon. Possession in the New Testament", Edinburgh, 1902). As far as theory goes, the real question is whether possession has ever occurred in the past, and whether it is not, therefore, possible that it may occur again. And while the cumulative force of centuries of experience is not to be lightly disregarded, the main evidence will be found in the action and teaching of Christ Himself as revealed in the inspired pages of the New Testament, from which it is clear that any attempt to identify possession with natural disease is doomed to failure.
In classical Greek daimonan, it is true, means "to be mad" (cf. Eurip., "Phœn." 888; Xenophon, "Memor.", I, i, ix; Plutarch, "Marc.", xxiii), and a similar meaning is conveyed by the Gospel phrase daimonion echein, when the Pharisees use it of Christ (Matthew 11:18; John 7:20; 8:48), especially in John 10:20, where they say "He hath a devil, and is mad" (daimonion echei, kai mainetai); daimonan, however, is not the word used by the sacred writers. Their word is daimonizesthai, and the meanings given to it previously by profane writers ("to be subject to an appointed fate"; Philemon, "Incert.", 981; "to be deified"; Sophocles, "Fr.", 180) are manifestly excluded by the context and the facts. The demoniacs were often afflicted with other maladies as well, but there is surely nothing improbable in the view of Catholic theologians that the demons often afflicted those who were already diseased, or that the very fact of obsession or possession produced these diseases as a natural consequence (cf. Job 2:7; Görres "Die christ. mystik", iv; Lesêtre in "Dict. de la bible" s.v. Démoniaques). Natural disease and possession are in fact clearly distinguished by the Evangelists: "He cast out the spirits with his word: and all that were sick he healed" (Matthew 8:16). "They brought to him all that were ill and that were possessed with devils . . . and he healed many that were troubled with divers diseases; and he cast out many devils" (Mark i, 32, 34); and the distinction is shown more clearly in the Greek: pantas tous kakos echontas kai tous daimonizomenous.
A favourite assertion of the Rationalists is that lunacy and paralysis were often mistaken for possession. St. Matthew did not think so, for he tells us that "they presented to him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases [poikilais nosois] and torments [Basanois], and such as were possessed by devils [daimonizomenous], and lunatics [seleniazomenous], and those who had the palsy [paralytikous], and he cured them" (iv, 24). And the circumstances that attended the cures point in the same direction. In the case of ordinary diseases they were effected quietly and without violence. Not so always with the possessed. The evil spirits passed into lower animals with dire results (Matthew 8:32), or cast their victim on the ground (Luke 4:35) or, "crying out, and greatly tearing him, went out of him, and he became as dead, so that many said: He is dead" (Mark, ix, 25; cf. Vigouroux, "Les livres saints et la crit. rationaliste", Paris, 1891).
Abstracting altogether from the fact that these passages are themselves inspired, they prove that the Jews of the time regarded these particular manifestations as due to a diabolical source. This was surely a matter too closely connected with Christ's own Divine mission to be lightly passed over as one on which men might, without much inconvenience from the religious point of view, be allowed to hold erroneous opinions. If, therefore, possession were merely a natural disease and the general opinion of the time based on a delusion, we might expect that Christ would have proclaimed the correct doctrine as He did when His followers spoke of the sin of the man born blind (John 9:2, 3), or when Nicodemus misunderstood His teaching on the necessity of being born again in Baptism (ibid., iii, 3, 4). So far from correcting the prevalent conviction, He approved and encouraged it by word and action. He addressed the evil spirits, not their victims; told His disciples how the evil spirit acted when cast out (Matthew 12:44, 45; Luke 11:24-26), taught them why they had failed to exorcize (Matthew 17:19); warned the seventy-two disciples against glorying in the fact that the demons were subject to them (Luke 10:17-20). He even conferred express powers on the Apostles "over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases, and all manner of infirmities" (Matthew 10:1; Mark 6:7; Luke 9:1), and, immediately before His Ascension, enumerated the signs that would proclaim the truth of the revelation His followers were to preach to the world: "In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17-18). Thus does the expulsion of demons become so closely bound up with other miracles of the Christian dispensation as to hardly permit of separation.
The problem, therefore, that confronts us is this: If a belief so intimately connected in Christ's own mind with the mission He came to accomplish was based on a delusion, why did He not correct it? Why rather encourage it? Only two answers appear possible. Either He was ignorant of a religious truth, or He deliberately gave instructions that He knew to be false — instructions that misled His followers, and that were eminently calculated, as indeed the issue proved, to have very serious consequences, often of a most painful and deplorable kind, in the whole subsequent history of the Church He founded. No Catholic can dream of admitting either of the explanations. The theory of accommodation formulated by Winer ("Biblisches Realwörterbuch", Leipzig, 1833) may at once be dismissed (see DEMONIACS). Accommodation understood as the toleration of harmless illusions having little or no connexion with religion might perhaps be allowed; in the sense of deliberate inculcation of religious error, we find it very hard to associate it with high moral principle, and entirely impossible to reconcile it with the sanctity of Christ.
Why possession should manifest itself in one country rather than another, why it should have been so common in the time of Christ and so comparatively rare in our own, why even in Palestine it should have been confined almost entirely to the province of Galilee are questions on which theologians have speculated but on which no sure conclusion can ever be reached (cf. Delitzch, "Sys. der biblis. Psychol.", Leipzig, 1861; Lesétre, op. cit.; Jeiler in "Kirchenlexikon", II, s.v. "Besessene"; St. Augustine, City of God X.22). The phenomenon itself is preternatural; a humanly scientific explanation is, therefore, impossible. But it might fairly be expected, we think, that since Christ came to overthrow the empire of Satan, the efforts of the powers of darkness should have been concentrated at the period of His earthly life, and should have been felt especially in the province where, with the exception of a few brief visits to neighbouring lands, His private and public life was passed. (See EXORCISM, EXORCIST.)
Exorcism is (1) the act of driving out, or warding off, demons, or evil spirits, from persons, places, or things, which are believed to be possessed or infested by them, or are liable to become victims or instruments of their malice; (2) the means employed for this purpose, especially the solemn and authoritative adjuration of the demon, in the name of God, or any of the higher power in which he is subject.
The word, which is not itself biblical, is derived from exorkizo, which is used in the Septuagint (Genesis 24:3 = cause to swear; III(I) Kings 22:16 = adjure), and in Matthew 26:63, by the high priest to Christ, "I adjure thee by the living God. . ." The non-intensive horkizo and the noun exorkistes (exorcist) occur in Acts 19:13, where the latter (in the plural) is applied to certain strolling Jews who professed to be able to cast out demons. Expulsion by adjuration is, therefore, the primary meaning of exorcism, and when, as in Christian usage, this adjuration is in the name of God or of Christ, exorcism is a strictly religious act or rite. But in ethnic religions, and even among the Jews from the time when there is evidence of its being vogue, exorcism as an act of religion is largely replaced by the use of mere magical and superstitious means, to which non-Catholic writers at the present day sometimes quite unfairly assimilate Christian exorcism. Superstition ought not to be confounded with religion, however much their history may be interwoven, nor magic, however white it may be, with a legitimate religious rite.
In ethnic religions
The use of protective means against the real, or supposed, molestations of evil spirits naturally follows from the belief in their existence, and is, and has been always, a feature of ethnic religions, savage and civilized. In this connection only two of the religions of antiquity, the Egyptian and Babylonian, call for notice; but it is no easy task, even in the case of these two, to isolate what bears strictly on our subject, from the mass of mere magic in which it is embedded. The Egyptians ascribed certain diseases and various other evils to demons, and believed in the efficacy of magical charms and incantations for banishing or dispelling them. The dead more particularly needed to be well fortified with magic in order to be able to accomplish in safely their perilous journey to the underworld (see Budge, Egyptian Magic, London, 1899). But of exorcism, in the strict sense, there is hardly any trace in the Egyptian records.
In the famous case where a demon was expelled from the daughter of the Prince of Bekhten, human ministry was unavailing, and the god Khonsu himself had to be sent the whole way from Thebes for the purpose. The demon gracefully retired when confronted with the god, and was allowed by the latter to be treated at a grand banquet before departing "to his own place" (op. cit. p. 206 sq.).
Babylonian magic was largely bound up with medicine, certain diseases being attributed to some kind of demoniacal possession, and exorcism being considered easiest, if not the only, way of curing them (Sayce, Hibbert Lect. 1887, 310). For this purpose certain formulæ of adjuration were employed, in which some god or goddess, or some group of deities, was invoked to conjure away the evil one and repair the mischief he had caused. The following example (from Sayce, op. cit., 441 seq.) may be quoted: "The (possessing) demon which seizes a man, the demon (ekimmu) which seizes a man; The (seizing) demon which works mischief, the evil demon, Conjure, O spirit of heaven; conjure, O spirit of earth." For further examples see King, Babylonian Magic and Sorcery (London, 1896).
Among the Jews
There is no instance in the Old Testament of demons being expelled by men. In Tobias 8:3, is the angel who "took the devil and bound him in the desert of upper Egypt"; and the instruction previously given to young Tobias (6:18-19), to roast the fish's heart in the bridal chamber, would seem to have been merely part of the angel's plan for concealing his own identity. But in extra-canonical Jewish literature there are incantations for exorcising demons, examples of which may be seen in Talmud (Schabbath, xiv, 3; Aboda Zara, xii, 2; Sanhedrin, x, 1). These were sometimes inscribed on the interior surface of earthen bowls, a collection of which (estimated to be from the seventh century A.D) is preserved in the Royal Museum in Berlin; and inscriptions from the collection have been published, translated by Wohlstein in the "Zeitschrift für Assyriologie" (December, 1893; April, 1894).
The chief characteristics of these Jewish exorcisms is their naming of names believed to be efficacious, i.e., names of good angels, which are used either alone or in combination with El (=God); indeed reliance on mere names had long before become a superstition with the Jews, and it was considered most important that the appropriate names, which varied for different times and occasions, should be used. It was this superstitious belief, no doubt, that prompted the sons of Sceva, who had witnessed St. Paul's successful exorcisms in the name of Jesus, to try on their own account the formula, "I conjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth", with results disastrous to their credit (Acts 19:13). It was a popular Jewish belief, accepted even by a learned cosmopolitan like Josephus, that Solomon had received the power of expelling demons, and that he had composed and transmitted certain formulæ that were efficacious for that purpose. The Jewish historian records how a certain Eleazar, in the presence of the Emperor Vespasian and his officers, succeeded, by means of a magical ring applied to the nose of a possessed person, in drawing out the demon through the nostrils — the virtue of the ring being due to the fact that it enclosed a certain rare root indicated in the formulaæ of Solomon, and which it was exceedingly difficult to obtain (Ant. Jud, VIII, ii, 5; cf. Bell. Jud. VII, vi, 3).
But superstition and magic apart, it is implied in Christ's answers to the Pharisees, who accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub, that some Jews in His time successfully exorcised demons in God's name: "and if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out?" (Matthew 12:27). It does not seem reasonable to understand this reply as mere irony, or as a mere argumentum ad hominem implying no admission of the fact; all the more so, as elsewhere (Mark 9:37-38) we have an account of a person who was not a disciple casting out demons in Christ's name, and whose action Christ refused to reprehend or forbid.
Exorcism in the New Testament
Assuming the reality of demoniac possession, for which the authority of Christ is pledged, it is to be observed that Jesus appealed to His power over demons as one of the recognised signs of Messiahship (Matthew 12:23, 28; Luke 11:20). He cast out demons, He declared, by the finger or spirit of God, not, as His adversaries alleged, by collusion with the prince of demons (Matthew 12:24, 27; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15, 19); and that He exercised no mere delegated power, but a personal authority that was properly His own, is clear from the direct and imperative way in which He commands the demon to depart (Mark 9:24; cf. 1:25 etc.): "He cast out the spirits with his word, and he healed all that were sick" (Matthew 8:16). Sometimes, as with the daughter of the Canaanean woman, the exorcism took place from a distance (Matthew 15:22 sqq.; Mark 7:25). Sometimes again the spirits expelled were allowed to express their recognition of Jesus as "the Holy One of God" (Mark 1:24) and to complain that He had come to torment them "before the time", i.e the time of their punishment (Matthew 8:29 sqq; Luke 8:28 sqq.). If demoniac possession was generally accompanied by some disease, yet the two were not confounded by Christ, or the Evangelists. In Luke 13:32, for example, the Master Himself expressly distinguishes between the expulsion of evil spirits and the curing of disease.
Christ also empowered the Apostles and Disciples to cast out demons in His name while He Himself was still on earth (Matthew 10:1 and 8; Mark 6:7; Luke 9:1; 10:17), and to believers generally He promised the same power (Mark 16:17). But the efficacy of this delegated power was conditional, as we see from the fact that the Apostles themselves were not always successful in their exorcisms: certain kinds of spirits, as Christ explained, could only be cast out by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:15, 20; Mark 9:27-28; Luke 9:40). In other words the success of exorcism by Christians, in Christ's name, is subject to the same general conditions on which both the efficacy of prayer and the use of charismatic power depend. Yet conspicuous success was promised (Mark 16:17). St. Paul (Acts 16:18; 19:12), and, no doubt, the other Apostles and Disciples, made use of regularly, as occasion arose, of their exorcising power, and the Church has continued to do so uninterruptedly to the present day.
Besides exorcism in the strictest sense — i.e. for driving out demons from the possessed — Catholic ritual, following early traditions, has retained various other exorcisms, and these also call for notice here.
Exorcism of the possessed
We have it on the authority of all early writers who refer to the subject at all that in the first centuries not only the clergy, but lay Christians also were able by the power of Christ to deliver demoniacs or energumens, and their success was appealed to by the early Apologists as a strong argument for the Divinity of the Christian religion (Justin Martyr, First Apology 6; Dialogue with Trypho 30 and 85; Minutius Felix, Octavius 27; Origen, Against Celsus I.25; VII.4; VII.67; Tertullian, Apology 22, 23; etc.). As is clear from testimonies referred to, no magical or superstitious means were employed, but in those early centuries, as in later times, a simple and authoritative adjuration addressed to the demon in the name of God, and more especially in the name of Christ crucified, was the usual form of exorcism.
But sometimes in addition to words some symbolic action was employed, such as breathing (insufflatio), or laying of hands on the subject, or making the sign of cross. St. Justin speaks of demons flying from "the touch and breathing of Christians" (Second Apology 6) as from a flame that burns them, adds St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures 20.3). Origen mentions the laying of hands, and St. Ambrose (Paulinus, Vit. Ambr., n. 28, 43, P.L, XIV, 36, 42), St. Ephraem Syrus (Gregory of Nyssa, De Vit. Ephr., P.G., XLVI, 848) and others used this ceremony in exorcising. The sign of the cross, that briefest and simplest way of expressing one's faith in the Crucified and invoking His Divine power, is extolled by many Fathers for its efficacy against all kinds of demoniac molestation (Lactantius, Divine Institutes IV.27; Athanasius, On the Incarnation of the Word 47; Basil, In Isai., XI, 249, P.G., XXX, 557, Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 13.3; Gregory Nazianzen, Carm. Adv. iram, v, 415 sq.; P.G., XXXVII, 842). The Fathers further recommend that the adjuration and accompanying prayers should be couched in the words of Holy Writ (Cyril of Jerusalem, Procatechesis 9; Athanasius, Ad Marcell., n. 33, P.G., XXVII, 45). The present rite of exorcism as given in the Roman Ritual fully agrees with patristic teaching and is a proof of the continuity of Catholic tradition in this matter.
At an early age the practice was introduced into the Church of exorcising catechumens as a preparation for the Sacrament of Baptism. This did not imply that they were considered to be obsessed, like demoniacs, but merely that they were, in consequence of original sin (and of personal sins in case of adults), subject more or less to the power of the devil, whose "works" or "pomps" they were called upon to renounce, and from whose dominion the grace of baptism was about to deliver them.
Exorcism in this connection is a symbolical anticipation of one of the chief effects of the sacrament of regeneration; and since it was used in the case of children who had no personal sins, St. Augustine could appeal to it against the Pelagians as implying clearly the doctrine of original sin (Ep. cxciv, n. 46. P.L., XXXIII, 890; C. Jul. III, 8; P.L., XXXIV, 705, and elsewhere). St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Procatechesis 14) gives a detailed description of baptismal exorcism, from which it appears that anointing with exorcised oil formed a part of this exorcism in the East. The only early Western witness which treats unction as part of the baptismal exorcism is that of the Arabic Canons of Hippolytus (n. 19, 29). The Exsufflatio, or out-breathing of the demon by the candidate, which was sometimes part of the ceremony, symbolized the renunciation of his works and pomps, while the Insufflatio, or in-breathing of the Holy Ghost, by ministers and assistants, symbolised the infusion of sanctifying grace by the sacrament. Most of these ancient ceremonies have been retained by the Church to this day in her rite for solemn baptism.
According to Catholic belief demons or fallen angels retain their natural power, as intelligent beings, of acting on the material universe, and using material objects and directing material forces for their own wicked ends; and this power, which is in itself limited, and is subject, of course, to the control of Divine providence, is believed to have been allowed a wider scope for its activity in the consequence of the sin of mankind. Hence places and things as well as persons are naturally liable to diabolical infestation, within limits permitted by God, and exorcism in regard to them is nothing more that a prayer to God, in the name of His Church, to restrain this diabolical power supernaturally, and a profession of faith in His willingness to do so on behalf of His servants on earth.
The chief things formally exorcised in blessing are water, salt, oil, and these in turn are used in personal exorcisms, and in blessing or consecrating places (e.g. churches) and objects (e.g. altars, sacred vessels, church bells) connected with public worship, or intended for private devotion. Holy water, the sacramental with which the ordinary faithful are most familiar, is a mixture of exorcised water and exorcised salt; and in the prayer of blessing, God is besought to endow these material elements with a supernatural power of protecting those who use them with faith against all the attacks of the devil. This kind of indirect exorcism by means of exorcised objects is an extension of the original idea; but it introduces no new principle, and it has been used in the Church from the earliest ages. (See also EXORCIST.)
(1) In general, any one who exorcises or professes to exorcise demons (cf. Acts 19:13); (2) in particular, one ordained by a bishop for this office, ordination to which is the second of the four minor orders of the Western Church.
The practice of exorcism was not confined to clerics in the early ages, as is clear from Tertullian (Apology 23; cf. On Idolatry 11) and Origen (Against Celsus VII.4). The latter expressly states that even the simplest and rudest of the faithful sometimes cast out demons, by a mere prayer or adjuration (Mark 15:17), and urges the fact as a proof of the power of Christ's grace, and the inability of demons to resist it. In the Eastern Church, a specially ordained order of exorcists (or of acolytes, or door-keepers) has never been established but in the Western Church, these three minor orders with that of lectors as a fourth) were instituted shortly before the middle of the third century. Pope Cornelius (261-252) mentions in his letter to Fabius that there were then in the Roman Church forty-two acolytes, and fifty-two exorcists, readers, and door-keepers (Eusebius, Church History VI.43), and the institution of these orders, and the organization of their functions, seems to have been the work of Cornelius's predecessor, Pope Fabian (236-251).
The fourth Council of Carthage (398), in its seventh canon, prescribes the rite of ordination for exorcist; the bishop is to give him the book containing the formulae of exorcism, saying, "Receive, and commit to memory, and possess the power of imposing hands on energumens, whether baptized or catechumens"; and the same rite has been retained, without change, in the Roman Pontifical down to the present day, except that instead of the ancient Book of Exorcisms, the Pontifical, or Missal, is put into the hands of the ordained. From this form it is clear that one of the chief duties of exorcists was to take part in baptismal exorcism. That catechumens were exorcised every day, for some time before baptism, may be inferred from canon of the same council, which prescribed the daily imposition of hands by the exorcists. A further duty is precribed in canon 92, viz: to supply food to, and in a general way to care for, energumens who habitually frequented the Church. There is no mention of pagan energumens, for the obvious reason that the official ministrations of the Church were not intended for them. But even after the institution of this order, exorcism was not forbidden to the laity, much less to the higher clergy, nor did those who exorcised always use the forms contained in the Book of Exorcisms. Thus the Apostolic Constitutions (VIII.26) say expressly that "the exorcist is not ordained", i.e. for the special office of exorcist, but that if anyone possess the charismatic power, he is to be recognized, and if need be, ordained deacon or subdeacon. This is the practice which has survived in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
As an example of the discretion allowed in the West, in the use of the means of exorcising, we may refer to what Sulpitius Severus relates of St. Martin of Tours (Dial., III (II), 6; P.L., XX, 215), that he was in the habit of casting out demons by prayer alone without having recourse to the imposition of hands or the formulae usually employed by the clergy. After a time, as conditions changed in the Church, the office of exorcist, as an independent office, ceased altogether, and was taken over by clerics in major orders, just as the original functions of deacons and subdeacons have with the lapse of time passed to a great extent into the hands of priests; and according to the present discipline of the Catholic Church, it is only priests who are authorized to use the exorcising power conferred by ordination. The change is due to the facts that the catechumenate, with which the office of exorcist was chiefly connected, has ceased, that infant baptism has become the rule, and that with the spread of Christianity and the disappearance of paganism, demonic power has been curtailed, and cases of obsession have become much rarer. It is only Catholic missionaries labouring in pagan lands, where Christianity is not yet dominant, who are likely to meet with fairly frequent cases of possession.
In Christian countries authentic cases of possession sometimes occur and every priest, especially if he be a parish priest, or pastor, is liable to be called upon to perform his duty as exorcist. In doing so, he is to be mindful of the prescriptions of the Roman Ritual and of the laws of provincial or diocesan synods, which for most part require that the bishop should be consulted and his authorization obtained before exorcism is attempted. The chief points of importance in the instructions of the Roman Ritual, prefixed to the rite itself, are as follows:
Possession is not lightly to be taken for granted. Each case is to be carefully examined and great caution to be used in distinguishing genuine possession from certain forms of disease.
The priest who undertakes the office should be himself a holy man, of a blameless life, intelligent, courageous, humble, and he should prepare for the work by special acts of devotion and mortification, particularly by prayer and a fasting (Matthew 17:20).
He should avoid in the a course of the rite everything that savours of superstition, and should leave the medical aspects of the case to qualified physicians.
He should admonish the possessed, in so far as the latter is capable, to dispose himself for the exorcism by prayer, fasting, confession, and communion, and while the rite is in progress to excite within himself a lively faith in God's goodness, and a patient resignation to His holy will.
The exorcism should take place in the Church or some other sacred place, if convenient; but if on account of sickness or for other legitimate reasons, it takes place in a private house, witnesses (preferably members of the family) should be present: this is specially enjoined, as a measure of precaution, in case the subject is a woman.
All idle and curious questioning of the demon should be avoided, and the prayers and aspirations should be read with great faith, humility, and fervour, and with a consciousness of power and authority.
The Blessed Sacrament is not to be brought near the body of the obsessed during exorcism for fear of possible irreverence; but the crucifix, holy water, and, where available, relics of the saints are to be employed.
If expulsion of the evil spirit is not obtained at once, the rite should be repeated, if need be, several times.
The exorcist should be vested in surplice, and violet stole.
Searcher08 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:34 pm wrote:Can I politely ask, in the refined manner of the fellow denizen of the world capital London amidst these sceptred isles would mind awfully refraining from the posting of large quite dreadful cartoons. It really does lower the tone and set off the dreadful argumentation-by-CopyGIF, which if one looked at the history of RI has always really caused more trouble than it's worth.
Thanks awfully, old chap!
American Dream » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:20 pm wrote:Jakell might even end up explaining to us how he himself is an anti-fascist- but sometimes the Devil is in the details.
Just a guess...
NeonLX » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:02 pm wrote:1. The Holocaust happened. Many holocausts have happened, but the one discussed in this thread was undoubtedly real. Because of Hate and Paranoia, Lives were taken from 6,000,000 human beings. Obviously, not a single one of them "deserved it".
2. "Semites" (Jews or otherwise) are human beings. So are Methodists and Gurkhas and fat old white guys who should really wear shirts at all times to keep the rest of us from being embarrassed or grossed out (I'm a skinny old white guy and yes, I keep a shirt on at all times).
3. The Israeli government is a bully. Just as the U.S. government is a bully. There are plenty of other bullies hanging out on this playground of a globe as well.
That's my simplistic view of stuff.
You are absolutely correct Neon ......everything you have said is true.....I know it....you know it...everyone here knows it....the problem here is that AD ..solace....b p h....believe if they are not super duper every day vigilant RI will become infested with people that do not believe that...and that is so insulting...so outrageously insulting to the intellect of this board that anyone that denied it would last more than 2 seconds here....
jakell » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:00 pm wrote:Searcher08 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:34 pm wrote:Can I politely ask, in the refined manner of the fellow denizen of the world capital London amidst these sceptred isles would mind awfully refraining from the posting of large quite dreadful cartoons. It really does lower the tone and set off the dreadful argumentation-by-CopyGIF, which if one looked at the history of RI has always really caused more trouble than it's worth.
Thanks awfully, old chap!
Just twigged this.... so you're a Brit too I take it?
Searcher08 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:39 pm wrote:jakell » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:00 pm wrote:Searcher08 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:34 pm wrote:Can I politely ask, in the refined manner of the fellow denizen of the world capital London amidst these sceptred isles would mind awfully refraining from the posting of large quite dreadful cartoons. It really does lower the tone and set off the dreadful argumentation-by-CopyGIF, which if one looked at the history of RI has always really caused more trouble than it's worth.
Thanks awfully, old chap!
Just twigged this.... so you're a Brit too I take it?
Beastly bogtrotting bumpkin blissfully based in beautiful Blighty.
seemslikeadream » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:27 pm wrote: to shut them up because they do not like certain discussions and want to shut them down....
brainpanhandler » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:06 pm wrote:solace » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:53 pm wrote:And it's no exaggeration to say Nazis are throwing their thought-bombs at us, attempting to make their cause respectable and infiltrate our side and - worse - our minds. On the "White Nationalist" board Stormfront, a recent post from "Free Zundel Now" spoke of success spreading a "stealth article" calling for Bush's impeachment on "forums that ordinarily won't take our kind of subject matter." "Free Zundel Now" tried it on the RI board, and the Nazi spamming was exposed.
From Stormfront's "Celtic Nation," advice on infiltration:
...you have to speak a language they will hear, and speak to what they will hear, and as you said, point out racial realities. The constant drone of Jew bashing will start to turn people off. It does make WN's look like kooks and conspiracy theorists, and hearkens people back to nutty stereotypes of Col. Klink from Hogan's Heroes, and paranoid conspiracy theorists who are mentally off-center.
When I discuss Israel and the Jews, I try to talk of the evils of the state of Israel, and if they are ready for it, introduce more. The fact is that most of what we struggle against is the big picture - the superstructures in place by the Jews in power.
http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/board2/ ... nt#p100087
Then there's this:
http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/board2/ ... nt#p144730
Thank you for those links Solace.
From the second link you provide:Jeff wrote:But words can be code, and it's a fool or worse who thinks "anti-Zionist" is not also used to mean "anti-Jew."
It's been done here. Here's an interesting thread* I just discovered tonight over on Neo-Nazi Stormfront:
To be completely honest, I'm very paranoid about posting on this site. I plan to get some anonymous proxy software but haven't done it yet. Is Anonymizer good? I tried using Shadowsurf for a bit, but it stopped working for some reason on this site.
That said, I invite everyone to have a look at another site that is not overtly WN but deals with this question to a lot to a broader audience. I don't post much there (same paranoia...and I think he can track IP addresses of posters, so do whatcha gotta do) but there are many threads tying in Zionism with the state of the world. I've only seen one person get banned, and he had the name "Free Zundel Now" or something like that, but if you aren't that overt you can pretty much say what you want. Zionist control of the media, congress, etc . While talking about "Jewish power" will get someone banned (maybe...maybe not, I'm not really sure and haven't attempted it) the discussion board is very, very anti-Zionist and anti-Israel but reaches a LOT of people. In fact, more recently since Zundel was banned, there was a thread very sympathetic to Zundel which was not even locked. You have to register to post but not to read. Registering to post simply requires a nick and an email to insure you aren't a spambot.
I believe in this kind of net activism. The blog attached to this site has gotten millions of hits. It deals with a lot of other stuff like conspiracy, occult, etc but the discussion board always has a bunch of threads about Jewish power and influence in the world. I'll link directly to one thread but have a look around. The blog is called "rigorous intuition" and you can link to the discussion board from there. Here's a link to one such thread.
I didn't post this as an active link b/c I can't remember if I'm allowed to do that yet. Plus, if you go there by clicking, the mods might be able to track you back here...not sure about that.
That one is called "Zionists vs. truth". Currently, the other good anti-Zionist threads have dropped down several pages but there are always several of them. Note that there are some liberals and leftists who post on the board, but that's the point of going there...they aren't coming here. Most don't buy into "left vs. right" anyway. I think, with Israel now cheerleading us into a war with Iran, WHERE DUKE JUST ATTENDED THAT CONFERENCE, it is essential to start getting the message out. We may not have much time.
Hand's up, anyone, engaged in this kind of "net activism"?
I didn't think so. Only good "anti-Zionists" here, I'm sure....
http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/board2/ ... 4452&hilit
* Embedded link in original is dead. Jeff probably made it up
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