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Do you believe in the Devil ? Exorcism is not part of Spiritualist practice - comments on the televi

By:Richard Rowley
Date: Wed,23 Mar 2011
Submitter:Richard Rowley - reviewer

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Here are some of the comments on the television programme discussing "The Rite." Responses, as you can see, vary between extremely sceptical derision and deep understanding of the need for spiritual protection against evil.

However, Spiritualists and most mediums would not agree to use the rite of exorcism when it tries to eject possessive spirts from the victim and damn them to eternal hell. The Rescue Circles articles under the section on Spiritualism, and Michale Evans's book "Dead Rescue" and his articles, demonstrate how most concerned people see that even the spirit of an Attila the Hun, a Hitler or a Stalin is eventually redeemable, and so healing and rescue work tends to provide help both for the victim, that is, the possessed or obsessed person, and the so-called demon, or evil spirit, - or sometimes, a band of evil spirits. Fear and lack of understanding amongst the team of exorcists, however, can add to the dangerous negative energy and hence produce the powerful phenomena illustrated in extreme situations, as depicted in movies like "The Omen" or "The Exorcist." Some orthodox and fundamentalist members of the world religions believe that even mediums themselves communicating with the Spirit World, and spirit rescue circles, are also doing the work of the devil ! [Richard Rowley]

Here are the comments in response to the question:_ Do you believe in the Devil?"

This Toronto woman says she was possessed by a demon - and saved by God through the Roman Catholic ritual of exorcism. We sit down with the priest who she believes helped deliver her from evil, and meet the chief exorcist for the Vatican itself - who says we need more exorcists in the world..

The devil !! What about Santa Claus !
"Exorcism": are you kidding? It is shocking that now, in the twenty-first
century, intelligent people should mindlessly cling to the hocus pocus of our
ill-informed predecessors. If an individual believes they have a "soul" that
will one day live on in "heaven" and this "soul" can be currupted by evil in the
form of "satan"...chances are that same individual can be convinced by another faithful that he/she has been freed of this evilness. One delusion feeding another. Unbelievable!!

How can a so called man of God believe in one and not the other. There are
people that oppose GOD in a spiritual practice of having thier meetings in
church parking lots aimed against believers. In my opinion and exsperience,
there is a spiritual warfare.
I see what religion does. In history, and in present day, religion appears to be
the root of all evel...look at past and present wars. Three are countless
religions out there. How can each believe in something different and how can
each religion believe they are right. This tells me religion is a man made idea
that simply exists to make people feel better about themselves. So to answer the question of a devil or not...not a chance. The devil, along with every other
force, religion, god, spirit, angel, ghost, demon only exist if you want them to.

I just watched your show on extorcism in the Catholic church. It would have been interesting to see the slant CBC would have taken on this story if it was a
different church(say the one that Stockwell Day attends) that was espousing such silliness.

I found it quite interesting that after so many years of secrecy the Vatican
decides to allow their Chief Exorcist to have a public interview about sacred
rites to remove the devil.
It is no secret that the Catholic Church as well as many other religious
establishments, have been loosing parishioners in record numbers. What better way to bring people back to the church than using "the devil will get you" message. Many churches, have tried "campaigns" to bring more parishioners to adopt a belief system. Many are unsuccessful, because what we believe in our society and the view of the Catholic Church, are at different ends of the spectrum. Darkness, light, negative positive. Public knowledge of exorcism will not bring people back, compassion, kindness and most of all, tolerance of all people...especially what we believe.

I was both amused and appalled by your article on exorcism. As a lapsed catholic and a born again athiest I find it curious that the church wants to retrograde to dark age practises such as exorcism. What comes next? witch burnings and fire induced recantations?
The devil's influence permeates all levels of human existence. Curses, hate and
the growing trend in devil worship has propelled humnaity into the danger zone. Consumerism, sexual exploitation, war, hunger, disease and global tyranny may be handywork of man, but they are driven by a spiritual void, occupied by the devil. Demonic possession at a global level would only mean that individual possession is only more real. Father Lewis cannot exclude curses as a means of invoking devil possession, because words, whispers and thoughts are the primary inspiration for invoking hate and the devil. The unfortunate reality is that mankind has exorcised God from our reality, and we are now trying to understand what force propelled humnakind to accept the global evil that exists in our world today.
Sadly the CBC is continueing it's decline into unenlightened stories in search
of the 'all mighty' (pardon the pun) ratings..
Next Week?? Labour strife in Santa's workshop?
Please stop this path of unreason in the media!.. I thought that was the domain of CTV no the country's supposed 'public broadcaster..

As a Roman Catholic, I firmly believe in the devil, and in demonic possession. I
applaud the Pope for taking the steps to reinstate exorcists in parishes all
over the world. Thank God for people like Father Carlos of St. Andrews in
Toronto. What upsets me is people like Jesuit Fr. Scott Lewis almost smirking at the idea of possession, and blaming the conservative element in the church for wanting and believing in the need for exorcism. Well, Fr. Lewis needs a little dose of conservatism himself. He is turing his back on a teaching of the church. Too many liberals exist in the church today.

Im absolutely a Believer in Good n Evil or God n Satan! Plus The IMPORTANCE
Exorsisism. THANK GOD!, We have one Religion out there that take it suriously. Myself I feel Very sad about that because there is more our there that needs to be dealt with maybe not to the degree of Exorsism but to make People AWARE of theses Fact!!!!!! I can Confeitely say this because I have had my own Experince with this. Another thing I would like to say is I would Love to corrispond with the Preist That was on your show. I really believe that this show was way over due.Thanx so Much for bring it forward. Oh. I just thought of another thing ....
There is a movie out Named The Exorsism of Emily Rose Well what a movie to watch to see just what he (satan) can do!

I would like to respond to the comment regarding "public
television". I am going to assume that this person is some form of an athiest.
Judging by his comment it appears that he believes that he holds popular opinion and that those that might realize that just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it can't exist, are not considered members of the "public", in his apparent opinion. When I watch something on television that I don't neccessarily agree with, I try my best to just respect the fact that people are going to believe in things that differ from my beliefs. I think when we fear the unknown we tend toward hurtful, premature judgements. What would probably waste less energy and emotion would be to discern whether or not the subject in question is really hurting anybody.
Exorcism has always been a part of the Roman Catholic Church. It has also been given a low profile due to mental health issues. A true exorcism includes mental health professionals and all mental health issues must be excluded before an exorcism is even attempted. Yes the devil does exist but unfortunately for many they would rather justify their lives by mocking others. No one would choose to be involved in an exorcism and have to face evil directly except by the authority of God and to save souls for eternal life.

We are not wrestling with flesh and blood, but against the despotisms, against
the powers, against the spirit forces of wickedness in high places. (Eph.6:12)
The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to
suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (II Tim. 4:3,4.)
One myth is that the devil doesn't exist – one of his biggest accomplishments --convincing people that he doesn't exist.
Your program was very limited. You said that people get possessed through
curses. People can also be oppressed or obsessed by demons and they can get that way through many things-- astrology, tarot card reading, witchcraft, sexual sin, deliberate sin, etc. Demons can also come in through traumatic experiences and various other ways.

You were not accurate in telling us why people have demons. The main reason is to keep them from knowing, receiving and following Jesus Christ and telling others about Him. Another is to steal life satisfaction from us, destroy and kill us because he hates us. You only showed the Vatican priest saying demons were in people to keep them from getting married or from getting a job".
Ludicrous! He said much more than that and you just did not show it in your
Many people have demons and don't even know it. They have racing, negative thoughts they can't control -- they are awakened in the night or early morning with these -- or a constant feeling of activity in the top of their head, or a rushing, swirling feeling in their chest or heart area when they are afraid or they could have paranoid thoughts -- all caused by demons.
The reason for some sicknesses is also demonic. This is in the bible but none of
this was mentioned in your program. We are going to see a greater need for exorcism and deliverance ministry in the future.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster will save us all. It's the "real" all mighty one!

I have only one word to say...
Actually, strike that. I have two words...
Mentally Ill.

The Discovery Channel has a series on Ghosts. The message from the series was that ghosts, demons and ghosts controlled by demons were immune to Exorcism. In all cases some kind of Exorcism was attempted a final solution and only lasted a few months. The ghosts or demons return only to be much angrier and more violent.
It is not good that the rich and/or powerful Skull and Bones meet on Deer Island in the St. Lawrence or at the Bohemian Grove outside of San Francisco to perform ancient rituals of sacrificing babies by burning them in effigy to the demon Moloch.

I, in the presence of Light cast a shadow.
Whether I choose to face the Light,or
I choose to face the shadow is up to me.
If I decide to approach the Light,
the closer I get, the weaker,
the shadow becomes.
When I reconnect with the Light,
I merge, and then transform;
the shadow vanishes.
I suspect though, that my earthly journey
allows me to experience only glimpses
of pure Light.
For my body will always cast a shadow;
to what extent is up to me.
But no matter what I choose, the Light will always be there.

We don't need exorcism. All we need to do is make compassionate choices in every aspect of our lives; and our lives will transform.
My prayer used to be: "Dear God, remove the bitterness from my heart."
My prayer has changed: "Dear God, help me to love so completely, that there is no room for bitterness."

I believe that there is good and evil. Sadly, you just need to look at the world
we live in and you can clearly see that evil exsists. However I don't believe
that any priest can literally banish "the devil" from people. Yet, I felt sorry
for the women who claimed she was sufferring from being possessed by the devil.
Moreover if seeing a priest and praying made her feel better then I am happy for her. Atleast she made an effort to make herself feel better and gain control
over herself and her emotions. If she calls this the "devil" that is her choice.
She could have made the choice to become self destructive and given up on

Of course I believe in the devil. ever been to Dachau or Auschwitz? jesus
believed in the devil and removed these evil spirits from people. Of course
psychiologists today would probably say that Jesus was suffering from a mental disorder. If a person believes in Jesus then you have to believe what he said is true otherwise Jesus will be deemed a fake. If people believe that science has all the answers then we don't need Jesus. Then there is no salvation for anyone unless science can save you.

Thank you for this story. As a practising Catholic I was pleased to see a pretty
reasonable presentation on this subject. Carol, I was tough on you some time
ago, but you showed respect for the institution and those involved in this
important ministry. As a member of the Ottawa diocese, Im pleased that our
Archbishop has appointed 2 priests to this position.
For Christians and especially Catholics who may have difficulty with this issue,
all they have to do is ask themselves if Jesus is who he said he was (the Way,
the Truth and the Life). If He was speaking truthfully, then we know from the
gospels that he had several confrontations with the devil - starting with his
own temptations in the desert before he began his public ministry. For those who have trouble believing in God, then there is a more fundamental issue of faith involved clearly, those who think religion is the "root of all evil" they have
not had the privilege of having an experience of God's touch in their lives and
I can only hope they do before they die.
After all if we believe in God (Jesus) we would know we were not menat to die
but live with Him forever. We can choose to separate ourselves from Him, hence the freedom of choice.
Once again, thank you for doing this story, and doing it reasonably well!
I was disappointed in the Jesuit priest's response, although he did not dismiss
the devil's existence outright. Many of our intellectuals today and in previous
times as well, have found it difficult to grasp some of the simplest notions. I
have 4 cousins who are Jesuits and have seen some of them grapple with these matters as well and yet remain wonderful priests. We all need to pray for each other. And we do!

what a joke. and to anyone making a comment about Emily Rose, look up the actua story, not the damn movie. It was a case of priest brutality, not 'the devil'. and as far as the symptoms for possession go, new knowledge and superpowers; sign me up. funny how these things don't happen to nonbelievers

Of course the devil is alive and well....just look at the Liberal Party whether
in Canada or Ontario! Only prayer and fasting as well as informed voters will get rid of these devils!

I think this is very interesting. I believe that the devil exist inside everyone
(in the way of anger, jealousy, envy & ambition) there should be a reason why this world is going bad; but the life is going fast that we don't have the time to stop, look around what is happening and be aware about all this evil
manifestations. I thank the catholic church for taking the steps to reinstate
exorcists in parishes all over the world and to make people aware about this
issue that have been hidden for years. I applaud father Carlos mission and thank God for people like him that give more than 100% of their time and life to help the community and provide peace and hope.

Of course there is demonic possession. Every Roman Catholic priest is possessed by the Devil.

Every person who seeks goodness struggles many times every day with good and evil. This is because their conscience is healthy and urging them to do what is moral. If we kill our conscience by repeated evil acts it no longer bothers us.
We are all involved with the struggle of good and evil. How can you deny the
existence of evil ( the devil).

In my opinion the show shed light on the clear distinction between "demonic
possession" (- where an outside presence takes over one's body, mind and
spirit), and human ills and/or evil. There appear to be very specific criteria
for demonic possession including supernatural strength, knowledge of ancient and foreign languages, knowledge of hidden things (all of which the victim did not have previously), and an aversion to holy things. This criteria needs to be
seriously considered before assigning one as "possessed" and in need of
exorcism. I fear that the focus on "possession" may result in a refusal to
acknowledge and deal with the very real issues of evil and illness within us and
in our midst.
The need for deep compassion and care for all humanity and all creation, the
need to reach out to others and the planet in humble service has never been
greater. These are the innate holy and spiritual qualities we all possess
(regardless of religious beliefs or non-belief). This in my opinion is the only
way we can bring healing to our world.

It is frustrating that in the 21st century we still give the slightest credence
to childish stories of demons and hobgoblins. Who, besides the truly deluded,
could really believe that they are possessed by the devil?
I was also disappointed that you didn't interview anyone with a scientific
background regarding exorcism, just a slightly skeptical jesuit who believes in
god but not the devil (?). It is time that these ridiculous claims are held up
to reasonable scrutiny and 'respect' for this foolish ecclesiastical nonsense is
tossed in the dumpster along with all the other failed attempts at describing
the world. Maybe a look at recent headlines about people murdered by over
zealous priests during exorcisms should have been included. Exorcism is nothing more than medieval playacting and it is time for the human race to grow out of these asinine practices.

Thank you for balancing this topic of exorcism with the comments from Fr. Scott Lewis, otherwise we Catholics would appear to have regressed instead of
progressed. I agree that what a person believes is true, is a self-fulfilling
prophecy. So, if there are people who believe they are possessed by the devil,
then that is their experience. How they choose to remedy the situation is up to them.

I think people get confused with the modern and ancient times and the
relationship between the two as far as religion. The bible has been the basis
for Christianity and it hasn't changed. What the bible says about exorcisim
would be a guide to the answers. Jesus performed healings on possessed people.
Perhaps what people want now is a more modern day explanation. We as human beings cannot begin to understand the spirit world. It is beyond our perceptions and senses.

Being someone who has gone through this experience, and reading some of these comments, I feel a need to stand up for Fr. Scott Lewis, as he represents the majority. While it may not always be the case, I have however seen with my own eyes exorcism being used like Father described - as a stick to enforce certain beliefs. I have also seen the danger where misguided individuals can take it too far, and step backwards into the medieval ways of persecution.
All those who are in support of exorcism must give serious consideration what
the lifetime consequences will be for the person labeled a "demon" or
"harboring a demon".
So let us applaud Fr. Lewis for his courage and wisdom. We need more people like him in this world, who can take a thoughtful and objective standpoint on such a controversial subject.

Yes there is a devil, and the Jesuit priest, Fr. Lewis, from U. of T. really
painted himself into a corner, because he did not say that the devil was a
projection of our own negativity - he admitted a force opposed to God, and therefore REAL, not imaginary as your interviewer suggested.
To imagine that there is a force opposed to God and then try to limit the power of that negative force to not being involved in human lives, shows the emptiness of his theology. Why would there be a force opposed to God, if it wasn't interested in messing up humans.

Psychology has a definite place, and so does exorcism. They are distinct.

Where do you dig up these guys? And what's up with the "mood" music in the background of the interview with the woman. That was a really corny, and transparently biased.

It is interesting how the Jesuits seem to be the only source of the intelligent
and educated within the Catholic Church.

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