By Ryan Harshbarger
There seems to be a new trend in the paranormal community of teams taking on demonic cases and in some cases even performing exorcisms. “The repercussions of this can be without question devastating to both the client and the one performing the rite.” Demonology by definition is merely the study of demons, “so how does one acquire the label demonologist?” Does a man become a Priest by reading the Bible only once? Does a man become an astronomer by gazing at the stars on an occasion? The answer is no obviously, so how can a person man or woman who has no affiliation with the Church or have any extended background in theological studies possibly be able to perform the rite? I have been involved in the paranormal field for around 16 years and my family well over 40 years and by no means would we “ever attempt to go 12 rounds with a demon” but demons sell and teams these day’s seem to crave attention and what’s the best way to receive credibility than to say “Yeah I’ve done 7 exorcisms, and cleansed 15 homes.”
Most evidence collected by ghost teams is collected on the physical level, such as EVP’S, Footsteps etc. when you and your team are engaging in a demonic case you’re battling on the spiritual level and for a team to cross into spiritual warfare it is not something you can accomplish just by reading some info on the Internet about. The sad part is that the clients that are honestly being demoniacally tormented and seeking help from supposed “exorcism experts” are being spoon-fed misinformation and guidance by team’s that by day work regular 9 to 5 job's and are by no means Priests. I recently had a lady contact me who was dealing with a very serious demonic case. The team did their improved exorcism and actually amplified the situation even worst. Thankfully, I was able to contact a local Catholic Church and now she is receiving the proper help she needed in the first place.
I had the pleasure of setting down with Father Dennis Cooney of the Saint Raphael Parish in Lehigh Acres, FL about this topic and his opinion on paranormal teams taking on demonic cases. The following interview is unedited and this is the Father Cooney's thoughts on this matter.
Me: “There seems to be a lot of paranormal teams that are taking on demonic cases.” “I recently worked one with Kirby Robinson and Leon Wilkes.” “The client had many different teams do investigations that seemed to make matters only worst because they were doing a lot of things that was amplifying this thing by doing EVP’S and trying to communicate with this demon.’” So what is your view on paranormal teams involving themselves in demonic cases? “
Father Cooney: “Caution, Tremendous caution!” “Because they're opening the door, in fact I think you are opening the door to demonic influence and power.” “Remember at the heart of the demonic as our Lord Jesus Christ teaches the demon is a liar and a good liar.” “A good liar is someone who can make themselves look very credible and that is why Satan is very good at deceiving people and leading people on. He is letting them think that they are doing something worthwhile or their in control of the situation.” “When in fact he’s just leading them in with the bait.”
Me: “Tell me the first thing that comes to mind when I say this word.” “Demon”
Father Cooney: “Pure Evil!”
Me: “Why do you think all of the sudden there is this tremendous interest in demons?” “Do you think it’s because of all the new ghost shows that are coming up on television?”
Father Cooney: “Yes, I think that’s part of it.” “In the popular culture you have movies, Paranormal Activity the film that was out a few years ago, but not only that I think there is another thing as well.” “As the great Christian writer once said G.K Justin, “that when people stop believing in truth or the true GOD they don’t wind up believing in nothing they end up just about believing in anything.” “We have a highly secularist culture that ignores GOD that pushes GOD aside but yet the same time the person remains deeply hungry and thirsty for the spiritual.”
"What you have is people getting involved in all sorts of strange bizarre spiritual rites, strange rituals, cults and activities.” “Example Wicca, understand magic is a portal it can be very innocently tampered with but what can come through is not usually good.” “A lot of people need to realize when they are fooling around in the spiritual realm not everything in the spiritual world is good.” “Sometimes people don’t make that distinction and that’s what leads them to a lot of demonic influence and activity.” “The devil is a very good liar and manipulator and a lot of these mediums that are communicating with souls that have crossed over are not always dealing with real human being’s or souls but speaking with demons disguising themselves.” “I would strongly advise against anyone engaging in this activity.” There’s an old saying “if you whistle for the devil he will come.” “From the experience of the Church, always use caution in this and use that caution, if it’s something of GOD it will announce itself as such.”
Me: “What are your thoughts on demonology?”
Father Cooney: “Demonology is really a branch of theology these people are engaging in what they believe is exorcism ministry.” “This is very dangerous and I would strongly advise against it.” “You have to keep in mind you’re dealing with a lot of charlatans now and their motivation is money.” “This curiosity of this sort is very dangerous to the soul.”
Me: “What do you think the repercussions could be of these teams that are performing a cleansing and exorcisms could be?”
Father Cooney: “Extremely Dangerous!” “For a human being to be combative without the protection and grace of the Church, that’s why we never operate without the Church, it’s as foolish as me getting into a boxing ring with a world champion.” “When you’re dealing with the demonic you’re dealing with a fallen angel and a fallen angel still has the natural powers of an angel.” “So the comparison is that of a bangle tiger versus a mouse.”
There you have it folks, this is only part 1 of this series so stay tuned. Here is something to keep in mind as well.
“From the Commentary of the Code of Canon Law”
Canon 1172 - (1) No one can perform exorcisms legitimately upon the possessed unless he has obtained special express permission from the local ordinary. (2) The local ordinary is to give this permission only to a presbyter who has piety, knowledge, prudence, and integrity of life.
An exorcism is a sacramental by which "the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion. The canon pertains to solemn exorcisms observing the Rite of Exorcism of the Roman Ritual, not to the simply exorcism that are part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or the baptism of infants.
One of the praenotanda to the 1998 Rite of Exorcism (n13) has completely reordered this canon. There are significant differences between the new law and the canon.
An exorcist is to be a priest (sacerdos) not a presbyter (presbyterus) as in the canon, which means bishops as well as presbyters may be appointed exorcists.
The priest must have specific preparation for this office.
"For the most part" (plerumque), the local ordinary who appoints the exorcist should be the diocesan bishop, which implies that the vicar general and episcopal vicar should not do it without a special mandate, except in a case of need when the bishop cannot be reached.
The exorcist, whether appointed to the stable office of exorcist or ad actum, is to fulfill this ministry under the direction of the diocesan bishop.