• Msgr. Stephen Rossetti

Exorcist Diary #111: Satan's Ploy

Saint Raphael the Archangel by Bartolome Esteban Murillo

I remember remarking to a fellow exorcist that, as a psychologist, I felt a special closeness to those suffering from mental problems. About ten days later, a young woman came in requesting an exorcism. She explained that she also had a mental illness. She was more than attractive and dressed in a very provocative way. I had an immediate insight (likely from my guardian angel) into Satan's ploy. I thought, "Nice try, Lucifer." I suggested she continue to work with her mental health counselor.

Sadly, there have been cases where exorcists, some well-known, who have left the priesthood. I was recently asked why. Two of the cases involved exorcists becoming sexually involved with young people coming in for assistance.

There are two primary goals for Satan in every case of possession. The second goal is to keep the person from being liberated. Satan will fight viciously to keep it from happening. But his first goal is to destroy the vocation of the priest and the team's ministry. This would not only stop this exorcism, it would stop them all.

Satan will attempt to divide the team, causing division among team members. He will spiritually pummel members, especially those with spiritual sensitivities. He will likely get inside team members' heads and subject them to demonic obsessions, self-doubt, guilt and recriminations. And he will tempt the exorcists directly.

It is for these reasons that we put in place strong safeguards. To reduce conflict and division, team members regularly communicate honestly and openly. We make use of strong binding prayers and prayers of protection with every session. We also have firm boundaries: every exorcism session has several people in the room, including another women if the afflicted person is a female.

Also, it helps to have a chief exorcist who is an old priest...hah! It is not a ministry for a newly ordained, unless he works under direct supervision. Satan is crafty and knows our weaknesses. It takes a team approach to keep everyone safe, and it helps to have a guardian angel watching our backs.


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