I was saddened to hear of another exorcist who left our ranks. Spanish bishop and exorcist Xavier Novell admitted falling in love and intending to marry a divorced woman. It is reported that she writes "Satanic tinged erotic novels" for a living. Similarly, I know of more than one priest who left the ministry because of alleged sexual relationships with possessed or oppressed women. Is it an accident that these women had a connection to the dark world?
On a human level, one can understand the human temptation. The relationship between an exorcist and the possessed can be quite intense and lasting many months. A possessed woman is likely to feel vulnerable and frightened, and latch onto the priest to be "saved." Priest exorcists may erroneously justify the crossing of boundaries to "save" the woman. It is fertile ground for Satan's manipulations.
As the one providing care, the exorcist is responsible for maintaining proper boundaries, regardless of the energumen's actions. In fact, more than a few of his clients will have suffered sexual trauma in the past and will likely have a confused sense of boundaries. Satan will attempt to manipulate the weaknesses of the exorcist and the possessed to bring about moral destruction.
We have thus instituted several rules in our exorcism ministry. Exorcists do not meet with female clients alone; there is always a family member or another female in the room. Between sessions, the exorcist is not in contact with the energumen. If she needs assistance, we provide a trained female spiritual director to guide her. Contact between exorcist and clients are limited to supervised prayer sessions.
During the sessions themselves, physical contact is limited to the laying on of hands to their heads or shoulders. And even this should be done with prudence and sparingly. For those women who have a history of sexual abuse, physical touch by a male can trigger a PTSD reaction.
These rules have worked out very well for the women who come to us and for our exorcists. In fact, it has promoted a healthier dynamic and a more rapid liberation. It also promotes a realization of who the real healer is. The petitioner and the priest must look to Jesus. He alone is our Savior.