Amid COVID, exorcist warns: Demons prey on the weak
Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - May 4, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — An exorcist has warned that evil spirits may take advantage of the vulnerabilities of the people in these trying times, may it be in the economic, social, or physical respect.

The source, a member of the Philippine Association of Catholic Exorcists, told The FREEMAN that people should therefore strive to strengthen their physical and spiritual well-being these days.

“I don’t know if people still believe it. But we exorcists believe in evil spirits,” the source, who requested anonymity, said in mixed Cebuano and English.

“These spirits take advantage of situations. For example, people are scared because they don’t know what COVID is, so this is where the evil spirits may come in. They fuel whatever is the condition of the person,” he said.

He attributed the inconveniences being suffered by the people during this pandemic to the workings of these evil spirits.

“Basically we are social beings, but look at us now? Social distancing. We are being destroyed,” he said.

“So because of the distance we communicate, but even in our communication, there is fake news. The evil knows how to manipulate,” he added.

He then noted how people hurt each other at the grocery stores to be the first one to get supplies. “And for what? For a simple thing as a tissue paper,” he said.

Not to mention that millions of people are now without work and are in despair as companies close down. Schools, sports and recreational activities have also been stopped.

Worse, even Eucharistic celebrations have been canceled.

“What is painful is these gatherings of the faithful being cancelled. We need healing. But because of COVID, we cannot go to church. So it’s well-played by the evil,” he said.

While scientists continue to do research and experiments for cure, he said, the Church suggests for modern science and spirituality to go hand-in-hand.

Pray and Fast

“There was a time when the disciples asked Jesus why they were unable to cast the demons. Then Jesus told them that with that situation, they needed prayer. You can only expel the demons or evil through praying and fasting,” the exorcist said.

His group, PACE, is leading a prayer to “stem the scourge of the pandemic” since the start of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) last March.

This prayer includes the Act of Contrition to make amends for an offense, Oratio Imperata for COVID or prayer for protection, prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel and one’s guardian angel, Memorare to the Virgin Mary, cleansing prayer, and blessing, as well as exorcism prayer.

In Manila, the prayer is usually done at 8 p.m. while here in Cebu, this prayer is made every 12 noon, together with the Oratio Imperata against COVID-19.

Fasting, the source said, comes not only in terms of food but in everything else, lifestyle and work included.

Exorcism and Deliverance

“Actually, this is a ministry of the Church, exorcism and deliverance. This is really the Church’s task but a forgotten ministry because of science and technology. Our approach supposedly should have been a combination of science and spirituality,” he said.

Deliverance and exorcism are two different forms of spiritual intervention with exorcism defined as an act of driving out, or warding off, demons or evil spirits, from persons, places, or things, which are believed to be possessed or infested while deliverance is being freed from any problem of spiritual nature.

The exorcist, though, has emphasized that what they are doing right now is only a “minor exorcism”.

Exorcism has two main types--minor and major or solemn, with the later only to be performed by a trained exorcist with the permission of a bishop. It should not be attempted by anyone else as it may create more harm than good as it could open more pathways for the devil.

There were some reported instances when connections during video streaming of the prayer to stop this pandemic allegedly got interrupted and some priests leading the prayer have been feeling something different.

For exorcists, this is beyond just a technical glitch; it is the work of the evil spirit trying to stop them from casting them out.

The source said that patients suffering from the Covid-19, on the other hand, are not possessed by the evil spirits. However, what makes the sick even weaker is when the spirit is also down.

For the rest of the people being locked down or under the ECQ, another danger foreseen is the problem on mental health.

He said the ECQ is a big opportunity for reflection and to look for a deeper meaning of life, beyond physical and material aspects.

God, he said, should not be blamed for what is happening.  JMD (FREEMAN)

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