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“Exorcism Live”: 5 Better Things to Do Than Watch It

Elizabeth Scalia - published on 10/30/15

Make your night more spiritually constructive

A press release announces:

The TV network Destination America gives a new shape to shadows in the darkness with this Friday’s premiere of the two-hour television event, “Exorcism Live!”…Bishop James Long with the United States Old Catholic Church will conduct the minor rite of exorcism on the demonic entities that infest the home in St. Louis which inspired the movie, The Exorcist. When “Roland Doe” (pseudonym) was released from his possession in 1949, that demonic energy went somewhere, and the house has remained a hotbed of paranormal activity since… In this two-hour, live event, Destination America enlists…psychic medium Chip Coffey to conduct the séance and communicate with the demonic, and ends the evening with Bishop James Long conducting the minor rite of exorcism to cleanse the house, once and for all.

Don’t be a sucker; don’t tune in and make a success of this cheap, ignorant attempt to monetize what is evil by tempting it, for profits.

Don’t fall for the deliberate attempt to confuse that is evident, here, with the inclusion of the mention of the “United States Old Catholic Church,” which has nothing at all to do with Rome or the Latin Mass, as some might think. These are Protestants, calling themselves Catholic, and already splintering, as Protestant churches do.

The Archdiocese of Saint Louis has issued a statement

Given the public nature of this event, the Archdiocese of St. Louis – which is not involved in this dangerous endeavor – deems it necessary to educate and warn the public about the dangers of participating in such activities. “No exorcism can take place without the authority of the local Roman Catholic ordinary,” said auxiliary bishop emeritus Robert Hermann…Any purported exorcism by spiritualists, paranormal investigators, mediums, or non-Catholic clerics for the purposes of entertainment trivializes this ancient rite of the Roman Catholic Church and the very real danger of evil. “Any attempt to use the solemn Rite of Exorcism as entertainment exposes all participators to the danger of future hidden satanic attack,” said Bishop Hermann. “We cannot play games with Satan and expect to win.”

Amen. This is true. Do not willingly give evil any chance to have access to you. Do not rationalize it away as “entertainment,” nor as something “designed to be educational”. We know better than to buy pink Ouija boards for our little princesses.

So, don’t watch this stupid, reckless event. Here are 5 spiritually-constructive things you can do, instead:

1) Pray Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. Better yet, invite family and friends to pray it with you. Bless the home and all present, with Holy Water. Close with the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel, written by Pope Leo XIII, after a vision, and referenced just yesterday by Pope Francis. Bless the house and the family, with Holy Water.

2) Pray a Rosary or a Chaplet of Divine Mercy, offered specifically for the souls of all who are tempted by the lure of titillation, that they might “reject Satan, and all of his works, and all of his empty promises.”

3) If Eucharistic Adoration is available near you, make a Holy Hour in Reparation. If it is not, avail yourself of an online feed of the Blessed Sacrament.

4) If the weather is fine, turn out all of the lights and sit outside, contemplating the stars, and pray (or sing) the Canticle from Daniel 3:57-88,56, and then bask in your smallness in the midst of all of that greatness.

5) Deny yourself something, like supper, or dessert, or a night at the movies, or even the Halloween candy waiting for tomorrow. If you are hungry, or craving something, or if you are experiencing some discomfort, Offer it Up!.

Not enough? Really feel like you at least have to know about an event that spawned William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist? You can watch the video above, wherein the late Fr. Herbert J. Ryan, S.J., from Loyola Marymount University discusses it.

Better to know the history and be prudent, than to fall for hype that can be harmful.

Oh, one more thing you can do tonight, instead of watching this junk? Spend it watching Bishop Barron Videos, like this one:

Elizabeth Scalia is Editor-in-Chief of the English edition of Aleteia

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