Updated: Jan 24, 2021
This book gives a few details of deliverance and exorcism. Deliverance belongs to the Lord (Ps 3:8) and prophet Jeremiah affirms it by saying that God will surely deliver the one who trusts in Him (Jer 1:8). Humanity needs freedom from oppression, obsession and possession of the devil and demons. Divine knowledge sets one free from all demonic bondages because the scripture reiterates, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32). Jesus says, “If the Son of man has set you free, you will be freed indeed” (Jn 8.36). This exposition has three parts. The first part explains the terms deliverance and exorcism according to the Bible and Magisterial teachings. The second part provides details of different types of demons or evil spirits according to the scriptures, Church teachings and practical experiences. The third part cites some practical issues, superstitions and esoteric practices which are to be avoided. It also warns the present generation.
Difference between Deliverance and Exorcism
Deliverance is generally done to cast out demons. Exorcism is done mainly by a priest who is authorized by the local ordinary to cast out Satan or Lucifer. There are also profane exorcists, who, transfer the spirit from one body to another; or from one object to another; or from one place to another because they do not have the power to bind and cast out spirits as the disciples of Jesus have. Only Jesus has defeated Satan and the demons when he died on the cross (Col 2:14-15). Therefore, only his disciples have the power to bind and cast demons (Mk 16.17). John and the other apostles saw an exorcist who was exorcising using the name of Jesus and they forbade him and reported it to Jesus. Jesus told them that anybody who believed in him and used the power in his name can cast out demons and the devil. He asked them not to forbid anyone (Lk 9:49-50).
“When the Church asks with its authority in the name of Jesus that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion, it is called an exorcism. This is done in ordinary form in the rite of Baptism. A solemn exorcism, called a major exorcism, can be performed only by a priest authorised by the bishop” (CCCC 352 and also in CCC 1673).
“No one may exorcise lawfully the possessed without the special and expressed permission of the local ordinary. This permission is to be granted only to a priest who is endowed with piety, knowledge, prudence and integrity of life” (CIC 1172).
Deliverance prayer is meant to cast out demons, but exorcism is done to cast out Satan. The first one can be done by all the believers (Mk 16:17) but the second is reserved for priests alone. A profane exorcist only transfers the demons from one person to another; or from one place to another; or from one object to another, because he or she does not have the authority to bind and cast out the spirits. Only Jesus has conquered and defeated Satan and demons. Therefore, only a priest belonging to Jesus’ church has the power and authority over these beings and can bind and cast them out. At times through the ordinary deliverance prayer itself along with other demons, Satan too will be cast out.
The Identity of Satan (CCC 2851)
“Evil is not an abstraction, but refers to a person, Satan, the Evil One, the angel who opposes God. The devil (dia-bolos) is the one who "throws himself across" God's plan and his work of salvation accomplished in Christ.”
Satan or Devil or Evil One is a person who has no body but is pure spirit. He is known as Lucifer or Beelzebul (Lk 11:19).
Work of the devil (CCC 2852)
"A murderer from the beginning, . . . a liar and the father of lies," Satan is "the deceiver of the whole world." Through him, sin and death entered the world and by his definitive defeat all creation will be "freed from the corruption of sin and death." “Now, we know that anyone born of God does not sin, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one (1Jn 5:19)."
The Lord who has taken away the sins of humans and pardoned faults also protects and keeps from the wiles of the adversary, the devil, so that the enemy, who is accustomed to leading into sin, might not surprise. One who entrusts himself to God does not dread the devil. "If God is for us, who is against us?"
Jesus Conquered the Devil (CCC 2853)
“Victory over the "prince of this world" was won once for all at the Hour when Jesus freely gave himself up to death to give humanity his life. This is the judgment of this world, and the prince of this world is "cast out." "He pursued the woman" but had no hold on her: the new Eve, "full of grace" of the Holy Spirit, is preserved from sin and the corruption of death (the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God, Mary, Ever Virgin). "Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring." Therefore, the Spirit and the Church pray: "Come, Lord Jesus," since his coming will deliver us from the Evil One.”
Jesus taught us to pray, “deliver us from the evil one” (Mt 6:13). This is our daily prayer as part of the Lord’s prayer. Jesus also prayed for us, “…do not take them away from the world but I pray that You protect them from the evil one….” (Jn 17:15)
They are angels who were created good but they along with their leader Lucifer disobeyed God and rejected His kingdom. Jesus reiterates that all who believe in him will cast out demons (Mk 16:17).
Origin of Satan, Demons and their Work (CCCC 74)
“This expression indicates that Satan and the other demons, about which Sacred Scripture and the Tradition of the Church speak, were angels, created good by God. They were, however, transformed into evil because with a free and irrevocable choice they rejected God and his Kingdom, thus giving rise to the existence of hell. They try to associate human beings with their revolt against God. However, God has wrought in Christ a sure victory over the Evil One” (CCCC 74 and also in CCC 391-395 & 414).
Satan has No Infinite Power (CCC 395)
“The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God's reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature - to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but "we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him."
How do Satan and Demons enter human beings?
1. Random Selection – Job was a just man. “There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” - (Job 1:1). “The Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil’” - (Job 2:3a). But he was randomly selected by the Devil to be persecuted and God allowed it. God said to Satan, “He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason” (Job 2:3b). In the same way in our time some innocent people can be afflicted and persecuted by the Devil randomly.
2. Mortal sins and other sins – Unrepented mortal sins and other sins can invite the dominion of the evil. For example, Judas - “After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘Do quickly what you are going to do’” – Jn 13:27.
3. Witchcraft, Superstitions, practise of Esotericism, New Age movements etc. – These practices directly invite the dominion of Satan and demons in human life. All those who are involved in it directly or indirectly or being victimised may be afflicted by the evil spirits. “You foolish Galatians! Who has done black magic against you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified!” (Gal.3:1). Galatians faith was being destroyed by witchcraft. Therefore, even your faith can be destroyed if somebody has done witch craft against you.
4. Third Party Influence - There is a possibility of being afflicted by evil spirits if you possess some objects like houses, assets, animals etc which were already used for Blackmagic or sorcery. This affliction will continue as long as you have them or until you have given up all these objects.
Remedies – Deliverance prayer of Pope Leo XIII (pp 35-40), exorcism, confession, binding and casting out prayer (p 103) etc.
Power of Satan and Demons in the OT and NT
Satan worshipers also make use of the word of knowledge and it might even take place as they foretell. Though sorcerers or soothsayers might say things soothing or against; and it might come to pass, even then one should not follow them. It will be a trap. One should not consult with them (Dt 13:1-5).
It is observed that Elymas, who worked wonders through the power of the demons was rebuked by St. Paul. He made him blind until he repented! (Acts 13:6-12)
“So, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did as the LORD had commanded; Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers; and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same by their secret arts. Each one threw down his staff, and they became snakes; but Aaron's staff swallowed up theirs” (Ex 7:10-12).
Acts 16:16-18 mentions of the fortune telling spirit. “One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, ‘These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.’ She kept doing this for many days. But Paul annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, ‘I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ And it came out that very hour”
Scriptural References to Overcome the Powers of Demons
Demons will become dust under your feet, when God works for you (Mal 4:3).
Soon the God of peace will destroy the demons under your feet as dust! (Rom 16:20b)
The one who is inside is more powerful than the one who is outside (1Jn 4: 4).
Resist the devil and he will flee from you (Js 4:7).
Resist the devil, who is prowling like a lion to devour someone (1Pt 5:7-8).
Bind Satan (Tob 8:3) and cast him out and send him to the feet of Jesus (Heb 10:13).
Jesus has come to this world to undone what the devil has done against humanity (1Jn 3:8).
Different Types of Spirits
The Bible considers the following as evil spirits. It does not mean that they are demons or the devil but they can also be considered as evil tendencies or manifestations caused by evil spirits directly or indirectly caused by giving consent to the temptations of the evil spirits. In the same way, there are also good tendencies or manifestations caused by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit directly or indirectly caused by the motivation gifts (natural talents and instincts). These are good spirits and one needs to promote such spirits. Few examples are team spirit, nationalistic spirit, sportsmanship spirit, stable spirit, enduring spirit, spirit of compassion, innate talents and others. But it is important to bind and cast out the evil spirit, in the name of Jesus and send it to the feet of Jesus. Jesus had said that those who believe in Him, would cast out demons in His name (Mk 16:17) and He commanded them to do it as well.
God will deliver us from the spirits, when we stand for God as the Psalmist prays in Ps. 68:1-2 “Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered; let those who hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melts before the fire, let the wicked perish before God.” The following are some of the names and manifestations of evil spirits:
1. Hasty Spirit (Mt 26:51) “Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear.” Peter did it without thinking twice. Such a kind of spirit, working in a person is called a hasty spirit.
2. Spirit of Lust (Mt 5:27- 28) “You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery' but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Spirit of fornication, adultery (1Cor 6 :18), masturbation, homosexuality, pornography, orgy, premarital and extramarital sex and others are some of the manifestations of spirit of lust. Pre-marital sex at times leads one to hate one’s life partner before marriage or after the marriage, as in the case of Amnon vs Tamar (2Sam 13:15-16). That is the danger of premarital sex or extra marital sex. That type of hatred is created by the devil. The devil comes to destroy, steal and kill. That happened in Amnon’s life.
3. Spirit of Nudity (Mk 5:1-20) Gerasene demoniac could not bear to have cloth on his body (Mk 5:15). Those who have this spirit may not wear proper clothes in accordance with their ages. They might exhibit their nakedness or would like to enjoy the nudity of other people. Mk 5:15 states, “They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid.”
4. Spirit of Wealth (Mt 6:24) You cannot serve two masters: God and wealth. “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” All those who have this spirit have only one aim in their life and that is to earn money and buy pleasures with their wealth.
5. Spirit of Pride (Lk 10: 20) It is a ‘better than thou’ attitude and pride in one’s own achievements. Jesus said, “Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven" (Lk 10: 20).
6. Spirit of Vengeance (Lk 9: 51-55) “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’ But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.” Jesus rebuked the spirit of vengeance.
7. Broken Spirit (Ps 51) These people may act quickly and make mistakes or even harm their body. "He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, "I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me" (Mt 26:37-38). Jesus overcame this spirit of brokenness by prayer and communion with his Father.
8. Spirit of Jealousy (Acts 5:17-18) “Then the high priest took action; he and all who were with him (the sect of the Sadducees), being filled with jealousy, arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison.”
9. Spirit of Slumber (Rom 11:8) “as it is written, ‘God gave them a sluggish spirit, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.’’’ Those who have this spirit might sleep always, while praying or reading the Word of God or listening to the Word of God. A variation of the spirit of slumber can also be, “Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak’” (Mt 26: 40-41).
10. Spirit of Disobedience (Eph 2:1-2) “You were dead through the trespasses and sins; in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient.” The ones with this spirit are disobedient to every authority – man’s and God’s.
“And Samuel said, ‘Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obedience to the voice of the LORD? Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams’” (1Sam 15:22).
11. Spirit of Sickness or Infirmities (Lk 13: 11-12) “And just then, there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, "Woman, you are set free from your ailment." Jesus considered sickness as a bondage (Lk 13:16). Jesus cast out the spirit of infirmity and took the infirmity upon his body and set us free (Mt 8:17). Even today some Christians have a Stoic approach. It is not a good Christian spiritual approach. (Philosopher Zeno was an ancient Greek philosopher and his disciples are known as Stoics). A Stoic achieves happiness by submission to destiny or sufferings. Or a Stoic is someone who is seemingly indifferent to emotions and sufferings. St. Paul negated it and he said that “…we are all the more conquerors in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:37). CCC 1 reveals that we are called to share a blessed life with God. Above all the Bible shares that we are called to inherit a blessing and not a curse (1Pt 3:9).
12. Spirit of Poverty (2 Cor 8:9) St. Paul says, by the poverty of Jesus we have become rich. The Mother Church reiterates in CCC 517 and 2448 that by the poverty of Jesus, we have to become rich. The vow of poverty is excellent but temporal poverty is a social evil. All those who have this bad spirit will never have enough riches even though they work hard.
13. Crippled Spirit (Lk 13:10-17) Jesus says “And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?" (Lk 13:16) Jesus set her free from the bondage of the crippled spirit and then she was healed.
14. Returning Spirit (Lk 11:24-26 and Mt 12:43-45) "When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting place, but it finds none (Mt 12:43). Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' When it comes, it finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings along, seven other spirits, more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So, will it be also with this evil generation." Therefore, we have to bind and cast out the devil and demons (Tob 8:3), from upon our family and relatives up till the first degree of consanguinity. If we do not bind before casting out the spirits, it may come back with seven-fold strength.
15. Spirit of Epilepsy (Lk 9: 37- 43) A boy with a demon was healed by Jesus. Possession by the demon, was the reason of his epilepsy.
16. Self-hurting Spirit or Suicidal Spirit (Mk 5: 1- 20) The man with many demons used to hurt his body with stones. Jesus set him free with a command.
17. Unclean Spirit (Mt 12:43) "When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting place, but it finds none.” Those who are possessed with this kind of spirit cannot be clean. They live like pigs in a piggery.
18. Spirit of Substance Abuse (1Tim 5:23) Therapeutic use of wine is recommended by St. Paul. Use of things or substance like alcoholic beverages is a personal choice (1Tim 6:17), but abuse is a grave sin (CCC 2290-2291). Alcoholism or drunkenness, drug abuse, over-eating, seeking undue pleasures and others are all grave sins.
19. Spirit of Fear (2Tim 1:7) “for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.”
20. Spirit of Anxiety (1Pt 5: 6-7) “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”
21. Spirit of Worries and Tensions (Mt 6: 25- 33) Jesus recommends that we believe in the providence of God and be freed from all types of worries and cares. We ought to remember that we are prayer warriors and not prayer worriers.
22. Spirit of Tiredness and Weakness All those who have this type of possession, will not have any energy in their body or mind but would always be tried and wearied.
23. Spirit of Depression and Mental Sicknesses The ones with this spirit, might not have any clinically proven sickness or disease but they will have manifestations of depression or other types of major mental diseases. They are in need of deliverance prayer and not really in need of medicines.
24. Spirit of Disunity, Dissensions and Factions Those who have these types of possessions will not enjoy unity or peace in the family/community/society.
25. Spirit of Infatuations It is a bad tendency to have inordinate/illegal or illicit sexual inclinations/attractions/relationship with or for someone. This kind of relationship might not culminate in holy matrimony or would not even be intended to reach the marital relationship. It would lead towards lustful actions.
26. Spirit of Hatred (Acts 8:23) “For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and the chains of wickedness.” And therefore, Simon, would not have a share in his ministry declared St. Peter. These types of people might not have mighty anointings.
27. Spirit of Temptations (Mt 4: 1-12) Jesus was tempted by the devil. CCC 2847 says that temptations are not sinful until someone gives consent. Consenting to the temptations and indulging in it is culpable.
29. Spirit of Spell and Witchcraft (Gal 3:1) “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified!” Bad effects of black magic are explained in CCC 2115-2117.
30. Spirit of Curse (Gal 3:13) Cursed is the one who is hanged on the cross. Faith in Christ Jesus is a remedy for all curses (Gal 3:14). “And to the man he said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field’” (Gen 3: 17-18). A curse results due to a violation of the commandments but all curses will be cancelled when we take a decision to be the doers of the Word of God (This is called faith in Jesus or belief in Jesus Christ).
31. Spirit of Possession and Afflictions (Mt 15:21-27) “Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon."” (Mt 15:22). Jesus freed that daughter from the demon, at a distant destination.
32. Spirit of blocks and bondages (1Thes 2:17-18). “As for us, brothers and sisters, when, for a short time, we were made orphans by being separated from you in person, not in heart we longed with great eagerness to see you face to face. For we wanted to come to you certainly I, Paul, wanted to again and again but Satan blocked our way”. Those who have these types of spirits will have some difficulty to study or get settled in marriage or get a job or reach a place or a programme on time and others. They feel that something is always preventing them from achieving something good in their lives. They are in need of deliverance prayer.
33. Deaf and Mute Spirits (Mk 7:34-35) “Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened." And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.”
34. Spirit of Asmodeus (Tob 3:8) “For she had been married to seven husbands, and the wicked demon Asmodeus had killed each of them before they had been with her as is customary for wives.” Demonic afflictions damage the institution of marriage or even separate the couples like in the case of Sara. Therefore, couples are in need of deliverance prayers when they are going through a period of broken relationship and then their marriage will be saved.
35. Spirit of Antichrist (1Jn 2: 18 and 22) “Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.”
36. Marine Spirit (Is 27:1) “On that day the LORD with his cruel and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea”. “Speak, and say, thus says the Lord GOD: I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon sprawling in the midst of its channels, saying, ‘My Nile is my own; I made it for myself’" (Ezk 29:3). “The river gates are opened, the palace trembles” (Nah 2:6).
Some Practical issues and Precautions or Warning against Superstitions, Esotericism and others
Divination and Magic
CCC 2115 “God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.”
CCC 2116 “All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honour, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.”
CCC 2117 “All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity”.
Is esotericism as found, for example in New Age beliefs, compatible with the Christian faith?
(The Greek term esoterikos implies the inner circle, something into which one must be initiated in order to understand it): since the nineteenth century a common collective term for spiritual teachings and practices in which man is led to a supposedly “true knowledge,” which nonetheless is already in him. On the other hand, a revelation in which God manifests himself to man from outside is something foreign to esoteric thinking.
Youcat 356 “ESOTERICISM ignores the reality of God. God is a personal Being; he is love and the origin of life, and not some cold cosmic energy. Man was willed and created by God, but man himself is not divine; rather, he is a creature wounded by sin, threatened by death, and in need of redemption. Whereas most proponents of esotericism assume that man can redeem himself, Christians believe that only Jesus Christ and God’s grace can redeem them. Nor are nature and the cosmos God (PANTHEISM). Rather, the Creator, even though he loves us immensely, is infinitely greater and unlike anything he has created.”
“Many people today practice yoga for health reasons, enrol in a MEDITATION course so as to become calmer and more collected, or attend dance workshops so as to experience their bodies in a new way. These techniques are not always harmless. Often, they are vehicles for doctrines that are foreign to Christianity. No reasonable person should hold an irrational world view, in which people can tap magical powers or harness mysterious spirits and the “initiated” have a secret knowledge that is withheld from the “ignorant.” In ancient Israel, the surrounding peoples’ beliefs in gods and spirits were exposed as false. God alone is Lord; there is no god besides him. Nor is there any (magical) technique by which one can capture or charm “the divine” force, one’s wishes on the universe, or redeem oneself. Much of these esoteric beliefs and practices is SUPERSTITION or OCCULTISM.”
It is the irrational assumption that certain sayings, actions, events, and objects contain magic powers or produce magical effects. All superstitions are condemned and should not be practiced.
“Praised be the Lord, who has redeemed me from myself!” ST. TERESA OF AVILA (1515-1582).
“No one denies God unless he has some reason for wanting him not to exist” ST. AUGUSTINE (354-430)
CCC 2115-2117 As per these articles the following practices are not allowed in the Catholic Church. I would request all believers to avoid them. If anyone goes for it there is a chance of having demonic affliction and possessions sooner or later, even eternal life may be in danger.
1. NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming - It is banned by the Church because after the 4th degree of NLP it will end up in spiritism.
2. Vipassana Mediation - There is no concept of God in Vipassana meditation. It is an offshoot of the Buddhist traditional way of meditation. Ana Pana meditation, an offshoot of Vipassana is equally bad and banned in the Church.
3. Reiki - This healing and meditation method is banned in the Church because this healing is not received from God but is attributed to a cosmic energy or some other alien power called 'Reiki' power.
4. Pranic Healing - This healing and rejuvenation method is not allowed for the believers because this healing and rejuvenation is also not from God but is attributed to some other energy other than God.
5. Freemasonic Worship - Freemasons or Masons are worshippers of the Architect of the Universe or a Supreme Being. Masons do not have any concept of God but there is an initiation ceremony to worship a Supreme Being or an Occult Power. In 1984, Vatican declared that their worship is contrary to Catholic worship and persons enrolled in a Freemasonic Lodge are in grave sin and that they should refrain from partaking the Holy Communion. This declaration was reaffirmed in 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI.
On April 28, 1738 it was banned for the first time by Pope Clement XII with the pain of Excommunication at the hour of death in the Papal bull ‘In eminenti apostolates.’
On October 15, 1890 it was banned again by Pope Leo XIII in ‘Ab Apostolici.’
Other Papal Bulls in 1884, 1894 and 1902 reaffirmed the ex-communication.
CIC 1917 Code no: 2335 - Reaffirmed the automatic Ex-communication and Ban. It also banned books favouring Freemasonry.
In 1968 in a Book called “Masonry Since Vatican Council” Fr. J. A. Ferrer Benimeli S.J. recommended to the Holy See that the ban should be restricted to Atheist and Anticlerical Freemasonic Lodges only, but Rome rejected his recommendation.
In 1974 Cardinal Heenan (UK) received a communication, as a response to his question, from CDF which recommended with due discretion the application of the canon 2335 (if any lodge propagate atheism or anticlericalism).
6. Black Mass and devotion to Satan - The Roman Missal is used in the black mass with God’s name inter changed with Satan’s (CCC 2116).
7. Divination including water divination is alien to believers and declared as not from God (CCC 2116). Therefore, all forms of divination are to be rejected.
8. Clairvoyance (CCC 2117) is not to be practiced by believers because this supernatural information or knowledge received through clairvoyance is not from God.
9. Vaastu, Fen Shui, Ouija board (CCC 2115) should not be observed or used by believers.
10. Necromancy – Inviting and talking to dead spirit or departed souls and consulting with the departed souls (1Sam. 28:1f) are banned in the Church.
11. Black art, witchcraft, mantras, consulting medium, magicians, soothsayers, fortune-tellers, magic especially black magic and others are banned in the Catholic Church.
12. Practicing Astrology, Horoscope and others are not allowed for believers.
13. Acupressure is allowed but Acupuncture is not allowed for the believers.
14. Yoga as a physical exercise can be practiced but it is not always free from harm. Therefore, do it if necessary, with due discretion. But, if it is done for God realisation, it is banned and against Catholic faith (Youcat 356).
15. Transcendental Meditation - It is not allowed for the use of believers. Transcendental Meditation of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is a technique that involves the use of a sound of a mantra, and is practiced for 15-20 minutes twice a day, if possible. It is taught by certified teachers through a standard course of instruction. According to the Transcendental Meditation movement, it is a non-religious method for relaxation, stress reduction, and self-development. The client is to be initiated.
16. Sound bowl healing or Tibetan Singing Bowls is banned and is against the Catholic faith -This is an ancient brain entrainment method for healing and meditation. Tibetan Singing Bowls have been used for centuries for healing and meditation purposes. They create a range of sounds to restore the normal vibratory frequencies of diseased and out-of-harmony parts of the body, mind and soul.
17. Some computer games such as Pokémon Go, Blue Whale Game or similar games have a demonic influence which is not good for our faith or spiritual life. It will lead to addiction and suicidal tendencies. Pokémon is a combination of two Japanese words Poketto + Monsut which means Pocket Monster. It is a demonic mobile app.
Warnings to believers
1. Do not allow manifestations on the part of the clients, while you are doing deliverance prayer or exorcism prayer.
2. Do not ask direct questions to evil spirits or possessed persons - The devil never tells the truth. If anyone listens to the devil, they might be misguided because the devil is a liar and is the father of all lies from the very beginning (Jn 8:44).
3. Do not persecute or exploit the victims or demoniacs.
4. Do not begin a digging ministry - It means that one should not try to take out objects of black magic or sorcery by digging different areas of the house or compound of the one afflicted. Instead use the authority of Jesus to nullify the power of Satan, black magic etc by prayer and sprinkling the holy water or blessed objects.
5. Do not exorcise in public, but do it in a secluded place away from public visibility and of course with due permission from the Diocesan Bishop and also follow the Roman directions.
6. Do not transfer the spirits from one body to another body as profane exorcists do. Instead bind and cast them out and send them to the feet of Jesus.
7. Please do not allow yourselves to be initiated or be consecrated to any profane or secret organisations/societies or supernatural power or knowledge other than Christian initiations (Sacraments of baptism, Eucharist and confirmation). If you do that then there is a possibility of being affected by demonic elements and afflictions.
Satan and demons have power but not infinite power as of God’s. Jesus conquered them and has given the believing one the power to conquer and defeat them. Deliverance prayer is an essential part of the Lord’s prayer and one is delivered even as one prays it. Please do the binding and casting out the spirits, if you feel that one or many of the above-mentioned spirits is or are in you. One is free to bind and cast out spirits from over one’s family, till the first degree of consanguinity/affinity by using the following binding and casting out prayer. This prayer has the imprimatur. “In the name of Jesus, I bind you the wicked spirit of - - - - (mention at least one of the names of the demons from the list of the evil spirits or tendencies in Part II) and cast you out and send you to the feet of Jesus (Heb. 10:13) and be bound there until the Second Coming of Jesus. Jesus may do justice to you” (Jude 1:8). This prayer has no negative effects when done for family till the first degree of blood relationship or affinity. And one is also free to use for one’s own self, because self-protection is a fundamental right. There are no bad consequences as a result of this prayer. One can even teach the other to deliver him/herself from demons through the use of this prayer instead of uttering this prayer over the unrelated other.
Rite of Exorcism
(The Rite of Major Exorcism, formed in 1614 A.D. This is the old version of the Rite which is revised in 2004, but priests are allowed to use the old or new version according to their due discretion and pastoral Prudence).
(Taken from catholic.org. It is for the use of Catholic Priests only after having delegation from the diocesan Ordinary)
The priest delegated by the Ordinary to perform this office should first go to confession or at least elicit an act of contrition, and, if convenient, offer the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and implore God's help in other fervent prayers. He vests in surplice and purple stole. Having before him the person possessed (who should be bound if there is any danger), he traces the sign of the cross over him, over himself, and the bystanders, and then sprinkles all of them with holy water. After this he kneels and says the Litany of the Saints, exclusive of the prayers which follow it. All present are to make the responses. LITANY OF THE SAINTS
The Litany of the Saints is used in ordination, Forty Hours', processions, and other occasions. Both the Roman Ritual and the Roman Pontifical direct that the first three invocations be repeated. The music for this litany is given in the music supplement. The invocations are sung (or recited) by the chanters or the priest; the responses by all.
P: Lord, have mercy. All: Lord, have mercy. P: Christ, have mercy. All: Christ, have mercy. P: Lord, have mercy. All: Lord, have mercy. P: Christ, hear us. All: Christ, graciously hear us. P: God, the Father in heaven. All: Have mercy on us. P: God, the Son, Redeemer of the world. All: Have mercy on us. P: God, the Holy Spirit. All: Have mercy on us. P: Holy Trinity, one God. All: Have mercy on us. Holy Mary, pray for us, * * After each invocation: "Pray for us."
Holy Mother of God, Holy Virgin of virgins, St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, All holy angels and archangels, All holy orders of blessed spirits, St. John the Baptist, St. Joseph, All holy patriarchs and prophets, St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Andrew, St. James, St. John, St. Thomas, St. James, St. Philip, St. Bartholomew, St. Matthew, St. Simon, St. Thaddeus, St. Matthias, St. Barnabas, St. Luke, St. Mark, All holy apostles and evangelists, All holy disciples of the Lord, All holy Innocents, St. Stephen,
St. Lawrence, St. Vincent, SS. Fabian and Sebastian, SS. John and Paul, SS. Cosmas and Damian, SS. Gervase and Protase, All holy martyrs, St. Sylvester, St. Gregory, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Martin, St. Nicholas, All holy bishops and confessors, All holy doctors, St. Anthony, St. Benedict, St. Bernard, St. Dominic, St. Francis, All holy priests and levites, All holy monks and hermits, St. Mary Magdalen, St. Agatha, St. Lucy, St. Agnes, St. Cecilia, St. Catherine, St. Anastasia,
All holy virgins and widows,
P: All holy saints of God, All: Intercede for us.
P: Be merciful, All: Spare us, 0 Lord.
P: Be merciful, All: Graciously hear us, 0 Lord. Prayer for deliverance
From all evil, deliver us, 0 Lord* * After each invocation: "Deliver us, 0 Lord." From all sin, From your wrath, From sudden and unprovided death, From the snares of the devil, From anger, hatred, and all ill will, From all lewdness, From lightning and tempest, From the scourge of earthquakes, From plague, famine, and war,
From everlasting death, By the mystery of your holy incarnation, By your coming, By your birth, By your baptism and holy fasting, By your cross and passion, By your death and burial, By your holy resurrection, By your wondrous ascension, By the coming of the Holy, Spirit, the Advocate, On the day of judgment,
P: We sinners, All: We beg you to hear us* * After each invocation: "We beg you to hear us."
That you spare us, That you pardon us, That you bring us to true penance, That you govern and preserve your holy Church, That you preserve our Holy Father and all ranks in the Church in holy religion, That you humble the enemies of holy Church, That you give peace and true concord to all Christian rulers. That you give peace and unity to the whole Christian world, That you restore to the unity of the Church all who have strayed from the truth, and lead all unbelievers to the light of the Gospel, That you confirm and preserve us in your holy service, That you lift up our minds to heavenly desires, That you grant everlasting blessings to all our benefactors, That you deliver our souls and the souls of our brethren, relatives, and benefactors from everlasting damnation, That you give and preserve the fruits of the earth, That you grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed, That you graciously hear us, Son of God, At the end of the litany he (the priest) adds the following: P: Antiphon: Do not keep in mind, 0 Lord, our offenses or those of our parents, nor take vengeance on our sins. P: Our Father who are in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, All: But deliver us from evil.
Psalm 53 P: God, by your name save me, and by your might defend my cause. All: God, hear my prayer; hearken to the words of my mouth.
P: For haughty men have risen up against me, and fierce men seek my life; they set not God before their eyes. All: See, God is my helper; the Lord sustains my life. P: Turn back the evil upon my foes; in your faithfulness destroy them. All: Freely will I offer you sacrifice; I will praise your name, Lord, for its goodness, P: Because from all distress you have rescued me, and my eyes look down upon my enemies. All: Glory be to the Father. P: As it was in the beginning. After the psalm the priest continues: P: Save your servant. All: Who trusts in you, my God.
P: Let him (her) find in you, Lord, a fortified tower. All: In the face of the enemy. P: Let the enemy have no power over him (her). All: And the son of iniquity be powerless to harm him (her). P: Lord, send him (her) aid from your holy place. All: And watch over him (her) from Sion. P: Lord, heed my prayer. All: And let my cry be heard by you. P: The Lord be with you. All: May He also be with you. Let us pray. God, whose nature is ever merciful and forgiving, accept our prayer that this servant of yours, bound by the fetters of sin, may be pardoned by your loving kindness. Holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who once and for all consigned that fallen and apostate tyrant to the flames of hell, who sent your only-begotten Son into the world to crush that roaring lion; hasten to our call for help and snatch from ruination and from the clutches of the noonday devil this human being made in your image and likeness. Strike terror, Lord, into the beast now laying waste your vineyard. Fill your servants with courage to fight manfully against that reprobate dragon, lest he despise those who put their trust in you, and say with Pharaoh of old: "I know not God, nor will I set Israel free." Let your mighty hand cast him out of your servant, (The name of the person), so he may no longer hold captive this person whom it pleased you to make in your image, and to redeem through your Son; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.
Then he commands the demon as follows:
I command you, unclean spirit, whoever you are, along with all your minions now attacking this servant of God, by the mysteries of the incarnation, passion, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, by the descent of the Holy Spirit, by the coming of our Lord for judgment, that you tell me by some sign your name, and the day and hour of your departure. I command you, moreover, to obey me to the letter, I who am a minister of God despite my unworthiness; nor shall you be emboldened to harm in any way this creature of God, or the bystanders, or any of their possessions.
Laying on Hands The priest lays his hand on the head of the sick person, saying: They shall lay their hands upon the sick and all will be well with them. May Jesus, Son of Mary, Lord and Saviour of the world, through the merits and intercession of His holy apostles Peter and Paul and all His saints, show you favour and mercy. All: Amen.
Bible readings Next he reads over the possessed person these selections from the Gospel, or at least one of them. P: The Lord be with you. All: May He also be with you. P: The beginning of the holy Gospel according to St. John. All: Glory be to you, 0 Lord. A Lesson from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 1:1-14) As he says these opening words, he signs himself and the possessed on the brow, lips, and breast.
When time began, the Word was there, and the Word was face to face with God, and the Word was God. This Word, when time began, was face to face with God. All things came into being through Him, and without Him there came to be not one thing that has come to be. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not lay hold of it. There came upon the scene a man, a messenger from God, whose name was John. This man came to give testimony to testify in behalf of the light that all might believe through him. He was not himself the light; he only was to testify in behalf of the light. Meanwhile the true light, which illumines every man, was making its entrance into the world. He was in the world, and the world came to be through Him, and the world did not acknowledge Him. He came into His home, and His own people did not welcome Him. But to as many as welcomed Him He gave the power to become children of God those who believe in His name; who were born not of blood, or of carnal desire, or of man's will; no, they were born of God. (Genuflect here.) And the Word became man and lived among us; and we have looked upon His glory such a glory as befits the Father's only-begotten Son full of grace and truth! All: Thanks be to God. Lastly, he blesses the sick person, saying: May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, come upon you and remain with you forever. All: Amen. Then he sprinkles the person with holy water. A Lesson from the holy Gospel according to St. Mark (Mark 16:15-18) At that time Jesus said to His disciples: "Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to all creation. He that believes and is baptized will be saved; he that does not believe will be condemned. And in the way of proofs of their claims, the following will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will take up serpents in their hands, and if they drink something deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and these will recover." A Lesson from the holy Gospel according to St. Luke (Luke 10:17-20) At that time the seventy-two returned in high spirits. "Master," they said, "even the demons are subject to us because we use your name!" "Yes," He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall like lightning that flashes from heaven. But mind: it is I that have given you the power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and break the dominion of the enemy everywhere; nothing at all can injure you. Just the same, do not rejoice in the fact that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice in the fact that your names are engraved in heaven." A Lesson from the holy Gospel according to St. Luke (Luke 11:14-22) At that time Jesus was driving out a demon, and this particular demon was dumb. The demon was driven out, the dumb man spoke, and the crowds were enraptured. But some among the people remarked: "He is a tool of Beelzebul, and that is how he drives out demons!" Another group, intending to test Him, demanded of Him a proof of His claims, to be shown in the sky. He knew their inmost thoughts. "Any kingdom torn by civil strife," He said to them, "is laid in ruins; and house tumbles upon house. So, too, if Satan is in revolt against himself, how can his kingdom last, since you say that I drive out demons as a tool of Beelzebul. And furthermore: if I drive out demons as a tool of Beelzebul, whose tools are your pupils when they do the driving out? Therefore, judged by them, you must stand condemned. But, if, on the contrary, I drive out demons by the finger of God, then, evidently the kingdom of God has by this time made its way to you. As long as a mighty Lord in full armour guards his premises, he is in peaceful possession of his property; but should one mightier than he attack and overcome him, he will strip him of his armour, on which he had relied, and distribute the spoils taken from him." P: Lord, heed my prayer. All: And let my cry be heard by you. P: The Lord be with you. All: May He also be with you. Let us pray. Almighty Lord, Word of God the Father, Jesus Christ, God and Lord of all creation; who gave to your holy apostles the power to tramp underfoot serpents and scorpions; who along with the other mandates to work miracles was pleased to grant them the authority to say: "Depart, you devils!" and by whose might Satan was made to fall from heaven like lightning; I humbly call on your holy name in fear and trembling, asking that you grant me, your unworthy servant, pardon for all my sins, steadfast faith, and the power - supported by your mighty arm - to confront with confidence and resolution this cruel demon. I ask this through you, Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, who is coming to judge both the living and the dead and the world by fire. All: Amen. Next he makes the sign of the cross over himself and the one possessed, places the end of the stole on the latter's neck, and, putting his right hand on the latter's head, he says the following in accents filled with confidence and faith: P: See the cross of the Lord; begone, you hostile powers! All: The stem of David, the lion of Juda's tribe has conquered. P: Lord, heed my prayer. All: And let my cry be heard by you. P: The Lord be with you. All: May He also be with you. Let us pray. God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I appeal to your holy name, humbly begging your kindness, that you graciously grant me help against this and every unclean spirit now tormenting this creature of yours; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen. Exorcism I cast you out, unclean spirit, along with every Satanic power of the enemy, every spectre from hell, and all your fell companions; in the name of our Lord Jesus + Christ. Begone and stay far from this creature of God+ For it is He who commands you, He who flung you headlong from the heights of heaven into the depths of hell. It is He who commands you, He who once stilled the sea and the wind and the storm. Hearken, therefore, and tremble in fear, Satan, you enemy of the faith, you foe of the human race, you begetter of death, you robber of life, you corrupter of justice, you root of all evil and vice; seducer of men, betrayer of the nations, instigator of envy, font of avarice, fomenter of discord, author of pain and sorrow. Why, then, do you stand and resist, knowing as you must that Christ the Lord brings your plans to nothing? Fear Him, who in Isaac was offered in sacrifice, in Joseph sold into bondage, slain as the paschal lamb, crucified as man, yet triumphed over the powers of hell. (The three signs of the cross which follow are traced on the brow of the possessed person). Begone, then, in the name of the Father, + and of the Son, + and of the Holy + Spirit. Give place to the Holy Spirit by this sign of the holy + cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. All: Amen. P: Lord, heed my prayer. All: And let my cry be heard by you. P: The Lord be with you. All: May He also be with you. Let us pray. God, Creator and defender of the human race, who made man in your own image, look down in pity on this your servant, N., now in the toils of the unclean spirit, now caught up in the fearsome threats of man's ancient enemy, sworn foe of our race, who befuddles and stupefies the human mind, throws it into terror, overwhelms it with fear and panic. Repel, 0 Lord, the devil's power, break asunder his snares and traps, put the unholy tempter to flight. By the sign + (on the brow) of your name, let your servant be protected in mind and body. (The three crosses which follow are traced on the breast of the possessed person). Keep watch over the inmost recesses of his (her) + heart; rule over his (her) + emotions; strengthen his (her) + will. Let vanish from his (her) soul the temptings of the mighty adversary. Graciously grant, 0 Lord, as we call on your holy name, that the evil spirit, who hitherto terrorized over us, may himself retreat in terror and defeat, so that this servant of yours may sincerely and steadfastly render you the service which is your due; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen. Exorcism I adjure you, ancient serpent, by the judge of the living and the dead, by your Creator, by the Creator of the whole universe, by Him who has the power to consign you to hell, to depart forthwith in fear, along with your savage minions, from this servant of God, N., who seeks refuge in the fold of the Church. I adjure you again, + (on the brow) not by my weakness but by the might of the Holy Spirit, to depart from this servant of God, N. whom almighty God has made in His image. Yield, therefore, yield not to my own person but to the minister of Christ. For it is the power of Christ that compels you, who brought you low by His cross. Tremble before that mighty arm that broke asunder the dark prison walls and led souls forth to light. May the trembling that afflicts this human frame, + (on the breast) the fear that afflicts this image + (on the brow) of God, descend on you. Make no resistance nor delay in departing from this man, for it has pleased Christ to dwell in man. Do not think of despising my command because you know me to be a great sinner. It is God + Himself who commands you; the majestic Christ + who commands you. God the Father + commands you; God the Son + commands you; God the Holy + Spirit commands you. The mystery of the cross commands + you. The faith of the holy apostles Peter and Paul and of all the saints commands + you. The blood of the martyrs commands + you. The continence of the confessors commands + you. The devout prayers of all holy men and women command + you. The saving mysteries of our Christian faith command + you. Depart, then, transgressor. Depart, seducer, full of lies and cunning, foe of virtue, persecutor of the innocent. Give place, abominable creature, give way, you monster, give way to Christ, in whom you found none of your works. For He has already stripped you of your powers and laid waste your kingdom, bound you prisoner and plundered your weapons. He has cast you forth into the outer darkness, where everlasting ruin awaits you and your abettors. To what purpose do you insolently resist? To what purpose do you brazenly refuse? For you are guilty before almighty God, whose laws you have transgressed. You are guilty before His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, whom you presumed to tempt, whom you dared to nail to the cross. You are guilty before the whole human race, to whom you prof erred by your enticements the poisoned cup of death. Therefore, I adjure you, profligate dragon, in the name of the spotless + Lamb, who has trodden down the asp and the basilisk, and overcome the lion and the dragon, to depart from this man (woman) + (on the brow), to depart from the Church of God + (signing the bystanders). Tre