Appropriate to exorcise/bless a church bldg. when desecrated/used inappropriately?


Let’s say a priest is a chaplain at a university and he is unfortunately forced to use a “mixed use” chapel to celebrate Mass for those under his care. Say Chaplain Jill, affiliated with an unnamed mainline Protestant group, “marries” two men in a “‘Christian’ marriage” ceremony. Would it then be appropriate for Fr. Catholic Chaplain to exorcise or bless the area before his next Mass? It strikes me that this might be a good idea, especially going into the future since it seems demonic activity might increase due to pagan/anti-Christian activities.

Thoughts? Please no, “___ isn’t real, grow up.”


According to the 1983 Code of Canon Law a violated sacred place can be repaired with a penitential rite in case the local ordinary deems the damage sufficiently great. Cf. Sacred Places (Cann. 1205 - 1243)

Can. 1205 Sacred places are those which are designated for divine worship or for the burial of the faithful by a dedication or a blessing which the liturgical books prescribe for this purpose.

Can. 1207 Sacred places are blessed by the ordinary; the blessing of churches, however, is reserved to the diocesan bishop. Either of them, moreover, can delegate another priest for this purpose.

Can. 1211 Sacred places are violated by gravely injurious actions done in them with scandal to the faithful, actions which, in the judgment of the local ordinary, are so grave and contrary to the holiness of the place that it is not permitted to carry on worship in them until the damage is repaired by a penitential rite according to the norm of the liturgical books.


That would be superstitious.


I’m not sure that’s true.


No, its not. If anti-Christian activities are occurring in a place then it very likely could lead to demonic infestation.


The premise is that it was a “mixed use chapel” in a university setting. Is such a chapel even consecrated in the same way a Catholic church building is? If not, it seems at best presumptious to take the position that a ceremony valid in the eyes of a Christian denomination de-sacralizes the space. The university chapels I’m familiar with are peacefully shared by multiple religious traditions on campus, without the presumption that the rituals of others require a subsequent exorcism. There was recently a same-sex “wedding” at the West Point chapel. Would it be the Church’s position that the Catholic chaplain at West Point needs to exorcise the West Point chapel?


Since when does the Church care whether a Protestant group considers a gay marriage (just as an example) valid? It is quite possible that, in their error, they could bring some kind of evil presence into the building with such a ceremony. This is quite different from, say, a civic building or something.

To your end question, I don’t know, maybe, it seems plausible to me if Mass is to be celebrated there subsequently. Actually, this is one of the specific cases which prompted me to start this thread.


I think you’re being superstitious. After all, Mass is celebrated in many spaces that aren’t consecrated, and in which “evil activities” have occurred. Two simple examples that come to mind are battlefields during wartime and prisons.

The only thing one must guard against is desecration of the Eucharist. Presumably in such a setting as you described, it wouldn’t be kept in reserve in that location.

Also, certainly, you’re not implying that somehow an evil act committed at another time can overpower the real presence of Christ during the Mass?


No. ??


There is a Catholic Chapel at West Point. The Protestant Chapel would have been used for that ceremony, not the Catholic Chapel.


There is no Catholic teaching that homosexual unions invite demons. To use the rites of exorcism where there is no evidence of demonic or other spiritual activity would be superstitious.

It would also be highly insulting to the other chaplains, essentially accusing them of purposefully conjuring Satan when there is no such intent. If the university were to insist on the chapel being used for same-sex weddings then the Catholic Chaplain ought to find other accommodations in the long term, but exorcisms would subject the church to needless scandal.


I’m not sure. you bring up an interesting point.


The marriage, though considered defective by Catholic standards and scandalous to some, is hardly “anti-Christian” in the way that a ‘Black Mass’ to Satan would be. That ‘marriage’ invoked Christ to be present in a relationship.

We don’t define that relationship as they would, but that doesn’t open up a hellmouth through which legions of demonic pests infest a room. That is the superstition here.


True, it is not quite as explicit as a Black Mass, but the source is still the same, Satan.




You are not being superstitious at all, your understanding is correct. The devil likes to attack people when the try to get closer to God. However, I think that we should follow the saints suggestion which says that we should not concern ourselves too much with the devil but with God. We have to focus where Love is and not where He is not.


It is much more than defective - it is so totally contrary to what we consider the sacrament of marriage to be that it is in essence a mockery of that sacrament.

I still don’t think it is necessary to bless/exorcise the chapel (apart from the bleasing that already occurs by Mass being celebrated there). I doubt there are that many places on earth that have not at some point in time had activities occur on them that we would consider equally or more antithetical to our religious beliefs, after all. For the most part exorcism has never been done as a preventative thing, or on a mere suspicion that a person or place may have been opened up to demonic activity absent some more concrete cause for concern such as evidence of such activity.


I tink that you are stating the opposite of what is in the Bible (e.g. Luke 11:25).


It would be wholly inappropriate and subject the church to needless scandal.


Wow. People are equating attempts of marriage by gays with Satanism. Wow.

Do you also equate cheating on taxes with Satanism? Failure of the rich to share all of their excess with the poor Satanism? Proponents of capital punishment with Satanism?

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