[quote=johnnycatholic]The German bishops said after the priests involved were found guilty of mmanslaghter that she was not actually posessed.
Is this an official ruling of the magisterium? This young woman was *not *possessed? Does this mean the Church may sometimes approve an exorcism without being absolutely sure about the cause of someone’s behaviour?
I’m bothered by the assessment above that demonic posession can be ‘allowed by God’ to a person in a state of grace. This to me seems impossible and casts doubt on the efficacy of the sacraments.
I think that there is a vast grey area in demonology, and people often seem to think that demons are sort of ‘let out of the cage’ at God’s whim to assail His people. Think how logically ridiculous this is. Pure spirits–demons too–are all loved by God and were created perfectly good by Him in the beginning. Even those who have eternally deserted His presence retain their gift of Free Will. It is the Holy Angels who protect us from Satan and his cohorts, as well as the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. Even though God does not violate a demon’s free will, their wills abhorr Him because of His perfect goodness.
If God’s presence does not prevent a demon from assailing a person (not forcibly, but by the evil spirit’s own free will which hates Him) in whom He has given His very Spirit–how can we say that He is omnibenevolent?
The sacraments are so important because they are physical signs of God’s grace in us, we who are both Body and Spirit. The sacraments use our bodies to communicate grace to our souls. Grace sanctifies the whole man, and it is a heresy of dualism to separate a human too divisively between either his body or his soul: both are good, intimately united, and should be protected by the grace of the sacraments.
If God’s presence in the sacraments is not effective at preventing demons from posessing our bodies–how can we say that he is omnipotent?
To argue that a Christian in the state of grace is still open to demonic posession throws a terribly doubtful light on the supernatural power–and more importantly, the purpose–of the sacraments: to sanctify a human being, body and soul.
You might argue that the body is not sanctified, and therefore we physically die/decay, while our soul lives on in heaven. Physical death, however, does not mean that the body is not itself in a state of grace, it is only the necessary consequence of Original Sin. The glorious resurrection of those souls who died in a state of grace proves that the whole person is sanctified.