"Interview with an Exorcist." -from Catholic Answers, with much we probably don't know



An interview with Fr. Gary Thomas is the mandated exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose, California, who was assigned to this work by his bishop.

On what the devil is doing against people, and what this priest does about it.


VERY interesting read, thank you for sharing this with us.


I never understand the requirement about the foreign language. Unless the priest happens to know the same foreign language, how does the priest know the victim is speaking it fluently, or that it’s not just gibberish? 🤷 Or Franglish, Spanglish, etc?


good point.

It also gets to the question, does the devil speak or need to speak all languages of the world in order to tempt us. Or is this at a completely different level for the devil than language


I really like this priest because I think he has a sound and peaceful approach to things.


It is not “a requirement” but one of several possible “indicative criteria” (one among several possible “tell signs”). If the priest has reasonable knowledge of the language the question becomes if the “patient” could possibly have learned that language. That “criteria” only counts if the priest can positively identify the language and the “patient” had no possibility of having studied the language. [It’s not unusual for a European priests to speak over 5 languages -some of them being “dead languages” no average person would have had any chance of learning.]


A couple of other articles, one an interview, the other a darker exposé:




I’m not a Pink Floyd fan, but I never thought their music was demonic. :laughing:
“His encounters are cinematically frightening, involving infestations of crows, carpets of spiders, cats gathering to stare at him from his front porch, objects flying through rooms in his house, and inhuman figures standing in darkened hallways.”

Carpets of spiders - - gatherings of cats? I don’t get it - - are these in the mind’s eye, or physical reality? Are there pictures? Wouldn’t you get a photo of a gathering of cats?

As for “He is ready to meet you now”:
Were the cookies drugged? If so, how can we trust any of his recollections? How much of his bizarre behavior was due to the drugged cookies? I don’t even think we can trust his account of the evening before the cookies! This is not convincing to me at all.[/spoiler]

In my opinion, it doesn’t take much to pick apart these supposedly convincing accounts of possessed people. They seem more like silly ghost stories to me. I certainly believe all the traditional Catholic teachings of the devil, and I suppose there may be possessed people, but I have yet to read an account that is convincing.


I didn’t read the article yet, I plan to soon, but…someone said Pink Floyd was demonic? :face_with_monocle:


No, I was just making a (bad) joke. You know, when the radio turns on by itself, and there’s Pink Floyd, and that means the beginning of demonic possession?


Ohhh haha, Ok :slight_smile: I was afraid maybe the priest brought them up in the interview :grimacing: I do like me some Pink Floyd.


Dare I ask - - if the person is supposedly possessed, how would the exorcist know that the person isn’t lying about whether or not he/she had studied the language?


Just as haters gonna hate, doubters gonna doubt.

If you think in reverse, as the devil does, it will begin to make sense.

I have felt oppression.

Pray that you do not.


The entire thing is a specific “subject” that requires some research and afterthought. It’s not really meaningful commenting “loosely”, if you are interested several well known exorcists have written books on the subject that make for interesting reading.

but ok:

Among the multitude of criteria it’s common practice the person has to undergo professional psychiatric evaluation before getting referred to an exorcist (so you see, what is the sense of lying to your doctors coherently for an extended period of time, without getting caught at it - be reminded those psychiatrist also “have seen it all”). In most cases the person (and their families) have already suffered very much and want to “free” themselves - exorcism being nearly a last resort.

How do you usually spot a liar? (In all other cases?). The families are usually involved and will also state what is the truth on the persons background and what isn’t.


I have read at least a couple of those books, including “The Rite”. The individual accounts of exorcism are simply not convincing to me if I examine them factually, in light of what the Church’s signs are.
To each his own! I don’t know if details are left out, or what. It just seems to me that at some point the exorcist checks a couple of the boxes, then takes a leap (of faith) that the person is indeed possessed, and goes with it. Of course I haven’t ever been in those shoes, so I don’t know the full extent of what may be happening.


I think “The Rite” was written by Matt Baglio. The author isn’t a priest and thus the book probably doesn’t aim at much beyond being Hollywood material (you’d expect an “imprimatur” and a ordained priest as author for the book to have significance and be representative.)


Well, “The Rite” is referenced in the first article here which is why I mentioned it:

“Editor’s note: Fr. Gary Thomas is the mandated exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose, California. In 2005, his bishop, Most Rev. Patrick Joseph McGrath, asked him to take training in Rome for the rite of exorcism. In Rome Fr. Thomas apprenticed himself to Fr. Carmine De Filippis, a veteran Italian exorcist, and his eyes were opened to the reality of evil as never before. His training was the subject of the 2010 book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio and the 2011 Hollywood movie based on the book, The Rite starring Anthony Hopkins.”


I agree that it may not the most authoritative account.


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