Taping or filming of exorcisms


#1

does the Church allow filming of exorcisms and if so do they allow the public or lay members of the Church to view?

obviously there would be instances where the family would not give permission and i do not know if it is a good idea to let people view or not, but it does make me think if more people witnessed these they might not disregard the teachings of the Church so quickly. i believe there are many on the internet and i have never viewed any as there would be no way for me to know if they were legitimate or not.

i know too many people that are into things they shouldn’t be (ie wiccan cults, ouija board, anton levay, tarot cards, reiki, etc) and i wonder if seeing one would put them on the right path.


#2

Father Gabriele Amorth does not. He’s the Chief Exorcist at Rome. I would think it highly unusual to do either one you mentioned. It’s not a pretty sight. Recording audio is a bit different. That would be acceptable, especially if it’s used as research.

obviously there would be instances where the family would not give permission and i do not know if it is a good idea to let people view or not, but it does make me think if more people witnessed these they might not disregard the teachings of the Church so quickly. i believe there are many on the internet and i have never viewed any as there would be no way for me to know if they were legitimate or not.

It’s not a good idea to let others view it. Basically, if you’re not there as part of the exorcist “team” then you shouldn’t be there. I’ve seen cases where a psychologist wanted to be present because he didn’t believe in possession.

The psychologist wanted to verify that it was only psychological. What he encountered left him running out of the room. There are many reasons to not let someone be there to view it. Mostly for the well-being of the viewers and the respect of the individual.

i know too many people that are into things they shouldn’t be (ie wiccan cults, ouija board, anton levay, tarot cards, reiki, etc) and i wonder if seeing one would put them on the right path.

Probably not. Just like anything else, unless a person goes through it themselves do they feel compelled to abstain from such activity.


#3

I would think the harm to the person being filmed (loss of privacy and confidentiality, potential to be you-tubed and made fun of) would far outweigh the benefit for any doubters.


#4

hi Mystic Warrior. nice to hear from you!

yes, i suppose you are right.

i admit that i am tempted to hear the audio, but don’t think i would want to see the video. well i take that back, i would want to see objects moving supernaturally, but i don’t think i’d like to witness what the victim was going through. is it true the audio for the movie, the exorcist was genuine?

i am amazed though that more psychologists have not written about their experiences. they could wait until they retire or i suppose use a pen name. well i am going to keep praying for my one friend in particular that has started using a ouija board. the town he lives in is full of people into that garbage so he’s now checking this out as an adult.


#5

i agree with that, but at the same time if the person and their family really felt that a visual recording of the event could deter someone else from dabbling with things that are dark, then maybe it’s not a bad idea.

but i guess the best thing for me to do is just to keep praying for my friend and give up thoughts of figuring out how to scare him straight!


#6

Exorcisms are strictly confidential, so video taping them would be a breach of confidentionality. They are confidential for the sake of the poor possessed soul and of the exorcist team.

Don’t get fascinated with evil, because you must not awe at the work of the devil but hate him. Do not like evil, for God dose not like it; be pleased, rather, with what is good, for God is pleased with what is good.


#7

i do hate the devil and pray to God to lead me not into temptation just about every day. i also ask st Michael to keep him and all the demons away from me as well.

thank you for letting me know about the confidentiality terms. didn’t know about that.


#8

Nice to see you too. It’s been a while since we crossed paths.

yes, i suppose you are right.

i admit that i am tempted to hear the audio, but don’t think i would want to see the video. well i take that back, i would want to see objects moving supernaturally, but i don’t think i’d like to witness what the victim was going through. is it true the audio for the movie, the exorcist was genuine?

The things I have heard and witnessed have scarred me beyond words, Jen. I’ll never be the same. It has been my cross to bear. I have never recorded anything for many reasons. For the sake of the person, the things said, and for my own sanity. I would rather you never hear or see these kinds of things, Jen.

I couldn’t bear to listen to them even if I did record them. The sounds are literally “out of this world”. They aren’t human. And it’s disturbing. The movie is hollywood fiction really. The book is accurate. You can find it at Amazon.

In my opinion, some things that happen are just better left unsaid. I have a blog that describes about 10% of my experiences and is intentionally vague. I only write there to get it out of my system and keep me sane :). I don’t suppose I’ll ever sit down and write it all out and publish it. Anonymity for me and the possessed is very important.

i am amazed though that more psychologists have not written about their experiences. they could wait until they retire or i suppose use a pen name. well i am going to keep praying for my one friend in particular that has started using a ouija board. the town he lives in is full of people into that garbage so he’s now checking this out as an adult.

There are some believing psychologists, but very few and even fewer are allowed to be there during an exorcism. Unless there is sufficient reason for them to be there, they really shouldn’t be allowed. Yes, pray for your friend. Pray for his deliverance.

God bless.


#9

An exorcist priest does not want to give the demon any tools that he can use against the priest and the victim and a video camera, which would be used more for the curious and skeptics, would fly in the face of humility, which an exorcist priest must have.

As I recall, in the book, “Hostage to the Devil,” (PLEASE NO DEBATES) one of the documented cases involved a Jewish girl, who was possessed. However, before the family approached the exorcist priest, the girl had been under the care of a Jewish psychiatrist for several years, but she was getting worse rather than better. The family finally sought out the exorcist priest in their area, against the advice of the psychiatrist. After meeting with the girl, the priest agreed to do the exorcism, but following the usual protocol, only the priest, and one other person, usually a physically strong person, could be in the room. The psychiatrist protested and forbid that this be done without him being in the room. The priest finally gave in on the condition, that the psychiatrist must remain silent at all times. The psychiatrist agreed. When the exorcism began, the demon turned immediately on the psychiatrist and began asking him questions. The psychiatrist broke his promise to remain quiet and began talking with the demon. Once done, everything fell into the hands of the demon. The demon began bringing up personal secrets of the psychiatrist including things about his dead mother. It became so bad, the psychiatrist had a breakdown in the room, by which he had to be removed. Once done, the demon attacked the priest physically and his injuries such, that he had to spend time in the hospital. He of course knew he erred in allowing the psychiatrist into the room. After the priest recovered, he went back and did the exorcism successfully.

The point is that the priest must follow proper protocol when doing an exorcism, and a video camera, in my judgment, would violate this and could be dangerous.

Jim


#10

Thanks Jim. That’s precisely the case I was thinking about.


#11

Not that I know much in this area, but I think it would be a horrible idea in any circumstances, and my thought is that the demons could attach themselves to the recording and oppress someone else that way when they listen back.

This brings a few questions though. My girlfriend says God even loves the devil since He is Love. Something about that doesn’t seem right to me though. And so should we actively hate the devil or merely ignore his temptations while praying for St. Michael and all the angels to fight against him for us? sorry if I’m derailing the discussion a bit.


#12

God is love where Satan is evil.

God can not love Satan because He can not love evil.

Jim


#13

i am sure the Church knows what it is doing and if She feels that taping would do more harm than good, then that is all i need to know. i have read one book on the subject by Father Amorth and i don’t think the issue of filming ever came up. however, since i did hear that an audio segment of the exorcist (the movie) was real, i figured the Church did allow taping for research purposes.

thanks for sharing that story. for some reason, i thought the Church did ask that a psychiatrist be present, but i must have misunderstood. i guess they want their professional opinion before they consider an exorcism.


#14

I won’t comment on demons being attached to things because it gets very speculative. They certainly attach to people - we know that much.

This brings a few questions though. My girlfriend says God even loves the devil since He is Love. Something about that doesn’t seem right to me though. And so should we actively hate the devil or merely ignore his temptations while praying for St. Michael and all the angels to fight against him for us? sorry if I’m derailing the discussion a bit.

They have an adversarial relationship. I would not say that God loves Satan.


#15

mw, have you considered joining the Church Militant? receiving the blessed Eucharist and celebrating Mass would give you strength in ways you can’t imagine.

i hope my asking that wasn’t offensive. also have you read some of the experiences Padre Pio had with satan? he too had physical scars, but even so, God will never allow satan to take your life.


#16

Oh, wow. Do you know if the family and the psychiatrist ended up joining the Church? I would think that a situation like that would lead them to believe that Catholicism is a true faith. Does Judaism also have exorcists?


#17

Of all the books I’ve read, I’ve not heard it mentioned either, Jen. So, your question is a good one. I believe there was audio evidence used in the “Exorcism of Emily Rose” case. I would have to go back and see if that is indeed true. Now, there are some non-Catholic exorcists, such as Bob Larson, who have filmed their exorcisms. I disapprove of that. There was a 2 hour special a couple of months back.

thanks for sharing that story. for some reason, i thought the Church did ask that a psychiatrist be present, but i must have misunderstood. i guess they want their professional opinion before they consider an exorcism.

Usually, medical advice and a psychiatric evaluation are asked for before an exorcism. And for good reason. Many cases that come up are not preternatural, but simply a medical or mental problem. It’s good to rule out those possibilities if possible.

I have to say that the rite of exorcism is a guideline - a format that the priest or bishop is expected to follow. There are 3 parts to it and the priest can choose 1 of those. Because every case is different, there can never be one and only one standard operating procedure for possession cases. If a priest sees the need for a psychiatrist to be present that is his perogative. However, it would be highly unlikely.


#18

I don’t recall if they did convert or not and I no longer own the book, so I can’t check on it.

Jim


#19

Oh yes, I’ve considered it. Four years ago I seriously contemplated it. I saw a pastor, the RCIA director, went to mass several times, etc. At the time there was some real discord in the home because of my intent to convert. I left it alone till a later time when the situation would be better. I believe I’ll eventually end up there :slight_smile:

i hope my asking that wasn’t offensive. also have you read some of the experiences Padre Pio had with satan? he too had physical scars, but even so, God will never allow satan to take your life.

No, I didn’t take that as an offense. I’ve never had physical scars, although I’ve had to be physical with some people and hold them down. The emotional scars are the toughest for me - like a piece of my humanity is stripped away every time I confront demons. It’s hard to explain.

God and His holy angels have protected me through every situation. I’ve never felt in real danger. I know that if God gave me this job to do He would provide the help I needed. I would love to one day receive the sacraments into my life. It would be wonderful.

If I converted, I would have to submit to the Church in regards to exorcisms. I would not be able to perform major exorcisms licitly because I would not be a priest. I could perform a solemn exorcism only (a layman’s exorcism where I couldn’t address the dark ones). At this point, I cannot submit to that. As long as people come to me and ask for help when no one else can or will, I will do whatever I have to do, permission or not. I’m a rebel that way :wink:


#20

thanks, that helps, and I figured as much when I heard a talk on the angels, that said basically the fallen angels are evil and nothing else. So it makes sense that God would not love them since He can’t love evil.


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