Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson, Ph.D.

7/20/2010 (4 years ago)

Inside Catholic (www.insidecatholic.com)

Demons are basically handcuffed, and they know it

By the end of my interview with Father Euteneuer, I realized my initial question about being frightened of demons had betrayed my misunderstanding of the limits of demonic power. Exorcism and the Church Militant is a book that should provide guidance to many for years to come, especially for parents who need a reminder that the occult is not innocent entertainment.

Father Thomas J. Euteneuer.

Father Thomas J. Euteneuer.

Highlights

By Deal W. Hudson, Ph.D.

Inside Catholic (www.insidecatholic.com)

7/20/2010 (4 years ago)

Published in Living Faith


WASHINGTON, DC (Inside Catholic) - Having just read Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuers's new book, Exorcism and the Church Militant, one of the first things I asked him was whether he was afraid of demons. I shivered more than once reading through its short chapters, arranged as basic questions about the devil, demons, possession, and the rite of exorcism.

"Not at all," Father answered with a smile. "God has given me the grace to remain unafraid."

When I expressed my surprise, he explained, "Demons are basically handcuffed, and they know it."

Father Euteneuer does not speak as a theorist. Since 2003 he's had extensive experience ministering to those possessed by demons. His introduction to the demonic world happened when a family asked him for help for one of their members, and he eventually asked for permission to perform the rite of exorcism. He has been doing them ever since.

Exorcism and the Church Militant is intended, in part, as a warning to parents who allow their children to be desensitized to "the dark world" by books and films like the Harry Potter series and the vampire books of Stephanie Meyer. Father Euteneuer told me possession is almost always a result of someone getting involved in some sort of occult practices, such as witchcraft, Wicca, tarot cards, and Ouiji boards.

"Harry Potter and these Twilight vampires glamorize the power of evil," Father Eutenener explained, "and this has lead to many, many cases of possession among young people." It may begin with a child or teenager simply "playing around" with the occult, but that seemingly harmless act is "opening a window" to possession.

Father Euteneuer emphasized this point, "Demons do not discriminate between intentions -- no matter how innocent -- and children lose the clear distinction between good and evil."

What makes the occult so dangerous is the fact that it is based upon something real -- the preternatural world of fallen angels, headed by Lucifer himself. Below him are the "choirs" of devils and demons who are a reverse mirror, in their fallen state, of the hierarchy of angels.

Yet, as Father Euteneuer made clear, this entire dark spiritual world "cannot operate without permission from human beings." He pointed out that the widely-seen film, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, based upon the actual case of Anneliese Michel, makes it seem like a possession can occur against a person's will.

Demons play by the rules, as it were. They can only enter a person when invited, and they will leave when subjected through the rite of exorcism to the authority of the Church. "All demons understand is authority," according to Father Euteneuer. He told me of a time he was with someone who was possessed -- not intending to do an exorcism because permission had not yet been given -- and the demon spoke to him saying, "The Church is not here."

Father Euteneuer reminded me that as fallen angels, demons are smarter than any human being. "The darkest demon is smarter than I am," he said. An exorcist must remain aware of the demon's ability to know everything about the person they are possessing, including family members, and those who may enter the room to cast them out.

One demon attempted to negotiate with Father Euteneuer, offering to help him with his Latin if he would let him stay put.

That story prompted me to ask if demons had a sense of humor. "No," Euteneuer replied. "The demon was only trying to resist being cast out. They know what an exorcism is, what is going to happen to them."

Possession usually involves more than one demon. Father Euteneuer explained that when "one demon gets in it will help to create more invitations to other demons." The more powerful ones have biblical names, and he often runs into demons with the same name, as if they had a kind of demonic family name.

The possession of an individual person is a perverse imitation of the Incarnation. "They know they've lost the war in heaven, now they've come to earth and are doing all they can to exert their power and be an obstacle to heaven." That's why demons experience some form of pain when they are exorcised -- Father Euteneuer said demons will often complain that "It burns." They have been deprived of the satisfaction of entering a body in imitation of the Word made flesh.

By the end of my interview with Father Euteneuer, I realized my initial question about being frightened of demons had betrayed my misunderstanding of the limits of demonic power. Exorcism and the Church Militant is a book that should provide guidance to many for years to come, especially for parents who need a reminder that the occult is not innocent entertainment.

-----

Deal W. Hudson is the director of InsideCatholic.com and the author of Onward, Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States (Simon and Schuster).

---

The mission of InsideCatholic.com is to be a voice for authentic Catholicism in the public square.We believe that truth is both attractive and compelling and that in the marketplace of ideas, it will invariably win out.



Comments


More Living Faith

Abolish death penalty and life imprisonment, Pope Francis declares Watch

Image of The Vatican recently eliminated life imprisonment from its own penal code, Pope Francis noted.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Calling for the abolition of the death penalty as well as life imprisonment, Pope Francis soundly denounced what he called a "penal populism." The world's prescribed cure for crime - punishment, should never overtake the pursuit for social justice, he says. LOS ... continue reading


Making a Difference - Newly beatified pope championed justice and peace

Image of Pope Paul VI addresses the UN during his 1965 appeal for peace.

By Tony Magliano

With numerous armed conflicts raging in various parts of the world, and the Vietnam War worsening, Pope Paul VI on Oct. 4, 1965 proclaimed before the U.N. General Assembly: "No more war, war never again. It is peace, peace which must guide the destinies of peoples and ... continue reading


'War does not begin in the battlefield. Wars begin in the heart,' Pope Francis says Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis addressed the topic of war. With the majority of the world engaged in some sort of battle, and it's up to the individual to realize that major conflicts begin with little things. LOS ... continue reading


Finding the Path to Peace Through Forgiveness Watch

Image of For he (Jesus) is our peace, he made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his Flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God, in one Body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it. He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father- St Paul

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In 1999 I was a part of Project Reconciliation led by a true peacemaker, paralyzed police officer Detective Steven McDonald. This trip was a part of Steven McDonald's mission of preaching peace through forgiveness. It had the goal of helping to heal the wounds ... continue reading


The Parable of the Rich Man: Becoming Rich in What Matters To God

Image of

By Deacon Frederick K. Bartels

What leads to permanent and lasting happiness? As Jesus points out, becoming "rich in what matters to God" is the key. When we place God first, and love our neighbor as another self, we soon begin to experience a perceptible, lasting happiness that is not of this ... continue reading


Pope Paul VI closer to sainthood with beatification by Pope Francis Watch

Image of Pope Paul VI cleaned house, abolishing the pontifical court and simplifying the Curia, the Vatican's administrative arm. Pope Francis is continuing his predecessor's effort to reform to this day.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis cleared the process for sainthood for Pope Paul VI after his beatification over the weekend. Pope Paul VI led the Catholic Church through internal reform during a tumultuous time of social and political change before his death in 1978. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


We Need Courageous Bishops: Ignatius of Antioch is a Model Watch

Image of Ignatius of Antioch - I know what is to my advantage. At last I am becoming his disciple. May nothing entice me till I happily make my way to Jesus Christ! Fire, cross, struggles with wild beasts, wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs-let them come to me, provided only I make my way to Jesus Christ. I would rather die and come to Jesus Christ than be king over the entire earth. Him I seek who died for us; him I love who rose again because of us.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

We need Bishops like Ignatius in this new missionary age of the Church. There is a literal assault on marriage and the family in much of the West. Yet, what the Church has to offer on the truth about marriage and the family paves the path to a future of true ... continue reading


Need a chapel? Pope Francis to rent Sistine Chapel for charity Watch

Image of Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity. The decision marks the first time that the chapel has ever been rented out for charity. It will be used for a private concert hosted by Porsche. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Vatican has announced ... continue reading


On World Food Day, a reminder of Pope Francis' mission for the Church Watch

Image of It's time to ensure that everybody has enough.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today is World Food Day and we are all called to do what we can to feed others. This year's World Food Day falls during Pope Francis' 'Week of Action' where all Catholics are called to pray and act to feed the world's hungry. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Today, ... continue reading


Pope Francis: The only thing that counts for Jesus is 'faith working through love' Watch

Image of Pope Francis related former Jesuit leader Father Arrupe's lesson in humility in his recent talk.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis reiterated in his morning homily that faith is not about appearances and superficially following Church laws. The Pontiff said that God wants to see a faith that inspires action and is "working in charity" and making sacrifices for others. LOS ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2014 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. Chrysanthus was an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter