A reader sent this in:
I just came to this passage from Interview with an Exorcist:
“. . . To compensate for this potential source of pride, God normally allows the exorcist to suffer the misunderstanding and ridicule of many of his brother priests. As such, works all his life between being admired and thanked by some and bitterly despised and persecuted by others. This helps him grow in the virtue of humility.
Every exorcist knows fellow clergymen who think he is crazy and that his work is a danger to the reputation and image of the Church. Unfortunately, I do not know of any exorcist who has not had to suffer at the hands of priests determined to speak about and end the ‘scandal’ of ‘medieval superstition’ (i.e. exorcism) for the ‘good of the Church.’
Whoever is named to the ministry of exorcist should not think that the persecution he suffers is merely the result of misunderstanding, i.e., that it will only last until others see the fruits of exorcism and the good sense with which he works. This is urged on by Satan, who wants to discourage the exorcist at all costs.
Unfortunately, the persecution exorcists endure is not something that happens occasionally or only to some. Everyone who serves as an exorcist will experience it to one degree or another. God desires that the ministry always be done from the Cross. If a priest is not willing to bear this burden, he should not accept the ministry.”
And that goes for every aspect of priestly ministry, though the exorcist and his ministry is a special case. Moreover, this persecution will not be limited by any means to one’s fellow priests. Persecution instigated by Satan can come from anywhere, even from those who have been beneficiaries of one’s ministry but have subsequently given themselves to living life apart from Christ and the salvation He came to bring.
Having said that, the mockery I’ve received from priests, even otherwise good, orthodox, well meaning priests, screams of Satan’s intervention. I remember especially the mockery of one particular priest, which seemed less to have anything to do with anything merely along the lines of liberal political correctness, for what he presented was much more along the lines of a personal attack based on… what?… I don’t know… but such mockery! So unpriestly! Anyway, let’s just remember that we are not against any flesh and blood, but against Satan and his minions.
Not only should would-be exorcists not accept the ministry of exorcism if they have a sense of entitlement absolving them from the ridicule of fellow priests, I also think that would-be priests should not be ordained until they clearly understand that every time they offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, they are before all hell breaking loose on Calvary. If they cannot accept this, how can they put themselves forward to act in the Person of Christ? If any priest thinks that exorcism is a medieval superstition, he should be instructed as to his error and, if unwilling to accept the truth of Christ’s own ministry of exoricism, should be laicized. Period.
We are at war. Read about it in Genesis 3,15. Read about it in the Gospels. Soldiers who deny there is a war are useless in battle. All they can do is ridicule and mock as they watch their fellow soldiers die for the cause. And our cause is Christ Jesus, who is our Leader in the battle.