Monday, 17 November 2014

Exorcism of Demonic Predatory Entities

Seán Manchester (written word) on the exorcism of Vampires:

I am of an opinion founded on experience that vampires (demonic predatory entities) are a real and present danger. The best defence against such supernatural evil is one's Faith. Vampires absorb blood (the abode of the soul) in a way that enables the wraith to manifest in tangible form, thereby appearing as an accursed body which issues forth from within the confines of its earthly grave by supernatural means to drain the essence of life from the living whereby the corporeal aspect is seemingly nourished and preserved with new vitality and fresh energy. This corporeal form can nevertheless metamorphose; that is to say shape-shift. There are antidotes and repellents to guard against vampiric interference or attack. These I identify in my concise vampirological guide The Vampire Hunter's Handbook, which is only available in the English language. However, I would immediately suggest the presence of a crucifix, holy water and the burning of incense.

Dom Augustin Calmet’s attempt to establish the veracity of such predatory demonic entities lacked first-hand evidence. He seemed to concentrate on the collecting of vampire reports, which he certainly did not dismiss out of hand, and then offered his reflections on them. Calmet defined the phenomena as corpses that returned from their graves to disturb the living by sucking their blood and even causing death. The only remedy was to exhume the afflicted body, sever its head, and drive a stake through the heart. Cremation was another effective alternative. Using that definition, he gathered all the accounts he could find, and it is these reports of collected data that take up the majority of space in his volume. He justifiably condemned the hysteria which accompanied several of the reported vampire incidents, and also considered all the natural explanations that were offered for the phenomenon.

His findings were inconclusive. However, Calmet did not state that the reports could be explained away by natural causes, but he shrank from proposing an alternative answer. In other words, he left the entire matter unresolved. Yet he seemed to favour the existence of vampires by noting“that it seems impossible not to subscribe to the belief which prevails in these countries that these apparitions do actually come forth from the graves and that they are able to produce terrible effects which are so widely and so positively attributed to them.” Calmet had posed five possibilities for all the accounts he had considered. Three of these he dismissed. The remaining two consisted of the possibility that vampires are the result of the Devil’s interference, or just superstition. No firm conclusion was apparent until the third and last edition, published in 1751, where in his bestselling work he makes clear that he could conclude naught save that such creatures as vampires really did return from the grave

Calmet and other high-placed clergy also conferred on vampirism what in effect amounted to official recognition. Such is the case with both Archbishop Guiseppe Davanzati (1665-1755) in his Dissertation on Vampires (1744) and, perhaps unintentionally, Pope Benedict XIV in Book IV of the second edition of the voluminous On the Beatification of the Servants of God and on the Canonisation of the Beatified (1749).

Curialium, written 1182-92 by the noted ecclesiastical scholar Walter Map (1140-1209) and Historia Rerum Anglicarum, written 1196 by an Augustinian monk by the name of William of Newburgh (1136-1198), contain all manner of tales of the undead, mostly excommunicated, who leave their tombs at night to torment those close to them or to provoke a series of suspicious deaths. When their caskets are opened, their bodies are found to be intact and spotted with blood. The only way to end the demonic pollution was to burn the body after impaling it. Lacking a specific term, the English chroniclers named these undead cadaver sanguisugus, Latin for "blood-sucking corpse." Numerous accounts attesting to the existence of revenants who returned from the dead have been collected since as long ago as the eleventh century, well before the term vampire entered the dictionary or common usage. The Minutes of the Council of 1304 recounts the Bishop of Chartres' report which told of a corpse wandering beyond its grave. A report made by the Bishop of Cahors, a city in central France, in 1031 told of corpses found intact outside their tombs, as recorded inDictionnaire Infernal (1818). In the second half of the sixteenth century, the Reformation, a movement led by dissenters from Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, contributed to making vampirism official.

Pope Innocent VIII sanctioned the publication of Malleus Maleficarum(1486) which treatise included the discovery and eliminantion of nocturnal demons and revenants. Many saw this as the Church officially sanctioning the existence of the undead, ie predatory demons able to materialise, demateralise and appear to be the living dead or what we now call vampires. The word vampire did not yet exist and instead the terms incubi and succubi will be found in Malleus Maleficarum. For example, there is reference to "the bewitchment of human beings by means of Incubus and Succubus devils" which, it is noted, "can happen in three ways." The three ways are those who "prostitute" themselves to demons, those with a connection to demons, and, thirdly, those who are molested by demons against their will.

Demonologie (1597) by King James is a treatise expressing a particular point of view and not one shared by everybody that vampiric spectres are not the souls of the dead but demons masquerading as the deceased. I hold the view that the two possibilities are not necessarily mutually exclusive if the person who had led an exceedingly wicked life devoted to the black arts dies in a state of mortal sin as a result of demonic interference. The trapped soul and demonic presence might very well occupy the same metamorphosed shell (corpse). I also take the view that those who become vampires were never truly deceased in the first place, ie not God's true dead but the Devil's undead, masquerading under the appearance of the "resurrected" dead. However, these are areas about which we can only speculate.

Only dissenting traditionalists within the Catholic and Protestant Churches continued to openly subscribe to the existence of vampires from the "Age of Enlightenment" onward. Individual priests and bishops nevertheless remained vigilant even though the Western Church appeared (to the outside world, at least) to now refute revenants and the undead. The Eastern Churches, particulary the Orthodox Churches, remained openly convinced of the existence of them, however, throughout and after the so-called "Age of Enlightenment." Eastern Church clergy often accept this pestilence to be real and in need of exorcising.

Liberal clergy and modern philosophers in the eighteenth century started to condemn belief in vampirism in the name of logic and "common sense" without considering too deeply that most of what the Church teaches (egthe Resurrection, which completely defies all logic).

In 1852, Voltaire, in his Philosophical Dictionary, wrote: "You will find stories of vampires in the Jewish Letters, 1738, whom the Jesuits have accused of believing nothing. It should be observed how they triumph in the history of the vampire ... how they thanked God and the virgin for having at last converted this poor d'Argens. ... Behold, said they, this famous unbeliever, who dared to throw doubts on the appearance of the angel to the holy virgin; on the star which conducted the magi; on the cure of the possessed; on the immersion of two thousand swine in a lake; on an eclipse of the sun at the full moon; on the resurrection of the dead who walked in Jerusalem; his heart is softened, his mind is enlightened: He believes in vampires."

Gabriele Amorth (born 1 May 1925) is an Italian priest and an exorcist of the Diocese of Rome who has performed tens of thousands of exorcisms to rid folk of demons. He said that the new rite of exorcism is "a farce. An incredible obstacle that is likely to prevent us from acting against the demon." He observes that the new exorcism rite forbids exorcisms on people who have been reportedly subjected to evil spells. Father Amorth exclaimed: "Absurd! Evil spells are by far the most frequent causes of possessions and evil procured through the demon: at least 90% of cases. It is as good as telling exorcists they can no longer perform exorcisms."He also noted that it also "solemnly declares that one should not carry out exorcisms if one is not certain of the presence of the Devil" while "it is only through exorcism that the demons reveal themselves." He considers the new rite: "A blunt weapon. ... Efficacious prayers, prayers that had been in existence for twelve centuries, were suppressed and replaced by new ineffective prayers."

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