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Spiritualism and Its Dangers

11/4/2003 - 6:00 AM PST

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Interview With an Exorcist, Father Francesco Bamonte

ROME, NOV. 3, 2003 (Zenit) - Superstition offends Jesus because it shows a lack of trust in him, says an exorcist who has written a book on the hidden action of the Evil One and supposed communications with the beyond.

Father Francesco Bamonte's volume, available in Italian and soon due out in other languages, is entitled "I Danni dello Spiritismo" (The Damages of Spiritualism), published by Ancora.

Father Bamonte, a religious of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, dedicates his pastoral ministry to helping people who have fallen prey to wizards or self-styled mediums.

In this interview with Zenit, Father Bamonte describes in detail the physical and psychic damages caused by spiritualism.

Q: You are an exorcist. Do you think that people who fall into spiritualistic practices are seeking the truth in a mistaken way?

Father Bamonte: Certainly. Spiritualistic practices are a mistaken way of seeking truth. People hope to receive real information on God, man, the beyond, the past, present and future, from what they think are the souls of the dead. In reality, they are generally no more than tricks which sometimes make them enter into contact with their own subconscious.

In other cases, however, they enter into contact with demonic spirits which pretend to be the souls of the dead. That's because the phenomena and manifestations of spiritualism are not always tricks, fiction, suggestions, psychological mechanisms, manifestations of the subconscious or creations of the psyche, which some like to suggest so as to explain unusual events, including the demonic or supernatural.

The cases of infestation or diabolic possession, in which exorcist priests have had to intervene after a spiritualistic sťance, show clearly how this practice is a favorite way for the devil's destructive action on people.

Q: What, exactly, is spiritualism, and why is it not reconcilable with the faith?

Father Bamonte: It is the evocation of the dead, that is, a practice with which, through techniques and human means, with or without a medium, an attempt is made to call a dead person to ask him questions.

Every time we pray to God for our dead, without engaging in a spiritualistic practice, we ask the dead as well as the saints to pray to God with and for us. This is the invocation of the dead, but not their evocation, which is what spiritualism does.

The dead can only manifest themselves to us by the free initiative of God, directly and never through techniques or mediums such as spiritualistic sťances. For serious reasons, God can allow a dead person to appear to us, for example, to give us advice or at least a consoling presence, to ask for prayers or to express gratitude for prayers offered.

If on the contrary we are the ones who want to bring about a meeting with the dead through "evocation" with spiritualistic techniques, already in the Old Testament God spoke clearly in this respect and told us that he abominates anyone who does these things. Suffice it to read Deuteronomy 18:10-12 or Leviticus 19:31.

Q: Spiritualistic practices promise consolation and contact with dead persons. What can be said, from the Christian point of view, to those who seek this approach to the beyond?

Father Bamonte: They should read the Bible and see that God severely prohibits this approach to the beyond because he knows that it is false and deceitful as it plunges us in darkness and turns us away from the truth and genuine faith, opening the way to the intervention of evil spirits.

Whoever wishes to feel close to deceased loved ones, should go to confession frequently, go to Mass, pray for them, and be totally prepared to accept God's wills. God will certainly give them the possibility to feel the joy of being in communion with their deceased loved ones.

Q: What are the principal dangers of spiritualism?

Father Bamonte: Physical troubles of all kinds such as strong stomach pains, pains in the forehead and bones, vomiting, epileptic fits, pins and needles in the legs, sudden attacks of heat or cold, increasing sense of anxiety, depressions, constant nervous tics, the impossibility to take in food.

Q: Enough, enough ... are there still more?

Father Bamonte: I am referring only to physical troubles, but there are still many more: inability to sleep night or day, inability to study or work. To be agitated, to have nightmares, to be afraid of the dark, to have the sensation of being grabbed by the arms, or the sensation of someone sitting on our lap. One also feels invisible slaps and bites, as well as blows to the body.

Q: And the psychological damages?

Father Bamonte: ...

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1 - 7 of 7 Comments

  1. Star
    1 year ago

    I agree that trying to contact spirits is dangerous - but what about when they just come to you? I grew up catholic and still am very strong in my faith, but my experiences have been mysteries to me for I get no answers. I also believe maybe I never will get answers, but I can say that I have felt some pretty negative probably even evil presences, but lately that I have been dedicating myself to prayer I still feel things but not bad like before. So this being said - would it not be possible that these are just gifts that some of us might have?

  2. brenda
    1 year ago

    i am in deep conflict regarding a very good friend. i was baptized, raised catholic, hold firm to their doctines, bible. however, my friend, has throughout yrs, seeked out mediums, card readers, etc..before Christmas she began seeing orbs of different colors (while, blue, diamond looking) in her home. she has begun going to local "spiritual church" and now the orbs she captures in her home have multiplied 10 fold. she is a very GOOD person, would never harm anyone, always helping people. she has always seemed to have strange paranormal occurances throughout life, never dealt in occult in any way and truly believes God has given her a gift, and He is now beginning to teach her what/how this gift is/used for. she is 54, very sound mind. she told me today, in confidence, fo fear others may think she is "crazy" as she was photographing throughout living room for orbs, she says she knows in her whole being that she saw face of Jesus twice, but did not show up on camera. can she truly have a gift from god (i.e. one of many examples. her older brother died of cancer. the following week to the time brother was declared deceased, her pregnant daughter had ultrasound and her deceased brother's face (in all good health) showed up CLEARLY in ultrasound pic. he was mentally challenged, very close to her and her daughter. what could this mean?) this is just 1 of too many instances concerning my friend, her family in general. please give me advice/opinions. could she truly be gifted? nothing bad, evil has ever occurred regarding any of her experiences. but still worried as far attending spiritual church for readings, learning how to meditate, etc. thank you for your time, consideration and any/all answers, advice given.

  3. Darlene Keast
    2 years ago

    Hi, I am currently working with a young girl who has told me of some events that have happenend to her at her home. She lives alone. She said she was waken up in the middle of the night with something hitting her in the head. It woke her up and she just layed there afraid for some time. I have been praying for her as well has my sister. Her grandmother was a wiken. She went to a psycic and apparently they had someone from the catholic church come into her home to bless it. She said they call themselves a spiritualist and they work with the catholic church in Oshawa, Ontario. I will investigate further, but wondered if this was something that would happen. She says she wants to join the Catholic faith, so I have offered to go to church with her. That step alone could straighten out the rest of this. I was curious though of the spritualist working with the Catholic church. What advice do you have for me in this situation. Thank you.

  4. R. Brautigan
    4 years ago

    If the Church had not rejected what God said in the Bible, "dust YOU are and to dust YOU shall return." spiritualism would not be the big problem it is becoming. God didnt say "your body is dust and to dust your body shall return." The immortality of humans is a pagan belief, and is not supported by the Bible.

  5. Don
    4 years ago

    We cannot pray for the dead. They are dead. We cannot change their destination (Heaven or Hell). They had that chance when they were alive.

  6. Matthew
    5 years ago

    Paranormal phenomena occur in all cultures and religions. It will take on what ever belief structure that the culture and time period will permit. It does not just happen to Christians and Catholics. That is why Catholics have visions of the BVM and Hindus perceive Kali. Even secular people see spirits and UFOs. Exorcisms may be the order of the day for Catholics but it some cultures they seek spirit possession.

    Also the term wizard or witch harkens back to darker days of the Church, a time most of us modern Catholics would like to forget.

  7. Chris
    5 years ago

    There needs to be a distinction made here. There is a difference between ghosts which haunt a dwelling place they inhabited during life, and living persons attempting to contact the dead. I will readily agree that attempting to contact the dead may very well open up a portal to demons. However, to assert that demons are responsible for every haunted house occurrence is just pure foolishness, and an attempt to fall back on speculative dogma about the dead supposedly lying dormant until resurrection to judgment. The simple fact is that we do not know for certain what precisely happens after death. Also, many people experience hauntings without trying to contact spirits. The fact that most haunted houses are older homes which have usually had one or more deaths occur within, rather than in new homes should be a telling factor. So, to recap: consciousness seems to survive death, but to actively seek communication with spirits is dangerous ground because we just don't know very much about the unseen realm at this time ( and we may never know much more than we currently know ). But that doesn't mean that bumps, screams, and other sounds in a house at night are all demons trying to trick us into believing in consciousness after death. Come on, that is quite a stretch. This is obviously different than demonic possession of a person, to which I offer all the proper respect to the good Roman Catholic priest who performs exorcisms.

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