Spiritualism and Its Dangers
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 séance, 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 séances. 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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