Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson, Ph.D.

7/20/2010 (5 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 (5 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

'It is a constant reminder that we failed God': California pastor confesses to sin that haunted him for 23 years Watch

Image of Pastor Shane Idleman claims that he is still haunted by his 23-year-old sin.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A pastor from Lancaster, California shared a haunting decision that created his 23-year-old "sin." He revealed details of this "sin" in a confession with his article posted in Charisma News. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The California pastor shared ... continue reading


2016: Year of Mercy events finalized for groups to celebrate Watch

Image of Bishops and priests around the world are asked to conduct

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Several individual celebrations are scheduled for the Jubilee of Mercy in 2016. The faithful will observe with pilgrimages to Rome to celebrate with Pope Francis. Of the specific groups that will have their own days of observances, they include consecrated men ... continue reading


YOU CAN'T BELIEVE IT -- Is Pope Francis really about to endorse THIS man? Watch

Image of Although Pope Francis is celebrating Mass next to an icon of the Cuban revolution, that does not mean he is endorsing it.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cuban officials have given the go ahead for the papal altar to be erected next to a giant outline of Che Guevara for the world to see. Work has already begun on the project and the placement of the altar will provoke commentary from those who accuse Pope Francis of ... continue reading


Catholic priest who blessed atomic bomb crews -- and his conversion

Image of

By Tony Magliano

Seventy years ago, on August 6, 1945, the single most destructive weapon ever unleashed upon human beings and the environment - the atomic bomb - was dropped by an American B-29 bomber on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing approximately 80,000 people. Three days ... continue reading


Pastor Tullian Tchividjian breaks his silence: Admits life felt like a bad dream after recent affair scandal Watch

Image of Pastor Tullian Tchividjian is the grandson of famous evangelist Billy Graham,

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ex-Pastor Tullian Tchividjian of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida broke his silence after his recent moral failure admission and stepping down from his post. Billy Graham's grandson wrote an open letter to his supporters and friends, ... continue reading


Pope Francis warns of 'genocide' as Christian Persecution increases globally Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians all over the world are suffering from increasing prejudice and persecution. It is no secret that Islamic extremism and repressive governments are trying hard to perpetuate the oppression of Christianity. Pope Francis has been moved to warn of "a form of ... continue reading


'Let Jesus satisfy your hunger for God': Pope Francis encourages people to make offers to God Watch

Image of Pope Francis reflected on the Sunday reading from the Gospel of John in which a vast crowd follows Jesus, but lacks enough food to eat.

By CNA/EWTN News

Jesus Christ's miraculous multiplication of the loaves shows that he offers "fullness of life for hungry man," Pope Francis said Sunday. He encouraged everyone to offer what little they have to God so that God can multiply their gifts and good deeds. Vatican ... continue reading


What to wear to church: What's more important, physical or inner beauty? Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Wearing your best outfit or putting on a little makeup in preparation for Church isn't too looked down upon. A leading Christian writer shared with Crosswalk.com what she has realized over years of church participation. Although she loves beautiful clothes and make-up, ... continue reading


'Nothing can separate me from the love of God': The first American Ebola patient shares his profound realization on deathbed Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

He was the first American who contracted the deadly Ebola virus - fearful and sick, Dr. Kent Brantly came to realize something important for Christians and their relationship with God. Amid the pain and moments of uncertainty, from being diagnosed positive with ... continue reading


J. Matt Barber: The Meaning of Life

Image of Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law.

By J. Matt Barber

So this was rock bottom. The day, which yet again wore into night with fast food and old Bonanza reruns, would end like all the rest. Where were my car keys? As I searched in preparation for another trip to the liquor store, I made my way to my bedroom and opened ... 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, Numbers 13:1-2, 25--14:1, 26-29, 34-35
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,2 'Send ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 106:6-7, 13-14, 21-22, 23
6 Like our ancestors, we have sinned, we have acted ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 15:21-28
21 Jesus left that place and withdrew to the region ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 5th, 2015 Image

St. Addal
August 5: A disciple of Christ sent by St. Thomas to the court of King ... 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