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Prominent US priest bemused by exorcism conference

Catholic World News - November 15, 2010

Father Richard Vega, a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and president of the National Federation of Priests Councils, has told The New York Times that when he heard that the US bishops were offering a conference on exorcism, “My immediate reaction was to say, why?”

The Times reported:

The conference on exorcism comes at a time, he said, when the church is bringing back traditional practices. The Vatican has authorized the revival of the Latin Mass, and now a revised English translation of the liturgy, said to be closer to a direct translation from the Latin, is to be put in use in American parishes next year.

“People are talking about, are we taking two steps back?” Father Vega said. “My first reaction when I heard about the exorcism conference was, this is another of those trappings we’ve pulled out of the past.”

But he said that there could eventually be a rising demand for exorcism because of the influx of Hispanic and African Catholics to the United States. People from those cultures, he said, are more attuned to the experience of the supernatural.

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Show 7 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: fred3885 - Dec. 10, 2010 4:56 PM ET USA

    Why are we surprised? I bet Father Vega believes Satan to be an impersonal reference to temptation rather than an actual spiritual being. Jesus himself performed exorcisms, if they were not relevant to times after His why would they even be mentioned in the Gospels? Why give instructions on how to get rid of demons ("prayer and fasting")? Exorcisms are necessary today also, with today's wave of evil I wonder if they aren't even more necessary than in the past.

  • Posted by: milvarran2710 - Nov. 16, 2010 2:07 AM ET USA

    This culture is exploding with spiritualism and new age movement thy eyes Father.

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Nov. 15, 2010 6:42 PM ET USA

    Father Vega needs some education in Catholic doctrine.

  • Posted by: paul20105493 - Nov. 15, 2010 3:35 PM ET USA

    I wonder if the disciples who were sent out, and who then reported back to Jesus that even the unclean spirits were subject to them in His name, would be surprised to learn that their actions were mere "trappings". If only Father Vega had been there then to set them and the Bible straight.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Nov. 15, 2010 10:31 AM ET USA

    The number of exorcists should be linked to the number of the Christian faithful in oppression or in possession by daemons. I wonder if the daemonic powers have conferred with Father Richard Vega about their level of activity in the United States for him to arrive at his assessment.

  • Posted by: Defender - Nov. 15, 2010 9:27 AM ET USA

    Next we'll hear about a vote by the Priests Councils, right? Perhaps this is yet another area which needs to revert to the "trappings...of the past?" Fr. Vega has a problem with sin in the form of the devil, it seems, but to relegate exorcism to an influx of immigrants?

  • Posted by: Saved by Grace - Nov. 15, 2010 9:12 AM ET USA

    WOW! Has Fr. Vega been living under a rock? So it would seem. If ever there was a need for exorcism it is now when evil is running rampant and completely unrecognized. It is priests like him who help the enemy! The less Satan is recognized the more damage he can do! (See "Screwtape Letters" -C.S. Lewis) How can a priest who hears confessions and ministers to real people deny the need for exorcism? Unbelievable!!

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