A. The advice given you for the purpose of concluding a profitable sale of your house is somewhat askew of what the Church teaches concerning the proper use of sacramentals.
Attached to every genuine sacramental is a blessing. Sacramentals are certain rites, actions, or particular things which the Church customarily uses in imitation of the Sacraments, in order to obtain through her intercession certain effects, especially of spiritual character.
Church Law in these matters states that "Things which are consecrated or blessed with a constitutive blessing are to be treated with reverence and are not to be put to any profane or common use, even though they be in the possession of private persons". (Canon 1150).
It would appear that `planting' St. Joseph face down for the purpose of selling one's house is not treating him with due reverence. Also, you will agree that selling a house is a `profane' activity common to people of all kinds of beliefs.
Some people will tell you to bury Miraculous Medals in the four corners of your property. This, you are assured, will sell your property.
All of this is an abuse and not a legitimate use of blessed objects which we call `sacramentals.'
This does not mean that we ought not or may not pray to saints for their intercession in our material needs. On the contrary, the practice and experience of the Church shows that we ought to place a reasonable amount of trust in supernatural intervention in all our daily affairs. Rather than bury St. Joseph in the dirt face down, you might place his statue in a location of honor in your home and pray to him.
Following the example of St. Theresa of Avila, our Bishop turns to St. Joseph for financial help. But, I am quite certain he would not bury St. Joseph's statue in the ground. His prayers seem to be answered. He readily admits that when St. Joseph does not answer his prayer, it's probably because the prayer was too mechanical, too complacent, and not humble enough.
Q. Recently, there appeared on the TV a news item concerning exorcism. Two exorcists were mentioned. One was a Rev. LeBar of the New York Archdiocese; the other was a Dominican by the name of "Bishop Mckenna." Do these men really `cast out devils'?
A. Good question! When we deal in the realm of the supernatural, there are clear rules to follow in order to avoid being deceived by appearances. If I had a nickel for everyone claiming to have visions of the Blessed Mother, I'd be a rich man.
Heretics cannot cast out devils because they themselves are under the influence and control of devils. The Roman Ritual for exorcism addresses the devil as "the teacher of all heretics." If this is true, then heretics cannot cast out their lord and master. Rev. LeBar is a heretic because he holds to the heretical doctrinal positions of the Apostate Conciliar Church. He is not a Roman Catholic, therefore, even though he is supported by heretic followers. Heresy is heresy.
Can Rev. LeBar be considered a `material heretic'? In such a case, his ignorance would excuse him. At least for a while. But, how long can a priest remain ignorant of the true doctrine of his Church? Anyone who associates with heretics is censured with the same censure as heretics if such a one does not separate himself from them. Heretics are excommunicated from the Church. If they held some kind of office, they are deemed to have tacitly resigned because they refuse to hold the teachings of the infallible Church.
Conclusion: Whatever takes place when Rev. LeBar is called to exorcise persons obsessed by devils cannot be a true expulsion of devils.
In the second case, "Bishop McKenna" never had the authority required by the Church to lawfully exorcise anyone. The Church Law clearly states: "No one who has received the power of exorcising can lawfully perform exorcisms on obsessed persons unless he has received particular and express permission from the Ordinary. (Canon 1151,§1). Rev. McKenna began his `exorcising' without the express authorization of his Ordinary. On the contrary, rather than honor his obligations as a priest, he chose to reject any authority over him and began `exorcising' allegedly obsessed persons. Contrary to the prudent practice of the Church in such matters, this man freely sought notoriety as an `exorcist' through sensationalist newspapers. `Home movies' of exorcism are in very poor taste and prove nothing as to the genuineness of an exorcism.
Can a disobedient priest who attempts to justify his own arrogant disobedience by promoting disobedience in others truly be casting out devils in the name of Jesus Who was obedient even unto death on the Cross?
Here's what Church Law has to say about this question: " This permission is to be given by the Ordinary only to a priest who is pious, prudent, and of good life; and the latter shall not proceed to the exorcism until he shall have satisfied himself by careful and prudent investigation that the person to be exorcised is really obsessed by the devil." (Canon 1151, § 2). Publicity in such matters is very dangerous. It is dangerous for the person of the exorcist and for the entire purpose of exorcism. Given the human condition, grave psychological damage is done to those who submit to quack exorcists.
An Ordinary does not easily grant permission to exorcise. And in the case of unstable individuals: never!
Adding insult to injury, this man brazenly rejected the authority of the bishops, then rushed off to France to get himself consecrated a `bishop,' returned to the United States and not only continued his disobedient folly, but increased his scandalous activities by consecrating and ordaining all who would follow him in his demonic disobedience.
Does this man cast out devils? No. He mimics true exorcism, and actually enslaves his ignorant victims to real servitude to Satan. By disobeying the laws of the Church, such people only scandalize the weak into following their own will instead of God's, thereby showing themselves truly to be in the power of Satan.
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