If you’ve read parts of the recent Pennsylvania clergy sex abuse report, or simply have been following the crisis for a while, you know one thing becomes obvious very quickly: we’re talking about extremely evil things.
To be clear, this is evil committed by humans. The perpetrators are guilty and culpable.
Even so, the evil is so great, so widespread, that many see another force working with the perpetrators: the demonic.
At least that’s what exorcist Fr. Gary Thomas sees. Fr. Thomas has been the exorcist of the Diocese of San Jose, California for several years. His exorcist training was the subject of the popular book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, which was made into a film of the same name starring Anthony Hopkins.
“It’s only going to get worse,” Fr. Thomas told the National Catholic Register in an incredible interview, “but as bad as it is, it has to come out. It is unacceptable.”
He says the suggestion in the minds of victims that they shouldn’t tell anyone because no one will believe them is from Satan himself.
“Convincing people that no one will believe them is what Satan says when something is so outside the bounds of what is reasonable as to be unbelievable. Reading the accounts of what those children in Pennsylvania went through we wonder, how could this happen? It’s other-worldly—outside what people thought was possible — that’s what makes it demonic.”
Fr. Thomas that he sees the sexual abuse of children as particularly demonic.
“By sexually abusing children, Satan desires to destroy the icon of the kingdom of God. He wants to destroy the most innocent version of humanity, which is the child.”