WHETHER ALL PRIESTS MUST FUNCTION AS EXORCIST THEMSELVES?
Objection # 1: All priests must not become exorcist for they are so busy with their pastoral functions as priest.
Objection #2: Further, some of them are not called by God to do this laborious and dangerous ministry.
Objection #3: Further, they can become holy, perfect, and merciful like the heavenly Father without becoming an exorcist.
Objection #4: Further, the bishops are already exorcist themselves.
Objection #5: Nowhere in the Holy Bible that all priests must become exorcist.
Objection #6: There are so many priestly duties greater than laboring in the exorcism ministry.
Objection #7: There are few or no reports at all about possession, oppression, demonic-obsession, and even infestation whereas originating on demonic causes therefore this exorcism ministry must not be looked on with so much emphasis or concern.
Objection #8: Many of the priests are doing their functions already with faithfulness, fidelity, honesty, and loyalty to their superiors, the Church, and to God, therefore, there’s no need to become exorcist.
Objection #9: The laity and the pagans can be converted and become holy without the priests becoming exorcist.
Objection #10: All of the priests are greatly afraid and a bunch of cowards. They cannot be able to fight Satan and his demons. They will certainly die!
Objection #11: All priests are just priest and priest means “one who offers sacrifices”. Therefore it is not there obligation nor must they be selected to become exorcist.
On the contrary, Jesus Christ Himself is a priest and not a bishop unlike his twelve disciples and apostles who were bishops in the sacred scriptures.
I answer that, although it can be solidly said that the Lord is God and of course He Himself is not a bishop, nevertheless, bishopric is just an office or position like what the twelve disciples had. All bishops are priests and the only thing they differ from all the priests of today is that they have the fullness of the priesthood of the Lord not like the priests who are just elders or presbyters of the laity. Therefore, like Jesus Christ the Eternal Priest who in His Gospels done a one-third ministry of exorcism recorded in the sacred scriptures, all of the priests are exorcists and must be given an office of their respective bishops to exercise exorcism.
Reply to Obj. #1: Exorcism ministry is also a pastoral duty and therefore it must also be attended by all the priests. Their becoming busy is not sufficient if they will not minister to those are who more or less in the verge of losing their souls to the devil and who are being attacked by undetected and invisible enemies of the Faith. They must also do this ministry for they have power to do so, and they are really called to hit million birds with billion stones. It is a great stupidity to say that all the priests are busy for all of us are busy, not just them. They are not special, and therefore they are not different from us laity.
Reply to Obj. #2: All of them are called to this ministry of exorcism the thing is they do not listen to God by being sensitive to their gifts, talents, and coins they had received from the Master. They received their power to drive out demons when they became priests right after their sacred ordination. If they will not labor for this laborious and dangerous ministry of exorcism, they will be, like in the Gospels, be thrown to the hellfire where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Reply to Obj. #3: This is impossible for in striving to become holy, perfect, and merciful like the heavenly Father, the devil is always there to drag away the priests from striving to perfection. All of us are engaged in the Spiritual Warfare. Therefore to those who were vested by the priesthood of the Lord, it is necessary to exercise their right to become exorcist where holiness and perfection is required and practiced thus having the strength to destroy the devil, and where merciful is greatly manifested towards those persons who were under the power of Satan.
Reply to Obj. #4: Bishops are exorcist themselves for they have the fullness of the priesthood of the Lord. Nevertheless, there are so busy with supervising everything in their respective dioceses that they do not have time to do exorcisms themselves. There must be, aside from the Bishop, to exercise the power to drive out devils from the dioceses’ parishes that were being taken care of the priests. Therefore, all the priests must become exorcist.
Reply to Obj. #5: As I said above, Jesus Christ is the Eternal Priest in the sacred scriptures. Although priests are all human, nevertheless, it was said that, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Therefore all the priests will not lose their identity as priest even in eternity. And as priests, they have the talent to drive out demons like what the Eternal Priest did in His earthly life. Therefore all of them are exorcist, even if by word-for-word, you cannot search it in the Bible.
Reply to Obj. #6: Laboring on the Ministry of Exorcism is also a great priestly duty for it was said, “The Son of God was revealed to destroy the devil’s works (1 John 3:8).” Therefore, it is also the great duty of the priests to labor on this ministry for they are the Alter Christus or the Other Christ and therefore called to invoke the revealed God in order to destroy the devil’s works who are our enemy from the beginning and the cause of evil we have today. Priests must labor on this root of all pastoral ministries for it is the great reason why we have the seven great sacraments – Baptism to wash away the original sin; Confirmation to be solid in destroying the devil’s works; Eucharist where the intimate relation of human race to God is restored; Matrimony where the original will of God to the man and woman is made clear and right (Genesis 3:24-25) without malice where man and woman are supposed to know that they must be a home of innocence and holiness just like Adam and Eve before these two fell into original sin which must be guarded against after the Sacrament is understood; Holy Orders where it brings back in sacredness what God has created; Confession where it heals the fruits of original sin and brings back the person to God’s sanctifying grace against Satan’s deadly sin; and Anointing of the Sick where it restores the health and goodness of the person from sickness which is the fruit of original sin.
Reply to Obj. #7: Actually, there are so many reports that were junked, tagged, and belittled as psychological and psychiatric problems or concerns. The Gospel reports about Christ driving out demons and helping those oppressed by the enemy is still much greatly needed in these modern times for the world of course is not as little as the world of Christ where He had done exorcisms in His place and in His time before.
Reply to Obj. #8: As if it happens today. If they are really so, then, they will be zealous for the Gospel and on laboring for it and on laboring on what was said by God in the Gospels. There lack of faith in God that God will help them in driving out demons is very lacking in them. What happens in our Church today is rooted on the sad, poor, and sorry state of the spirituality of the priests. Even the Church authority, I believe with greatness, has not done his very best in saving and pastoring zealously for souls. Even themselves are not faithful, honest, loyal, and conformed towards the sacred scriptures whereas unorthodoxy and heresy which kills so many souls is contagious and it’s on its height. All of them, all of their actions are not solidly against the world. The world eats them up.
Reply to Obj. #9: Again, this is impossible. You cannot become holy without battling wickedness and the devil. Our first Christians did exorcisms that were seen by many pagans which led them into conversion and Christianity. Lack of the exercise of the exorcism proves that the priesthood is stupidity and a joke today. How can you also burn the hearts of many to enter the religious life when the priests of today are not holy and serious in their priesthood? Therefore all priests must become exorcist to become frontrunners in living a holy life while battling the devil and his works.
Reply to Obj. #10: That’s the great reason why all of the priests must become exorcist. So that, their faith and boldness in laboring for God will be greatly manifested. They must be salt and light of the earth so that is why they must not hid their respective works in a bushel basket. They must be seen illuminating on the top of the mountain for all cities to see. This will test and prove their great faith towards God, in laboring in this ministry of exorcism.
Reply to Obj. #11: This ministry of exorcism is one of their greatest offering to God. Their sacrifices in laboring for this ministry and their offering of all the prayers, all the hardships, and all the sufferings will be a great sacrifice most pleasing to God if this ministry is effective and efficient in saving souls that are greatly loved by God. Therefore, all of the priests must become exorcist so that their sacrifices offered to God will be in its utmost greatness and abundance and in turn will give them indescribable blessings and graces from God for their faithfulness to Him and to God’s instituted ministry of exorcism.
Mary H. Distributist