My interest was caught by an article in the Inquirer (10/31/20) titled “Priests vs demons: How you become open to attacks,” written by Cathy Cañares-Yamsuan.
The article was mainly an attack hurled by Fr. Jose Francisco Syquia, chief exorcist of the Catholic Church, against the practices of local exorcists and healers who do not belong to the Catholic Church.
Father Syquia claims that such practices (the use of orasyon, anting-anting, belief in laman-lupa, etc.) open a person to demonic attacks. But, how about sexual abuses committed by Catholic priests against helpless women and innocent children? Aren’t these criminal acts more demonic?
I’ve read Father Syquia’s otherwise excellent book on exorcism. However, it was tainted by his virulent and uncalled for attacks against exorcists and healers.
There are many types of exorcisms practiced in different parts of the world. For example, the exorcism rituals of Africans and native American Indians differ from those practiced by the Catholic Church. This does not mean the former is better than or superior to those practiced by the Catholic clergy.
I have seen very successful exorcisms of evil spirits done by our local albularyo, faith healers and espiritista who heal and exorcise evil spirits in the name of Jesus Christ. But Father Syquia and the Church want such practices stopped because they do not belong to the Church.
It may surprise Father Syquia and the other official exorcists of the Catholic Church that Jesus Christ himself showed great tolerance for nonfollowers who were doing exorcisms and healing in his name. He commanded his disciples not to stop them.
In Mark (9:38-40), we read the following: John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.”
But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us.”
And again in Luke (9:49) we find the following passage: John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for whoever is not against you is for you.” (Holy Bible, The New Standard Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition).
What could be a more powerful admonition than the one coming from Jesus Christ himself? INQEmail: [email protected]