THIS should have been started, a long time ago. A grape-vine commentary by Archbishop Jose Palma on the “First Lay Collaborators Diocesan Conference on Deliverance and Exorcism” for Cebu held last February 24-28. An offshoot of the creation of the Archdiocese of Cebu Exorcism Office (ACEO), the theme of said activity is based on a Bible verse, Luke 9:1, “He summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases”.
The goal of the convention is “To form Parish Teams of Lay Collaborators for the Ministry of Deliverance and Exorcism”. This is part of the nationwide response by the Church, due to the lack of lay workers and priests in far-flung towns and provinces, knowledgeable, or vested with expertise and the office for deliverance and exorcism. Cultural hurdles remain in the animist tradition of the Filipino “babaylan” (indigenous religious leader, healer, shaman, seer etc.) handed over in modern times in rural areas, with herbalist doctors & spiritual healers (arbularyo, manghihilot, mananambal, even mangkukulam etc.) as “go to” community healer for un-explained physical and spiritual ailments, to include, specific and personal requests, to answer certain needs.
Deliverance (and healing), is required for a person, family, place, under siege by forces of Satan. This may manifest in a recurring sin, night-mares etc.; ill-will, dis-unity and “trouble” in the family, sexual immorality, “padugo” (blood ritual), anting-anting, etc. as entry point for evil in the home, to strange happenings in abandoned rooms, un-explained noises, dark areas in the house, recurring sickness, antiques and objects which had a ritual performed, inhabited bathrooms, weird voices, report of spirits & scary figures, foul smells, missing objects reappearing in another place, to light, appliances, water opening, etc. Exorcism is actual devil possession, suffering a loss of personal will, while inhabited by a spirit that detest God and Jesus Christ. A priest with this assigned office and ministry by the Bishop, is the best authority for such happenings.