Diocese of Chur in Switzerland Wants to Put an End to Exorcist Priests

The Diocese of Chur no longer intends to offer the services of an exorcist priest. There are “medical or psychotherapeutic solutions” for people with psychological suffering, explained Bishop Joseph Maria Bonnemain.

Newsroom (12/22/2022 10:00 PM, Gaudium Press) The former exorcist of the Diocese of Chur, Fr. Christoph Casetti, died in February 2020 at the age of 76, and Bishop Bonnemain does not intend to appoint a new exorcist for his diocese.

Technically speaking, there are two kinds of exorcisms: the public one, performed by the bishop or someone delegated by him; and the private one, also known as the blessing of deliverance, which can be performed by any believer, including lay people, with the aim of freeing someone from a diabolical vexation.

In an interview for SRF Regional Radio Ostschweiz, the bishop stressed: “We are all human beings who carry within us strengths and weaknesses. Anyone who faces difficult social, professional, or health situations can seek treatment. There are classical solutions for this: medical, psychological, psychotherapeutic.”

The bishop of Chur, who was a doctor by profession, is convinced “that it is not necessary to want to find mysterious causes” for the ‘alleged’ cases of diabolical possessions.

However, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states the following about exorcism:

The purpose of exorcism is to drive out demons or deliver from diabolical power, and this in virtue of the spiritual authority that Jesus entrusted to his Church. Very different is the case of illnesses, especially psychic ones, whose treatment depends on medical science.

Therefore, possessions are not equivalent to illnesses, as some tend to claim. If demons did not exist many biblical passages would be meaningless.

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According to Karin Iten, appointed by the Swiss Bishops’ Conference as director of the secretariat of the commission Sexual abuse in the context of the Church, “exorcisms are degrading and cause immense suffering – they have no place in a pastoral care that aims at the dignity and well-being of the human being.” Scaring with the image of the devil is “extremely manipulative.

It is regrettable to see that we have reached this absurdity: people connected to the Catholic Church who do not believe in the existence of the devil!

Compiled by Angelica Vecchiato 

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