“Who was it then that taught the exorcist? The priest who clothes himself with an authority not only over the magician, but even over all these “spirits”, whom he calls demons and devils as soon as he finds them obeying anyone but himself? He must have learned somewhere from someone that power which he pretended to possess. For, “…how could one know had he been taught by the demons themselves…the name which attracts, or that which forces them into obedience? asks Augustine.
Useless to remark that we know the answer beforehand: “Revelation…divine gift…the Son of God; nay, God Himself, through His direct Spirit, who descended on the apostles as the Pentecostal fire”, and who is now alleged to overshadow every priest who sees fit to exorcise for either glory or a gift. Are we then to believe that the recent scandal of public exorcism, performed about the 14th of October 1876, by the senior priest of the Church of the Holy Spirit, at Barcelona, Spain, was also done under the direct superintendence of the Holy Ghost?
It will be urged that the “bishop was cognizant of this freak of the clergy”; but even if he were, how could he have protested against a rite considered since the days of the apostles, one of the most holy prerogatives of the Church of Rome? So late as in 1852, only twenty-five years ago, these rites received a public and solemn sanction from the Vatican, and a new Ritual of Exorcism was published in Rome, Paris, and other Catholic capitals.
Des Mousseaux, writing under the immediate patronage of Father Ventura, the General of the Theatines of Rome, even favors us with lengthy extracts from this famous ritual, and explains the reason why it was enforced again. It was in consequence of the revival of Magic under the name of Modern Spiritualism. The bull of Pope Innocent VIII is exhumed and translated for the benefit of des Mousseaux’s readers.
“We have heard”, exclaims the Sovereign Pontiff, that a great number of persons of both sexes have feared not to enter into relations with the spirits of hell; and that, by their practice of sorcery…they strike with sterility the conjugal bed, destroy the germs of humanity in the bosom of the mother, and throw spells on them, and set a barrier to the multiplication of animals…etc., etc.”; then follow curses and anathemas against the practice. This belief of the Sovereign Pontiffs of an enlightened Christian country is a direct inheritance by the most ignorant multitudes from the southern Hindu rabble – the “heathen”.
The diabolical arts of certain kangalins, (witches), and jadugar, (sorcerers), are firmly believed in by these people. The following are among their most dreaded powers – to inspire love and hatred at will; to send a devil to take possession of a person and torture him; to expel him; to cause a sudden death or an incurable disease; to either strike cattle with or protect them from epidemics; to compose philtres that will either strike with sterility or provoke unbounded passions in men and women, etc., etc. The sight alone of a man said to be such a sorcerer excites in a Hindu, profound terror.”
H. P. Blavatsky