Father Vincent Lampert, a Vatican trained exorcist, will speak to the University community on his experience with the demonic— as an exorcist— on Thursday, November 9.
Fr. Lampert was appointed the exorcist for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in 2005 and has participated in dozens of major exorcisms. In addition to his duties as the exorcist for the Archdiocese, he currently serves as the Pastor of St. Malachy Catholic Church in Brownsburg, Indiana.
In an interview with The Christian Review, Father Lampert notes that he did not seek out the role, but "was chosen for it and then sent to study under a master exorcist in Rome for three months." During his training alone he participated in 40 exorcisms.
Fr. Lampert explains that "An exorcist in many ways is trained to be a skeptic first" and that he was chosen for the position because his bishop "wanted a priest who believed in the reality of evil, but would not rush to assume that everyone who came to him was actually possessed."
In the interview, Fr. Lambert was asked:
"A skeptic might assert that someone undergoing obsession or possession is really suffering mental issues. How do you distinguish?"
Fr. Lampert: Before confirming demonic involvement, an exorcist will rely on experts in the mental and medical health fields to assess the individual. They look for every possible physical or mental cause to explain what is taking place. This is the protocol that is followed before an exorcism takes place:
Obtaining a thorough physical examination by a qualified physician with appropriate specialists consulted as needed.
Obtaining a thorough psychological examination by a qualified clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.
Taking a "life history" of contact with demons, Satanism, the occult, witchcraft, or any eastern religious practice which cultivates relationships with "gods" and "goddesses."
Normalizing the spiritual and sacramental life of the energumen.
Inventory of the extraordinary signs of possession from the Rite of Exorcism.
Careful compliance with diocesan legal and canonical processes.
Composition of a letter to the bishop regarding the need for a major exorcism.
How do you do an exorcism?
Father Lampert explains:
I will first prepare myself by going to confession, celebrating Mass, and spending time in prayer. I will then determine the location of where the exorcism will take place. It is always in a sacred space of my choosing. These are the steps:
The rite begins with the sprinkling of holy water, followed by recitation of the Litany of Saints, Psalms, Gospels, apostles Creed and renewal of baptismal vows. After several prayers, the troubled individual is shown a crucifix, which represents Christ’s victory over the Devil. Following additional exorcism prayers, the Devil, in the name of Christ, is directly commanded to withdraw from the troubled person.
In response to the question, "What are some of the most extreme manifestations of possession that you've witnessed?" Fr. Lampert replied,
I have witnessed such things as superhuman strength, eyes rolling back in the head, extreme laughter and roars, supernaturally loud or deep voices, foaming at the mouth, foul odors, dislocation of the jaw, and levitation.
Fr. Lampert: Yes, during an exorcism in Rome, the demon became very agitated during the deliverance prayers. The violent thrashing and obscenities continued until everything went calm and the possessed person began to levitate in her chair. This manifestation was done by the demon as an attempt to interrupt the prayer and cause fear to those in the room.
And last but not least, Fr. Lampert was asked:
"Lengthy exorcisms sound exhausting; how do you unwind after something like that?"
Fr. Lampert: I'll find the nearest Dairy Queen!
Father Lampert will speak in the Main Lounge of the University Center at 8 p.m. All are welcome. Registration not required. Sponsored by Campus Ministry. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Should you required Disability Services, please call (973) 313-6003.
Categories: Faith and Service