An Asian Christian woman living in London blogging about the everyday issues of religion

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Ghostly Encounters in America

This seems like a timely piece of news to write about given the link between Christmas and ghost stories. In mid November more than a hundred Roman Catholic bishops and priests met to discuss the lack of a certain skill within the priesthood-exorcists. Apparently demand for exorcists has risen following an influx of Catholic immigrants from Africa and South America. Currently in the US a small stable of 6 priests deal with ghostly encounters all over the country. The aim is to have a dedicated resource in each diocese to cope with the rise in demand.
I feel a cinema slogan coming on: Who do you call? Ghostbusters.
Now that I have got that out of the way I can analyse the seriousness of the situation. As Christians we are meant to believe in ghosts. Jesus cast out demons himself. I don't think 'demons' here is a metaphor for anxieties or worries. I have seen a ghost myself and it took me years to recover from the wholly frightening experience. I called the Vicar who prayed in every room of my flat. If the problem had persisted the Vicar was going to call in the appropriate resources. Thankfully, there was no need for futher intervention however this experience showed me that the supernatural is among us. I do think that there is a need for clergy to be skilled in exorcism.
I don't quite know what to make of the fact that ghostly incidents have gone up following a rise in immigrants from countries where witchcraft is practised. Does this mean that those Roman Catholics were indulging in practices specifically prohibited by the church or can practising Christians become targets of demons? When I had that ghostly visitation I wasn't an Anglican so I cannot answer the question from a Christian perspective.
If you are interested the ghost I saw was a victim of a WW2 bomb that fell in Central London. How I know this is quite another story.

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