siguiendo con el tema del exorcismo, a través de la siguiente adjunto más abajo un interesante artículo de una entrevista a un exorcista español, Juan José Gallego, realizada por el diario catalonia Today con fecha octubre 25 del 2007. El documento está en inglés y lo adjunto más abajo y también se puede leer en http://quiosc.elpunt.cat/ o en el adjunto.
CATALONIA TODAY 10 THE WEEK Catalonia
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2007
JUAN JOSÉ GALLEGO. EXORCIST OF BARCELONA
Interview with an Exorcist
Juan José Gallego, a university professor and priest, is the Catholic Church's official exorcist in Barcelona, one of the few cities in Spain which still has such a role
How many cases have you seen since taking on this role?
I would say about 30. The most difficult cases are possessions, of which I've probably had about three or four in these past months.
Are the people who come to you religious or not?
Those who come are believers. They come because they believe in God and they want Him to help them. I've seen psychologists, doctors, teachers. People from every level of society.
How many do you think really have experienced some kind of demonic intervention?
There are cases where you have a strong belief that there is ‘something’. I have thought so on more than one occasion, because it scares the life out of you to see some of the really strange, horrifying symptoms.
I, of course, never rule out that one day they'll discover that this is some terrible illness. In the extreme cases that I have had they all believe that they have had some sort of demonic intervention and from then on they suffer some real physical pain for which there appears to be no physical cause.
You spoke of ‘strange symptoms’, such as...?
I’ve heard of cases of people vomiting. I have had people spitting and terrible things like that. When you start the exorcism the possessed start convulsing, shaking wildly. Once I took a doctor with me on an exorcism who said he had never thought it would be this intense. He told me the symptoms did not correspond with anything he knew.
What are some of the most extreme cases you've had?
There was the case of a 15 year-old boy who would shout in Latin. He spoke of passages from the bible, talking about how only the devil exists and denouncing Jesus Christ. A 15 year-old boy who knew nothing of Latin, who I doubt has had very much time in his life to learn of these things. And something I saw with this boy and another girl I met; when they're in trance Holy water burns them.
And you could see this burning them?
No, but it gave them that sensation. And I believe them because, in the case of the girl, when I treated her with Holy water she bent her body up into such a strange, twisted shape, it was awful. And after I asked her "why did you do that to yourself" and she said "because it burned me".
Couldn't it be a psychological problem?
Before they come all have been to psychiatrists and all have had psychological assessments and treatments. The boy is still undergoing psychiatric treatment. He's been having treatment for years now but his mother doesn't believe it's working. The problem with this boy is that he belongs to a sect with a group of other boys, and of these boys, two are now dead and another is now in a wheelchair. He came here and it was near impossible to perform the exorcism. Finally we did it and at the end he said "I think he's gone. I think he's left me". But then he said "he's gone now, but he told me he'd come back", and shortly after it did, and we had to continue. He said that the demon told him "if you make a pact with us we'll leave you alone. But if you don't we'll do to you what we did to your friends".
Just imagine, psychologically, what this boy is going through. How do you feel in the face of such experiences?
I was very frightened when I first started. If you believe in these things, then you believe you're face to face with demons. I do this in the name of the Church, and this gives me enormous confidence. But the things you see. One girl came with her eyes all white and her tongue too, shouting things in Latin. Some really odd things.
It sounds just like the movies, surely it can't be?
The real difference is that in films they present the exorcist as a wizard. I am a priest who asks in the name of the church and in the faith that God helps this person. This is the thing, regardless of whether it is a psychological problem or not, if we can help people then surely this work is worthwhile.
Above: Juan José Gallego with the "Ritual of Exorcisms" books he uses in his work;
Below: Films like The Exorcist have made the topic popular.
“If you believe in these things, then you believe you're face to face with demons”