Jennifer Barton
March 25, 2022 // Diocese

Exorcist emphasizes “fascination with God,” not demonic 

Jennifer Barton

Throughout mankind’s history, there has always been an unholy interest in the darker side of the spiritual realm. There are often two extremes when it comes to this – those who doubt its existence and those who are far too interested in it. Seances, Ouija boards and New Age occultism have all taken their turns in the rotation of demonic objects of interest. “These things are all deemed as attractive, whereas God has become unattractive in the lives of many people. The danger is that as people no longer believe in God, they will believe in just about anything and everything, and the end result is they could be opening themselves up to the forces of evil,” warned Father Vincent Lampert, exorcist from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

Father Lampert spoke to a crowd of around 200 people at Queen of Angels Parish in Fort Wayne on March 17 about his experiences with the demonic and the critical need for Catholics to avoid anything that might lead them to it. 

Photos by Jennifer Barton
The World Apostolate of Fatima sponsored a talk by Father Vincent Lampert, exorcist for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, who spoke about his experiences with the supernatural and how Catholics should focus their attention on God, rather than the demonic.

He began his talk by explaining his background as a bishop-appointed exorcist and his studies in Rome under Franciscan priest Father Carmine De Filipis. Throughout the course of the evening, he told chilling and frightening stories of exorcisms that he had performed or been present at, but he sprinkled humor throughout his talk to counter the darker elements of his ministry.

The main point of his presentation, he stated, was “not to create some type of fascination with the practice of exorcism; what is needed is for all of us to have a renewed fascination with God. In fact, I always tell people that as an exorcist, my focus is not on what the devil is doing, but to help people focus on what God wants to do in their lives.

“I like to remind people that when it comes to the topic of exorcism, much of what is found on the internet is meant to breed a fascination with the devil, rather than a fascination with God.”

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Father Lampert reported that the number of people who have contacted him for aid has grown exponentially. Part of this rise in demonic activity over his years of service, he stated, comes from a “distorted sense of freedom.” 

This often means people choose a sinful life, with no regard for God. “And we might consider for a moment why so many people turn their back on God and the answer is, God is seen as a threat, because God sets limits on our understanding of what it means to be free. Freedom in the true sense of the word … means to live in the manner that God created us to live in.”

He spoke of the Rite of Exorcism as a “ministry of compassion;” a liturgical rite that the Church says must be done in a particular way, and always in a sacred space – never a movie-scene environment. He further explained that he does not work through his own power, but through God’s. It is also not enough to only exorcize a demon from a person, but that to remain free, the person must invite God to fill that space.

In his talk, Father Lampert listed eight entry points demons can use to enter a person, illustrated through stories: ties to the occult, the entertainment industry, curses, dedication to a demon, abuse which creates emotional wounds, a life of habitual sin, inviting a demon into one’s life and broken relationships. He stressed that no one should ever, even as a gesture of compassion toward another person, knowingly invite a demon into themselves. And in a spiritual battle like exorcism, “The devil is not in charge; the Church is.”

At the close of his presentation, Father Lampert took a few questions from the audience. In the course of answering these, he stated that he believed the increased isolation experienced during the pandemic affected people’s spiritual lives; that community and healthy relationships prevent attacks from the devil. And since the start of the war in Ukraine, he has even begun receiving requests in Cyrillic, a Russian language. 

Some attendees had come simply to hear his stories, but all left with a warning: That nothing of the occult is innocent and “I cannot emphasize enough that it is the ordinary aspects of our Catholic faith that will always defeat the devil.”

One attendee, Sara Gordon, said that lately she has been trying to attend more events that the Catholic Church offered, so when she and Clare Meise saw an announcement for the talk in the St. Vincent de Paul Parish bulletin, they decided to attend. Both women found the talk to be riveting and proclaimed that they were glad they came. “I thought it was interesting, really informative,” Gordon said. She was especially astonished by the entry points that Father Lampert described.

Meise commented, “What I really liked most of all was that everything I know about exorcism comes from movies, and now I know that’s all misinformation. It was nice to hear from a real exorcist.”

“It was comforting to know that the ordinary things that we do in the Catholic life are a deterrent, things like Mass and the rosary,” Gordon added. 

Though the crowd was diverse, a great number of them were young adults. Several parents had even brought their adolescent children to listen to Father Lampert, prompting healthy conversations about the right and wrong ways to approach the spiritual realm and the need to eschew anything demonic.

The event was sponsored by the World Apostolate of Fatima, with several of the organization’s members in attendance, including their spiritual director, Father Glenn Kohrman, who celebrated Mass beforehand, and his brother, Deacon Jerry Kohrman. Seth Ball, the organization’s corresponding secretary, was instrumental in arranging the evening. The WAF hosts a yearly breakfast every October near the anniversary of the miracle of Fatima with a special speaker. As they were considering options for the next year’s speaker, Ball pondered doing an event in the spring as well.

“I presented to the board in January doing something in Lent,” he said. Father Lampert had spoken at Bishop Dwenger High School in Fort Wayne in the fall with a great response, so Ball expressed an interest in bringing him back to the area. Due to his busy schedule, Father Lampert is only available on weekdays, and Father Zak Barry agreed to host at his parish. The number in attendance exceeded the amount that the organizers had expected, and Ball said that the evening was so successful that the WAF will likely do it again in the future. 

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