It would be most welcome if one of my readers could give us some perspective on where exorcism and deliverance fit in with Anglican patrimony.
However it does, I sure hope we in the Ordinariate will find room for this needed ministry.
Last October, the Ottawa Archdiocese sponsored an Unbound conference based on the teachings of Neal Lozano, that puts deliverance, as opposed to exorcism, which is a rite, into a Catholic perspective.
I highly recommend this teaching. I had encountered teaching on deliverance back in the mid 1990s through Neil Anderson’s The Bondage Breaker and Freedom in Christ Ministries. I highly recommend Anderson’s approach as well, which in some ways I think is even more thorough than Lozano’s. Anderson has a series of prayers he calls the Steps to Freedom that involve repentance, renunciation and prayers for forgiveness on various areas that open us up to demonic influence, such as dabbling in the occult, believing false teachings, allowing bitterness to take hold, unforgiveness, sexual sin and other areas. After I finally decided to do these prayers, I experienced a massive shift in my spiritual life. The main noticeable change was the quiet in my soul, the lack of negative internal chatter and worry that I had to combat daily through rigorous spiritual discipline. It also marked a shift from my having to understand before having faith, to realizing the importance of “faith seeking understanding”—of deciding to believe what the Apostles taught first and bringing my thoughts in line with that, vs. well, learning the hard way.
Seeing the importance of having an Apostolic faith made me earnestly desire to have one! Where could I find it? Thus, I mark my having prayed these prayers as the beginning of the quest that led me into the Catholic Church.
That’s a long introduction to this article I discovered on the ‘net this morning by Msgr. Charles Pope:
What is deliverance? Deliverance is prayer and ongoing ministry that uses numerous approaches to bring healing and wholeness to those who, after baptism, have come to struggle significantly with bondage to sin and sinful drives, the influence of demons, or the effects of psychological and/or spiritual trauma.
Deliverance involves taking hold of the full freedom that God is given us, of helping the faithful who struggle to lay hold of the glorious freedom of children of God (cf Rom 8:21). St. Paul says that the Father has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins (Colossians 1:13 – 14).
There is also a magnificent passage in the Acts of the Apostles in which St. Paul is told of his mission to the Gentiles by the Lord: I am sending you to [the Gentiles] to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God (Acts 26:17–18).
Fundamentally, this is a description of the ongoing work of deliverance, which the whole Church must accomplish for God’s chosen people. Deliverance seeks to take people out from under Satan’s power and place them under the authority and Lordship of Jesus Christ, to bring people to, or restore them to, their true identity as sons and daughters of God.
Even after baptism, it is possible that we open doors to Satan enabling him some degree of access to our heart and mind. When this is the case, a Christian, working with clergy and fellow believers alike, must take a stand against the schemes of the devil by repenting of sin and renouncing any form of agreement with the deceptions of the enemy.
Deliverance involves coming to an understanding of the tactics of the evil one and recognizing the flawed thinking that often infects our minds. It involves coming to know and name these tactics and the deep drives of sin within us. It involves repenting of them and steadily renouncing their influence so that we come to greater serenity, peace, and healing—to deliverance.
This deliverance is effected in many ways: by the Word of God proclaimed and devoutly read; through the frequent reception of sacraments of Holy Communion and confession; through spiritual direction; through the experience of the Sacred Liturgy, praise, and worship; through authentic, close fellowship with other believers; through personal prayer; through psychotherapy (where necessary); and through what might be called “deliverance ministry,” which often involves both clergy and lay praying with those who struggle and offering support and encouragement.