Statement Regarding Purported “Live” Exorcism in St. Louis

October 29, 2015
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS - The cable network “Destination America” reportedly plans to air a purported exorcism live on national television on Friday, October 30, from a home in St. Louis which was associated with the well-known exorcism of “Roland Doe” in 1949.

Given the public nature of this event, the Archdiocese of St. Louis – which is not involved in this dangerous endeavor – deems it necessary to educate and warn the public about the dangers of participating in such activities. 

“No exorcism can take place without the authority of the local Roman Catholic ordinary,” said auxiliary bishop emeritus Robert Hermann.

Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, has not granted the necessary permissions – known as “faculties” – to any priests or bishops for the purpose of this televised event. Anyone involved in this production who claims to be a member of the Catholic clergy is not affiliated with the Archdiocese of St. Louis nor are they operating under the authority of the Vatican.

Any purported exorcism by spiritualists, paranormal investigators, mediums, or non-Catholic clerics for the purposes of entertainment trivializes this ancient rite of the Roman Catholic Church and the very real danger of evil.

“Any attempt to use the solemn Rite of Exorcism as entertainment exposes all participators to the danger of future hidden satanic attack,” said Bishop Hermann. “We cannot play games with Satan and expect to win.”



August 7, 2012
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 Archbishop Robert J. Carlson to give opening remarks

 (St. Louis) — The Archdiocese of St. Louis welcomes the sisters of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) who begin their annual assembly today in St. Louis. In his role as the local ordinary and as the chairman of the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson will give some opening remarks at the assembly.

Recently, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has brought to light some very difficult and sensitive issues involving some of the programming and content that is featured at the LCWR assemblies. Archbishop Carlson is aware of this controversy and played no role in the planning of this assembly, the selection of speakers, or its honorees.

 "My presence only indicates my love for the Church, the doctrinal concern for the Holy See -- which I support -- my memory of the wonderful religious who helped me in my earliest days as a child, my gratitude for the extraordinary work of Sisters today, especially in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and my hope for resolution to the challenges that exist at this time within the community of faith," said Archbishop Carlson.

Archbishop Peter J. Sartain of Seattle was appointed by the Vatican to address concerns raised by the CDF’s doctrinal assessment of LCWR.

Currently, the Archdiocese of St. Louis is running a series of articles on communities of women religious in St. Louis and how they live out their charism, locally and around the world. These articles are featured in bi-weekly installments in the archdiocesan newspaper, the St. Louis Review. You can join the conversation of what St. Louis sisters mean to you on Twitter, by following the hash tag #stlsisters. The St. Louis Review will have continuing coverage of the LCWR assembly this week.  



Pope John Paul II to be Beatified May 1

The late Pope John Paul II - Photo from the VaticanOn Friday the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints published the decree for the beatification of the late great Servant of God John Paul II. (Full text of the proclamation here).

Pope John Paul II will be beatified on May 1st, the Feast of Divine Mercy, in Rome.

Before the approval of the Congregation of Saints was released (with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI), a miraculous healing of a French nun, Sr. Marie Simon Pierre, was approved. She had been cured of Parkinson's disease suddenly in 2005, and medical experts could not attribute the cure to any worldly cause. The nun had asked Pope John Paul II through prayer to help heal her disease.

May 1st is a particularly special day for those who know Pope John Paul II's teachings and work; it is the Feast of Divine Mercy, a feast day added to the liturgical calendar by the late Holy Father. The feast is a celebration of the overwhelming mercy of Jesus Christ, as written about by Polish nun St. Faustina Kowalska.

Pope John Paul II visited St. Louis in 1999, before the Jubilee Year (2000) which he also promoted for a renewal of faith and love in the Church. You can view more information about this 1999 Papal Visit on our website.

New Vatican norms strengthen efforts against abusive priests

The Vatican has updated its norms for handling priestly sex abuse cases, streamlining and strengthening disciplinary measures.By John Thavis | Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has revised its procedures for handling priestly sex abuse cases, streamlining disciplinary measures, extending the statute of limitations and defining child pornography as an act of sexual abuse of a minor.

Vatican officials said the changes allow the Church to deal with such abuse more rapidly and effectively, often through dismissal of the offending cleric from the priesthood.

As expected, the Vatican also updated its list of the "more grave crimes" against Church law, called "delicta graviora," including for the first time the "attempted sacred ordination of a woman." In such an act, it said, the cleric and the woman involved are automatically excommunicated, and the cleric can also be dismissed from the priesthood.

Vatican officials emphasized that simply because women's ordination was treated in the same document as priestly sex abuse did not mean the two acts were somehow equivalent in the eyes of the Church.

"There are two types of 'delicta graviora': those concerning the celebration of the sacraments, and those concerning morals. The two types are essentially different and their gravity is on different levels," said Msgr. Charles Scicluna, an official of the Vatican's doctrinal congregation.

Sexual abuse of a minor by a priest was added to the classification of "delicta graviora" in 2001, and at that time the Vatican established norms to govern the handling of such cases, which were reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The norms affect how church law treats sex abuse cases; civil law deals with the crime separately.

The latest revisions, approved by Pope Benedict XVI May 21 and released July 15, for the most part codify practices that have been implemented through special permissions granted over the last nine years and make them part of universal law.

The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, said publication of the revisions "makes a great contribution to the clarity and certainty of law in this field, a field in which the church is today strongly committed to proceeding with rigor and transparency."

Continue reading about the new norms on the St. Louis Review website »

Vatican Splendors Art Exhibit - Opens May 15!

The Holy Family with Two Angels - 16th Century Oil on Canvas (from Bologna, Italy)One of the largest collections of art, documents and historically significant objects from the Vatican ever to tour North America opens May 15 at the Missouri History Museum in Saint Louis for a limited engagement. “Vatican Splendors: A Journey through Faith and Art” will present unique objects illustrating the Vatican’s impact on history and culture through 2,000 years.

The exhibition features approximately 170 rare works of art and historically significant objects, many of which have never left the Vatican. Taken together these works explore how the papacy has influenced – and been influenced by – the world throughout the centuries.

St. Louis is one of only three U.S. cities to host “Vatican Splendors.” Highlights of the exhibition include artwork by Michelangelo, personal objects, and tools used in work on the Sistine Chapel and Basilica of Saint Peter’s; works by masters including Bernini, Giotto and Guercino; artwork dating back to the third century; venerated relics (bone fragments) of Saint Peter and Saint Paul; storied frescoes and mosaics; works by well-known sculptors; intricately embroidered silk vestments; precious objects from the Papal Mass; historical maps and documents; objects discovered at the tombs of Saint Peter and Saint Paul; and historical objects from the modern and ancient basilicas of Saint Peter’s in Rome.

More information about the exhibit:

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