Friday, 10 December 2010

Glastonbury Thorn Vandalised


Your Grace, regarding the vandalism, one report says that the tree remains may still be viable for branches. Let us pray that this holy relic of the first Christian ministry to Britain recovers fully, and that the vandals are caught posthaste. Wishing you a happy Advent season - Michael Marinacci.

We were alerted as soon as the discovery of this wanton act of vandalism had occurred. It is covered on some of our church pages found on Facebook and elsewhere, but I confess to having been put in a rather contemplative state by it all. The destruction of the living tree, as I see it, is entirely symbolic of the erosion in our land of spiritual values held precious for many centuries. This is symptomatic with the ever diminishing presence of Christianity, as darkness and all that dwells in the shadows spreads exponentially like a plague. We simply cannot continue as a country in a direction that takes us further away away from the Light without serious consequences to our cultural identity and destiny. It is spiritual suicide. This has come as a wake up call and is especially poignant for me. I ask for your prayers on behalf of the distressed inhabitants of this uniquely spiritual place.

The act was clearly premeditated and considerable trouble was taken to saw through the tree, as iron railings surround it. To my mind, this sacrilege was perpetrated by those who travel a darkly left-hand path.

I have been deeply moved by local expressions of distress, evinced in some by weeping around the stump of what is left after years of the tree being visited by pilgrims from all over the world. To them I say the tree will one day miraculously return to life; just as one day our Faith will reflower and spread again to every town and village throughout the British Isles.

Joseph of Arimathea came to Britain after the crucifixion two thousand years ago bearing the Holy Grail - the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper. He visited Glastonbury and thrust his staff into Wearyall Hill, just below the Tor, planting a seed for the original thorn tree. Roundheads felled the tree during the English Civil War, when forces led by Oliver Cromwell waged a vicious battle against the Crown.
However, locals salvaged the roots of the original tree, hiding it in secret locations around Glastonbury.
It was then replanted on the hill in 1951. Other cuttings were also grown and placed around the town - including its famous Glastonbury Abbey.

Experts had verified that the tree - known as the Crategus Monogyna Bi Flora - originated from the Middle East.

A sprig of holy thorns was taken from the Thorn tree by Glastonbury's St Johns Church last Wednesday and sent to the Queen.
The 100-year-old tradition will see the thorns sit on Her Majesty's dinner table on Christmas Day
Avon and Somerset Police have launched an investigation after locals found that vandals had hacked off the branches of the iconic tree. They were dumped next to the trunk which is protected by a metal cage.

Locals wept openly after the desecration had happened at the foot of the tree, on the town's Wearyall Hill opposite its world-famous Tor as they struggled to contain their emotion.

Katherine Gorbing, curator of Glastonbury Abbey, said: "The mindless vandals who have hacked down this tree have struck at the heart of Christianity. It holds a very special significance all over the world and thousands follow in the footsteps of Joseph Arimathea, coming especially to see it. It is the most significant of all the trees planted here and can be linked back to the origins of Christianity. When I arrived at the Abbey this morning you could look over to the hill and see it was not there. It's a great shock to everyone in Glastonbury - the landscape of the town has changed overnight."

Glastonbury Mayor John Coles rushed to the tree site after he heard the news.

Mr Coles, 66, said: "I'm stood on Wearyall Hill looking at a sad, sad, sight. The tree has been chopped down - someone has taken a saw to it. Some of the main trunk is there but the branches have been sawn away. I am absolutely lost for words - I just do not know why people would want to do this. This tree was visited by thousands of people each year and is one of the most important Christian sites. It is known all over the world."

Deputy Mayor William Knight, 63, added: "This is absolutely mindless. We are all devastated."

There is a full page photograph of the Glastonbury Thorn with the Tor in the background, taken soon after I became Bishop of Glastonbury, on page 33 of The Grail Church: Its Ancient Tradition and Renewed Flowering.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Ingrid Pitt R.I.P.

What are your thoughts about the actress Ingrid Pitt who has died in the last few days? I ask because I believe you knew her. - Mair Jones

Ingrid Pitt (originally Ingoushka Petrov or Natasha Petrovna) was born on 21 November 1937 in Warsaw, Poland to a German father and a Polish mother. She became an actress probaby best known for her work in Hammer Films, having made her debut in Doctor Zhivago in 1965 playing a minor role. Inevitably, Ingrid Pitt will always be associated with the roles of Carmilla in The Vampire Lovers (1970), a film based on Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's novella, and Countess Dracula (1971) in the film of the same name loosely based on the life of Countess Erzsébet Báthory (7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614).

Ingrid was sometimes an invited guest at my live appearances before large television studio audiences where aspects of the supernatural were under discussion. I remember her sitting immediately before me in the front row, frequently conservatively attired, occasionally wearing a tweed suit, her eyes fixing me intently throughout. We would have refreshment together afterwards in the green room, and that is how we became acquainted. We worked on a couple of projects for television when I was still based in London. I did just one more project with her after I had removed approximately a hundred or so miles from the capital, and recall one day complimenting her as she arrived at the medieval prison location on the south bank of the River Thames (which provided one of the many sets for that particular film documentary made over a number of months). I will never forget the look of utter astonishment in her green-blue eyes before her features relaxed and she smiled at me. Perhaps compliments had dried up by then, but she had been a most striking looking actress in her day. Moreover, I was hidden in the shadows behind the studio lights and might not have been immediately recognisable to her.

She always kept me informed about her ventures and sent me her books and magazines from time to time. These publications seemed mostly to concentrate on the theme which had brought her fame in the 1970s. I was invited to a number of her gothic parties in the west country. The sadness in her eyes always struck me as hiding some deep-rooted tragedy in her past, and I nearly mentioned this to her on one occasion, but decided against it. Some things are better left. What was obvious about Ingrid was her intelligence and dedication. She was a natural storyteller and charmed audiences with personal appearances at retrospective screenings and other events. She lived in Argentina for a while and was a friend of Isobel Perón, the third wife of the former dictator and president, Juan Perón.

Ingrid died in a south London hospital on 23 November 2010, two days after her seventy-third birthday, having collapsed a few days earlier. There are not many left from that epoch of Hammer Films which those of a certain generation remember with relish. What I like about these films is that ultimately they are morality tales where faith and the existence of things supernatural are to the forefront. Ingrid played her part in all that for which we should be grateful.

Our deepest sympathy is extended to Steffanie, Ingrid's daughter, who has confirmed that her mother suffered with heart problems, probably the cause of her death, and had not been in good health for at least a couple of years. May she now rest in peace.


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Liturgiam Authenticam


"St Paul tells us that 'the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.'      That time has now arrived."

- The Grail Church

Holy Grail (imprint of Gothic Press), 1995. 

(Quoted from page 122).

João Teixeira de Faria

Hello Bishop Manchester. I would like to ask you what is your opinion of the those that claim to have the gift of healing? One such person that claims to have the ability of healing is a Brazilian named John of God. Do you think there are people today that has the ability to heal? - Ruben H.

João Teixeira de Faria (born 24 June 1942), known also as João de Deus ("John of God"), is a medium and according to himself, a psychic surgeon in Brazil. He is based in Abadiânia, a small town in the state of Goiás, southwest of Brasília. João is not a licensed doctor. He is said to have been so rebellious he was thrown out of school after the second grade and could not keep a job. At sixteen it is claimed the "entity" of King Solomon entered his body, and performed a miraculous healing. For years, João wandered Brazil offering healings. Three decades ago, he took residence in his casa in the plateaus and became known as "John of God."

João Teixeira de Faria

Some people say the healings are just a front - a way to make "John of God" rich. Even though he charges no fee for treatment, João appears to be a wealthy man. He owns a cattle ranch not far from where he sees patients. It comprises more than 1,000 acres. When it was pointed out to João that his town has become a tourist beacon with thousands coming to spend money for herbs and other items, he looked hurt. His eyes turned red and watered. He said he has money but he spends it to pay for food and education for the poor. "I have cattle, but that's not enough to keep the casa," he said. Yet there are rumours that "John of God" has a much darker side. Juliana Almeida Franca, a district attorney who has investigated "John of God," says he sent her death threats - delivered by a relative. João denies this. João has also been accused of taking advantage of a woman who came to be healed. He insisted his healings are legitimate. "You can fool the people for one to two years. But you cannot fool people for 45 years," he protests in his own defence. I do not see in João de Deus a man of God, but rather someone who claims to communicate with spirits of the dead and also someone claiming to be a so-called "psychic surgeon." Such practices are obviously prohibited to Christians and clearly invite charlatanry by those who adopt them.

Link to video:

I do believe in Divine Healing where the healing derives from God, but I do not believe João Teixeira de Faria is such a healer. Far from it. He is a medium and as such his actions are utterly condemned in scripture. Calling himself "John of God," therefore, is blasphemy. He does not represent God. He represents himself and such "spirits" he evokes - assuming he communicates with external entities from the spirit world at all - and these will be from an unknown source.

Divine healing should not be confused with “faith healing” or “spiritual healing.” Divine healing is the effect of the Holy Spirit upon our natural beings. When the sick, suffering and demon possessed touched Our Lord Jesus Christ, virtue went out of Him - the power of the Holy Spirit flowed from the Saviour. Divine healing can be experienced through the following means:

The laying on of hands in His name.

Anointing with chrism.

The prayer of Faith.

Fasting and prayer.

Anointed cloths.

Gifts of healing.

The Eucharist.


Thursday, 23 September 2010

Prayers and Protection

Dear Bishop, May I ask you a favor? I’m going through a tough time, and experiencing health issues at the moment, could you please send good "vibrations" my way (don‘t know if it‘s the right word), or send your prayers/protection my way? You can use my picture to do so if you want. I’m asking this favor, because I really trust in you and I would really feel much more protected knowing you’ve been praying for me. Thank you. Yours sincerely, Jordan.

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in praelio. Contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur. Tuque princeps militiae caelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen.

(Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.)

Almighty God, heavenly Father, breathe Your Holy Spirit into the heart of this Your servant Jordan and inspire her with love for goodness and truth. May she, fearing only You, have no other fear; knowing Your compassion, be ever mindful of Your love; and serving You faithfully unto death, live eternally with You; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O divinum Cor Iesu, praesta, quaesumus, animabus purgantibus requiem aeternam, morituris gratiam finalem, peccatoribus veram paenitentiam, paganis fidei lucem, nobis nostrisque omnibus tuam benedictionem. Tibi ergo, Cor Iesu piissimum, omnes has animas commendimus et pro ipsis tibi offerimus omnia merita sacri Cordis tui. Amen.

(O Lord Jesus Christ, who have said: Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you; mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the gift of Your divine charity, that we may ever love You with our whole heart and with all our words and deeds, and may never cease from praising You. Amen.)

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Prayer for a Sick Child

We thank God for the great gift of Lewis, and ask Him to restore this child to health if such be His holy will. This we beg of You through Your love for all children. Amen.

Demonic Influence on World Events

As a historian, I am curious about your thoughts on any vampire or supernatural involvement in major wars, from ancient to modern times, and if there is any involvement, specific examples. Are vampires and other supernatural beings conscious enough to involve themselves with world events, or do they mostly keep to themselves? - Abby Murray, Bath.

Demons have the ability to turn mankind from God and lead us toward destruction. Indeed, that is their ambition. Demons live in another realm, a nether region, and they require a portal to enter our realm. Many believe a portal can be opened using witchcraft and the occult.

Satan's kingdom is a lie. He wants to be like God, but in the first of the Ten Commandments, God told Moses: "I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods that are proposed to us in the kingdom of darkness." St Paul tells us to be on our guard: "The Spirit says clearly that some men will abandon their faith in later times. They will obey lying spirits and follow the teaching of demons" (1 Timothy 4: 1).  When the Israelites were about to come into the promised land, God gave them many commandments that had to do with the true worship that He desired, and the false worship that He hated. These same commandments hold true for us today.

In Satan's kingdom, the Devil wants everything that is in the Kingdom of God, but his kingdom is counterfeit. In the kingdom of darkness there is false worship, adoration and evil prayer. He offers us phoney happiness and peace. He holds out to us dark wisdom and knowledge. This is how he tempted Adam and Eve (Genesis 3: 5). Satan said: "No, God knows well that the moment you eat it [the forbidden fruit] your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad."

In his kingdom, Satan also offers us a health that is unto death, and a protection that is false. Just as we picture the angels of heaven singing and worshipping God, there is also a depraved sound which is the musical din of the kingdom of darkness.

The Lord says that we must be true to Him. We cannot serve two masters. Jesus said: "He who is not with Me is against Me" (Matthew 21: 30). We have to be firm in our resolve to follow only Jesus Christ.

Forbidden power is a form of magical power that produces effects apart from God and in a way that is beyond ordinary human means. It is to be avoided at all costs. These powers influence war just as demons frequently influence the leaders who take us to wars that lead to death and destruction. The rise of atheistic communism in the world is an obvious example, but there could be many such examples reaching back throughout history.

Revisiting Old Haunts

I have recently started reading into The Highgate Vampire and other supernatural and occult accounts from around Britain. Me and a friend intend to travel around the country to investigate the phenomenon. However, we are starting from scratch. Any advice you could give us for our trip would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks, Robin Galton.

The best advice I can give is to avoid involvement in the occult, and do not seek the malign supernatural. Leave well alone. The Devil can tempt us, but he cannot touch us directly unless we open the door and let him in. We should not fear Satan and his demonic horde, but neither should we look for him in the day to day happenings of our life. There are positive aspects of the supernatural such as healing, miracles and visions. Phenomena that once existed with regard to places on your proposed tour list probably no longer afflict those places today, and all you will be doing is visiting areas where something is believed to have once occurred in the past, and very well might have done so back then. But there is nothing to see today. 

This is certainly true of Highgate Cemetery where a demonic contamination was in evidence forty years ago, but no longer is there evidence of that manifestation at any of the places associated with the case which was finally closed in 1982. The neo-Gothic mansion was demolished back in the 1970s, and Highgate Cemetery has been regularly maintained and patrolled by the Friends of Highgate Cemetery (FoHC) since the graveyard was relinquished by the private owners, the London Cemetery Company, during the time of the terrifying supernatural occurrences. These reached back a great many years; certainly into  the nineteenth century. The eleven acre woodland graveyard, which belonged to the Great Northern London Cemetery, where a secondary contagion occurred that was linked to Highgate, was built on by property developers soon after the unearthly incidents took place. Little remains to visit. 

Saturday, 4 September 2010


Hello Bishop. I would like to ask you if you consider Mormonism (LDS) or those that are Mormon to be Christian? I think that most Catholics consider Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy to be part of Christendom. But I don't think a lot of Christians consider Mormonism to be part of Christendom. - Ruben H.

Mormons are not Christians and Mormonism does not belong to the Body of Christ. Brother Terry Chateau states that "Mormonism and Freemasonry are so intimately interwoven and interrelated that the two can never be dissociated." Masonry is universally recognised throughout Christendom to be incompatible with Christianity. Mormonism, not least its Book of Moroni, is incompatible with Christian faith and doctrine.

"The Joseph Smith family was known and acknowledged to have been a close knitted one, where strong individual affection and loyalty existed between each of the members. It was a Masonic family which lived by and practiced the estimable and admirable tenets of Freemasonry. The father, Joseph Smith, Senior, was a documented member in upstate New York. He was raised to the degree of Master Mason on May 7, 1818 in Ontario Lodge No. 23 of Canandaigua, New York. An older son, Hyrum Smith, was a member of Mount Moriah Lodge No. 112, Palmyra New York. Numerous attempts have been made to prove that Joseph Smith and his family where depraved, degenerate and disreputable persons. These documented facts, namely, the Masonic membership of Joseph Smith, Sr., in the Lodge in Canandaigua, and Hyrum's membership in Palmyra Lodge, are of the most significant importance. Being the elite institution it was recognized by the public to be at that time, and their active membership in two of the Masonic lodges of the area is convincing evidence of the stature and high esteem the members of the family enjoyed in the eyes and opinions of those who knew them best. ... When the first Mormon pioneer company entered the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847, under Brigham Young's leadership, a significant body of Masons entered with him. As of that date, the full Mormon Hierarchy was comprised of Masons. A review of the 143 men entering the valley at this time shows how wide-spread Masonry had become among the Mormons. Three of the group were black slaves, 16 were young men not yet of age, which leaves 124 who might possibly have been of the Craft. Of these there were 10 whose age was not known, who with 38 others are not known to have been Masons. This means that 76 of the possible 124 left, or 61%, were documented members of the Craft. Brigham Young, knowing both Mormonism and Freemasonry in depth, fully realized that nothing constructive or positive could result from a series of continuing exchanges over the years, judiciously instituted the inflexible policy that the Mormon Church had nothing to say publicly regarding Freemasonry. This position has been steadfastly and discretely adhered to for almost a century and a half, with very few exceptions. There is ample evidence that Brigham Young took his Masonry seriously and gave studious attention to its meaning and significance. This is evidenced in the many photos and paintings showing Brigham Young wearing his Masonic pins. It should be acknowledged that the vast majority of the Mormon Masons took their Masonic obligations most seriously and deeply to heart. Great numbers were devoted and dedicated Masons who truly loved the Order. Freemasonry among Mormons was not merely a fraternity nor a shallow and trivial fraternal experience. It was what it really is - a genuine brotherhood. Their lodge meetings were serious convocations entirely devoid of jovial lightheartedness and the strenuous, physical horseplay which characterized most frontier lodges. Their time and attention were fully occupied with the heavy demands of degree work."

Mormonism and Freemasonry

"Baptist leaders have referred to Freemasonry as “an ungodly brotherhood of satanic darkness”; “there is an inherent incompatibility between Masonry and the Christian faith”; “there is a great danger that the Christian Mason may find himself compromising his allegiance to Jesus.” (The Baptist Union of Scotland, 1965).

Lutherans say “Masonry amounts to idolatry.” (Missouri Synod, 1959).

Presbyterians: “Masonry is a religious institution and as such is definitely anti-Christian.” (General Assembly, Rochester, 1942).

Methodists: “There is a great danger that the Christian who becomes a Freemason will find himself compromising his Christian beliefs. Methodists should not become Masons.” (General Assembly, London, 1985).

The Church of England: “A number of very fundamental reasons to question the compatibility of Freemasonry with Christianity.” (General Synod, London, 1987 ~ where several members of the committee were Masons!)

Russian Orthodox Church: “Any Orthodox who joins Masonry loses all the right and privileges of his membership in the Church.” (Strange Altars, Acker, page 60).

Roman Catholic Archbishop Emanuel Milingo: “We are now in the last days of Satan’s reign and he is working overtime through his agents to complete the takeover of the world. His agents are nothing less than the Freemasons who have permeated to the very heart of Christ’s Church. It is the task of Freemasons to lull Christians, especially priests, into believing that the Devil and his demons do not exist. Satan plays with priests like toys when they do not believe in him. After the last war bring young Freemasons were placed in seminaries around the world. These agents of Satan were waiting for their time to come. … The Freemason antichrists became priests for this purpose. They aim to take religious power throughout the world, just as they have taken economic and political power.” (Powers of Darkness, Powers of Light, Cornwell, 1991).


Friday, 6 August 2010

Prayer for the Sick

O Lord Jesus Christ, who during your brief life on earth went about doing good to all men and women, be merciful to me in this my hour of special need.

Divine Healer, your tender heart was ever moved at the sight of pain and affliction. I beg of you, if it be your holy will, to help me regain my strength. Send forth healing to all who suffer, whether in mind or body. Grant to each of us that peace of mind which you alone can give.

Father in heaven, I thank you for all the good things that you have bestowed upon me, especially for the precious gift of life. Thank you for having so loved the world that you sent us your Son, Jesus Christ, who died for our salvation.

Jesus, my saviour and friend, grant to all people the blessings of good health both in mind and body. Help us to do your will in all things. Give us strength to love and heal one another, ever remembering your words: "Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto Me."

Something to do with the blood ...

Do vampires actually heal quickly like most people write about in books? If so, how is it possible for them to heal quickly? I think it would have something to do with the blood but I am not exactly sure how. But then again I don't know if vampires do actually heal quickly. So is it fact or fiction? -  Elizabeth Kolodziej

We must first examine what a vampire is before attributing human qualities to what is in essence a demonic predatory manifestation capable of masquerading as a dead person to the point of materialisation through quaffing warm blood by which process the corporeal shell is seemingly nourished and sustained. Ultimately, however, the vampire is a supernatural being, so to ask if such creatures "heal quickly" is irrelevant. They already possess the ability to metamorphose, which permits them to change into virtually anything, including other creatures and even mist.
To rely on works of fiction, particularly recent inventions that pay no heed to tradition and folklore, serves only to take you further from the answers you seek about these hideous demons. I would recommend such works as The Vampire: His Kith & Kin and The Vampire in Europe by Montague Summers as a good starting point for anyone wanting the kind of information you are seeking. There is also my own The Vampire Hunter's Handbook.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Mel Gibson

Hello Bishop Manchester. I would like to ask you what is your opinion of the current crisis that actor/director Mel Gibson is going through right now. Do think that their might be a conspiracy to ruin the career and image of Gibson? I know that he took a lot of heat in the media for making the Passion of the Christ. - Ruben H.

Sympathy for the American actor would be a lot easier if consistency in what he says and does was more in evidence. Hence I do feel Mel Gibson has all too often made a rod for his own back; not helped, of course, by an apparent serious alcohol problem. He sometimes equivocates and soon afterwards retracts or modifies certain of his more controversial statements. He has also contradicted himself on a number of occasions. I feel he should stick to his guns unless his utterances are not reflections of his true feelings at the time due to the influence of alcohol. He is obviously something of an enigma; but, then, in some people's eyes, I daresay so am I.

Born on 3 January 1956, Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson is also a film director, producer and screenwriter. I regard him as a talented, albeit troubled, soul who might very well be facing a conspiracy to ruin his career since the making of The Passion of the Christ.  

Born in Peekskill, New York, Gibson moved with his parents to Sydney when he was twelve-years-old. He later studied acting at the Australian National Institute of Dramatic Art. Mel Gibson's precise religious affiliation is obscure in most people's eyes. He once considered entering the Roman Catholic priesthood. He has described himself as "an old-fashioned Catholic," and has made speeches opposing abortion access, the use of contraceptives, and equal treatement and rights for homosexuals and lesbians as heterosexuals receive. Gibson experienced a spiritual crisis in the mid-1990s at the age of thirty-five. He told The New Yorker magazine: "I got to a desperate place ... And I just hit my knees. I had to use [Christ's] wounds to heal my wounds." During September 2002 he revealed that he no longer believed in the Roman Catholic Church as an institution, saying: "I agree with everyone who says the Vatican is a wolf in sheep's clothing."

Gibson was raised a Traditionalist Catholic. When asked about the Catholic doctrine of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, Gibson replied: "There is no salvation for those outside the Church ... I believe it. Put it this way. My wife is a saint. She's a much better person than I am. Honestly. She's ... Episcopalian, Church of England. She prays, she believes in God, she knows Jesus, she believes in that stuff. And it's just not fair if she doesn't make it, she's better than I am. But that is a pronouncement from the chair. I go with it." When he was asked whether John 14: 6 is an intolerant position, he said that "through the merits of Jesus' sacrifice ... even people who don't know Jesus are able to be saved, but through Him." Acquaintance Father William Fulco has said that Gibson denies neither the Pope nor Vatican II. Gibson told Diane Sawyer that he believes non-Catholics and non-Christians can go to heaven.

Gibson's traditionalist Catholic beliefs have been the target of criticism, especially during the controversy over his film The Passion of the Christ. Gibson stated in the Diane Sawyer interview that he feels that his "human rights were violated" by the often vitriolic attacks on his person, his family, and his religious beliefs which were sparked by The Passion.

In a July 1995 interview with Playboy magazine, Gibson said President Bill Clinton was a "low-level opportunist" and someone was "telling him what to do." He said that the Rhodes Scholarship was established for young men and women who want to strive for a "new world order" and this was a campaign for Marxism. Gibson later backed away from such conspiracy theories saying: "It was like: 'Hey, tell us a conspiracy' ... so I laid out this thing, and suddenly, it was like I was talking the gospel truth, espousing all this political shit like I believed in it." In the same 1995 Playboy interview, Gibson argued that men and women are unequal as a reason against women priests.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) accused Gibson of homophobia after a December 1991 interview in the Spanish newspaper El País. Gibson later defended his comments and rejected calls to apologise. However, Gibson joined GLAAD in hosting ten lesbian and homosexual film-makers for an on-location seminar on the set of the movie Conspiracy Theory in January 1997. In 1999, when asked about the comments to El País, Gibson said: "I shouldn't have said it, but I was tickling a bit of vodka during that interview, and the quote came back to bite me on the ass."

On 8 July 2010, Gibson was alleged to have made a racial slur against Latinos using the term "wetbacks" as he suggested turning in one of his employees to immigration authorities. On 9 July 2010, some audio recordings alleged to be of Gibson were posted on the internet. The same day Gibson was dropped by his agency, William Morris Endeavor.

Mel Gibson lives in the parish served by the Roman Catholic church Our Lady of Malibu, but has funded the construction of his own traditionalist, autocephalous The Church of the Holy Family in the same area where Mass is the Old Rite and conducted in Latin. His church is not affiliated with any Roman Catholic diocese.

In the interview he said: "I believe in God. My love of religion was given to me by my father." Mel Gibson shares many beliefs with his father, Hutton Gibson who "is an outspoken critic of the Catholic Church and a vocal adherent of the sedevacantist movement, so-called from the Latin phrase meaning 'empty seat'." The group forms part of the Catholic Traditionalist movement which has a membership of several thousand adherents. Sedevacantists deviate from the Roman Catholic Church in some fundamental ways. They believe:

That the office of pope in the Roman Catholic Church is currently vacant.

That every pope since Pius XII has been spurious.

Many of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962 to 1965) are heretical.

The Mass is to be conducted in Latin and the Old (Tridentine) Rite should be used.

The Virgin Mary is regarded as a co-redemptrix and mediatrix, sharing these powers with Jesus Christ.

I am sympathetic to much of the above, bar the last concerning the Blessed Virgin Mary. The concept of co-redemptrix refers to an indirect (or unequal) but important participation by the Blessed Virgin Mary in redemption. Popes began to mention the concept of co-redemptrix in official Church documents in the very early part of the 20th century, and continued to do so throughout that century. The dogmatic definition of co-redemptrix was brought up at Vatican II by Italian, Spanish and Polish bishops but not dealt with on the council floor. Subsequently, popes, while sympathetic to requests from the faithful and bishops, did not include such language in their encyclicals. A dogmatic definition proposal is not supported by all Catholics, myself included, partly based on the argument that such a dogma might limit the redemptive role of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and partly based on the argument that it would also complicate ecumenical efforts for a better understanding of the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the salvation mystery of Jesus Christ. Although Mary has been referred to on numerous occasions as co-redemptrix, mediatrix, and advocate, none have the force of an infallible papal declaration. 

Mel Gibson met Robyn Denise Moore in the late 1970s when they were both tenants at a house in Adelaide. Robyn was a dental nurse and Mel Gibson was an unknown actor working for the South Australian Theatre Company. On 7 June 1980, they were married in a Catholic Church in Forestville, New South Wales. The couple have one daughter and six sons. Their seven children are Hannah (born 1980), twins Edward and Christian (born 1982), William (born 1985), Louis (born 1988), Milo (born 1990), and Thomas (born 1999).

After twenty-six years of marriage, the couple separated in August 2006. Nearly three years after the separation was announced, Robyn Gibson filed for divorce on 13 April 2009, citing irreconcilable differences. In a joint statement, the Gibsons declared: "Throughout our marriage and separation we have always strived to maintain the privacy and integrity of our family and will continue to do so." The divorce filing followed the March 2009 release of photographs appearing to show him on a beach embracing another woman.

On 28 April 2009, the woman in the photographs was revealed to be Oksana Grigorieva, a Russian pianist and an artist on Gibson's record label. Gibson and Grigorieva had been together for three years, at the time, and she was pregnant. Grigorieva gave birth to their daughter Lucia on 30 October 2009. In April 2010, it was made public that Gibson and Grigorieva had split amid claims of domestic violence during their relationship. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department launched a domestic violence investigation, and Gibson filed for a restraining order against Grigorieva after she had previously filed a restraining order against him to keep him away from her and their child. The restraining order was modified the next day regarding Gibson's contact with their child.

The July 2010 reports of voicemail recordings included alleged racist remarks, with Gibson using the word "niggers". Civil rights activists commented that Gibson had shown patterns of racism, sexism and anti-Semitism and called for a boycott of Gibson's movies. Back on 28 July 2006, Gibson had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol while speeding in his vehicle with an open container of alcohol. A leaked report revealed that during Gibson's arrest for driving under the influence he made anti-semitic remarks to arresting officer James Mee, who is a Jew, saying "Fucking Jews ... the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Gibson issued two apologies for the incident through his publicist, and in a later interview with Diane Sawyer, he affirmed the accuracy of the quotations. He admitted to making anti-semitic remarks during his arrest and apologised for his "despicable" behavior, saying the comments were "blurted out in a moment of insanity" and asked to meet with Jewish leaders to help him "discern the appropriate path for healing." After Gibson's arrest, his publicist said he had entered a recovery program to battle alcoholism. On 17 August 2006, he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge and was sentenced to three years on probation. He was ordered to attend self-help meetings five times a week for four and a half months and three times a week for the remainder of the first year of his probation. He was also ordered to attend a First Offenders Program, was fined $1,300, and his licence was restricted for ninety days.

At a May 2007 progress hearing, Mel Gibson was praised for his compliance with the terms of his probation, his extensive participation in a self-help programme, beyond what was required.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Black-Eyed Children

Dear Bishop Manchester, let me start off by saying what a pleasure it is to be coresponding with you. I am a great admirer. The question I have is about a somewhat recent phenomenon refered to as "the black eyed children". The first occurrence took place in Abilene Texas, January of 1998 where two young teens between the ages of 12 and 15 show up at a persons house or car and demand to be let in, they clearly state that they cannot come in unless they are invited. The common thread linking all known sightings is all witness' claim to experience a grave sense of fear, the "flight or fight" feeling when first meeting the black eyed children; the coal black eyes; the witness' always smell a foul odor coming from the kids, and every instance that's occured the kids have stated that they need permision to enter. I was just wondering what your take on this whole thing might be and if there's something that could be done to combat these things in case of an encounter with one. - Derek

The term has floated across the internet since 16 January 1998 when journalist Brian Bethel first posted his chilling encounter with overly-lucid children whose eyes were dead and coal black; without a hint of iris or white. Since that time many people have reported encounters with black-eyed children who approach them, make demands and terrify them out of their wits. Theories have been proposed to explain this strange phenomenon, but the answer remains elusive. Could it be nothing more than internet "mass hysteria"? Could it be that out of all the accounts that have been discussed only a small number are based on something real, the remainder having been fabricated? People who experience demonic possession know that something does come over the eyes when possessed, but surely these are not swarms of demonically possessed children on the rampage?

There are so many similar accounts that it is hard to look past the fact that something very disturbing is happening. Fabrications notwithstanding, I would not rule out the possibility of demonic interference or even possibly vampirism, but without close examination of an actual case it is pointless to speculate. 

As already stated, the first well documented and discussed account came from a journalist named Brian Bethel in January 1998. In his story, two children (aged twelve and fifteen) approached him as he sat in his car while parked in a parking lot. At first glance, they looked normal, wearing clothes that were fashionable, and had a pale, olive-coloured skin. In acknowledging the two boys, Bethel was overcome with a peculiar fear which he describes in his account: "I could feel fight-or-flight responses kicking in. Something, I knew instinctually, was not right, but I didn't know what it could possibly be."

Claiming that they were on their way to the cinema, but had left their money at home, the two boys asked Bethel for a ride back to their house. When he did not allow them into his car, the youngsters appeared to become annoyed and repeatedly asked for a ride. As Bethel's fear and panic increased, he found himself wanting to open the door, but was unable to do so. Then he noticed their dead eyes, and a primal fear took over and momentarily paralysed him. The children had coal-black eyes, completely lacking pupils and irises.

As if sensing that their opportunity to gain admission into the car was being thwarted, they grew more urgent and demanding. Bethel was finally able to overcome his fear and managed to drive away. While his story might sound far-fetched and too much like horror fiction for sceptics and cynics, there are just too many accounts of a similar nature to completely dismiss them out-of-hand. These accounts have now multiplied to become a new urban legend.

Tales involving black-eyed children generally do not explain the cause of the children's eye colour or the origins of the children themselves. Some imply they could be ghosts or demons, specifically vampires: the tales frequently emphasise that the children must be admitted or invited into the house or car in question, and in this way are reminiscent of vampire folkore. Are they vampires? I suspect for the most part not, but an open mind is essential when consdering anything which might possibly have a supernatural source.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Penal Substitution and Satisfaction Redemption

Your Grace, What are the main differences between the protestant "Penal Substitutionary" view of Christ's redemption and the Catholic "Satisfaction" Dogma of of Redemption? - Ken

Penal substitution is a theory of the atonement within Christian theology, especially associated with the Reformed tradition. It argues that Christ, by His sacrificial choice, was punished (penalised) in the place of sinners (substitution), thus satisfying the demands of justice so God can justly forgive the sins. It is a specific understanding of substitutionary atonement, where the substitutionary nature of Jesus' death is understood in the sense of a substitutionary punishment. Early church fathers who have expressed this notion of penal substitution are Justin Martyr (100-165), Eusebius of Caesarea (275-339), and Augustine of Hippo (354-430).

Instead of salvation being conditional upon sin, Roman Catholicism has long attached the belief in Jesus Christ to the concept of salvation itself, and for non-Christians has asserted various "dispensations" ranging from "eternal damnation" to "salvation conditional upon conversion." Catholic controversies regarding universalists, such as Origen, are notable events in Church history, and have typically resulted in the proclamation of Catholicism being the "one true faith," along with dispensationalist concepts.

Catholics profess belief that Jesus Christ brought about redemption from sin and assert that salvation is possible only within the Roman Catholic Church. This doctrine remains, but is not always articulated with clarity. Modern teaching usually uses language similar to the following: Jesus was a divine sacrifice who brought about "redemption for all mankind."

Roman Catholics believe "Man stands in need of salvation from God," and "Divine help comes to him in Christ through the law that guides him and the grace that sustains him." It was for our salvation that "God loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins; the Father has sent His Son as the Saviour of the world, and He was revealed to take away sins." "By His death (Jesus, the Son of God) has conquered death, and so opened the possibility of salvation to all men."

Roman Catholicism teaching on justification is the principal cause of division from Protestantism, and holds a soul is justified "by reason of a perfect act of charity elicited by a well disposed sinner or by virtue of the Sacrament either of Baptism or of Penance." This condition can be appropriated by proxy, in recognition of the faith of a qualified sponsor, and is held to be effected by an actual change in the recipient's heart, that of the infused love of God, so that the justified are not only reputed to be righteous, "but we are truly called and are just, receiving justice within us."

A further teaching is that this justification can be increased by doing works enabled by the grace of God dispensed through Roman Catholic sacraments, and which grace includes that of the merits of saints. Such works of faith are also held to help merit eternal life. Regarding those who co-operated with such grace, the Council of Trent concludes that "nothing further is wanting to the justified, to prevent their being accounted to have, by those very works which have been done in God, fully satisfied the divine law according to the state of this life, and to have truly merited eternal life." Canon 32 similarly states, "If anyone says that the good works of the one justified are in such manner the gifts of God that they are not also the good merits of him justified; or that the one justified by the good works that he performs by the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit an increase of grace, eternal life, and in case he dies in grace, the attainment of eternal life itself and also an increase of glory, let him be anathema."

Jesus Christ has provided the Church with "the fullness of the means of salvation which [the Father] has willed: correct and complete confession of faith, full sacramental life, and ordained ministry in apostolic succession." Baptism is necessary for salvation, and is sufficient for those who die as children and those permanently deprived of their use of reason. The sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn. But these are not the only sacraments of importance for salvation: "The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation." This holds especially for the Eucharist. "Every time this mystery is celebrated, the work of our redemption is carried on and we break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ."

At the same time, however, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that through the graces Jesus Christ won for humanity by sacrificing Himself on the cross, salvation is possible even for those outside the visible boundaries of the Church. Christians and even non-Christians, if in life they respond positively to the grace and truth that God reveals to them through the mercy of Christ may be saved. This may include awareness of an obligation to become part of the Catholic Church. In such cases, "they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it." Catholics believe that people, even those who are not explicitly Christian, have the moral law written in their hearts, according to Jeremiah 31: 33 (prophecy of new covenant): "I will write my law on their hearts." St Justin wrote that those who have not accepted Christ but follow the moral law of their hearts follow God, because it is God who has written the moral law in each person's heart. Though he may not explicitly recognise it, he has the spirit of Christ. St Thomas Aquinas, the premier theologian in the Catholic Church, explains this paradox as follows. If a person lives according to the natural law written on his heart, God will send him a means of knowing the truth by either natural or supernatural means; that is, he will send a missionary to teach him the faith or, if necessary, even an angel.

The Church expressly teaches that "it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labour in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, will not be held guilty of this in the eyes of God," that "outside of the Church, nobody can hope for life or salvation unless he is excused through ignorance beyond his control," that "they who labour in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion and who, zealously keeping the natural law and its precepts engraved in the hearts of all by God, and being ready to obey God, live an honest and upright life, can, by the operating power of divine light and grace, attain eternal life."

Friday, 7 May 2010

The Veil for Christian Women

Many Christian blogs are posting that a woman must cover her hair, and some women are now covering their hair with veils, snoods, etc. I'm not sure what to think about this. Doesn't it say in the Bible (I believe Corinthians 11) that a woman should cover? What is your opinion? Thank you very much for your time. Melissa.

"You yourselves judge: doth it become a woman, to pray unto God uncovered?"

(1 Corinthians 11: 13)

Women who enter a church to pray should cover their head, but not their face, with a veil. That is my view.

"But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonours his head, but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonours her head — it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil.

"For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. (For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.) That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels. ... If any one is disposed to be contentious, we recognise no other practice, nor do the churches of God."

(1 Corinthians 11: 3-10,16)

In obedience to sacred scripture, many Catholic women wear some kind of veil or head-covering. Some wear a head-covering only at Mass. Others feel called to wear a head-covering at other times during the day, as well as at Mass. Many non-Catholic Christian women also wear a head-covering.

These women are following the call of the Holy Spirit. Society discourages women from wearing a head-covering and from doing anything else which shows submissiveness and obedience. Yet these women have found the light of truth in the midst of dark times.

The moral law requires all women to wear the veil on their hearts. A woman should not wear the veil on her head, until she is wearing it first on her heart. A woman who wears the veil on her heart accepts the place that God gives to women in the Church, the family, and society.

Women who wear the veil on their hearts are imitating the Virgin Mary in her humility, submissiveness, and obedience to Christ. The veil should cover her head, but not her face. It is first and foremost symbolic of humility, submissiveness and obedience.

When St Veronica saw Jesus carrying His cross, she took off her veil and gave it to Him to wipe His face. He handed the veil back to her, and it had an image of His face on it. In this way, Christ gave a special blessing to the practice of wearing a veil. Even Veronica's name comes from this event. She is called vera icon because she had a true icon of Christ, her veil with His face on it. Nearly every Catholic Church has the stations of the Cross with this event at one of the stations.
The Virgin Mary wore a veil or head-covering because she understood this symbol of the different roles given to men and women. Those women who wear the veil are imitating the Virgin Mary in her humility and submissiveness. Nearly every Catholic Church has a statue or image of Mary wearing a veil.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Glastonbury Abbey Bookshop

This is the Abbey Bookshop at Glastonbury. You will find all kinds of items on sale; including gifts, posters, cards, fancy goods, as well as plenty of books and magazines. But you will not find a copy of The Grail Church which is about the history of Glastonbury and how the earliest Christian Church was founded on a site within what is now the ruin abbey grounds, St Joseph of Arimathea's apostleship and the reflowering of a pure branch of Christianity in recent times.

My book used to be on sale at this Christian bookshop back in the 1990s, but something happened when influences bore down on those who run it. These influences are not Christian, needless to say, and visitors are surprised nowadays to discover what is on sale. Some of the books, magazines and other items on display are of a distinctly non-Christian nature. Some are blatantly pagan. One might have thought that there are sufficient shops in Glastonbury already specialising in witchcraft and paganism without it requiring an outlet in what is ostensibly a Christian bookshop run by the Church of England within the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey itself.

Do not imagine for a moment that I have not brought this matter to the attention of the establishment and the local vicar. But they are modernists and liberals. And I am a traditionalist. Moreover, I am Catholic, albeit autocephalous. So there you have it. Glastonbury is a concentrated microcosm of the macrocosm, the British Isles! We need to restore Christianity to not just one small market town in rural Somerset, but to the whole of Great Britain.


Ghosts and Demons

Thanks for your comments on the UFO question and for posting the links, I found them to be of interest. I appreciate your willingness to address my questions, I hope that any others who might visit your blog find the discussions of interest. I would like to ask another question if I may. Spiritualism is purported to be the practice of contacting the dead. It is (or was) more popular in England than in the United States. Practitioners of Spiritualism believe they are contacting the spirits of people who have passed on. Some however, believe they are contacting demonic spirits who masquerade as the deceased in order to deceive. Would you care to share your views on the subject? Thanks for your time, Sincerely, Scott.

A ghost is generally regarded as the soul or spirit of a deceased person capable of appearing as an apparition or manifesting itself by some means to the living. Such apparitions range from an invisible presence to translucent spectres and life-like forms. The deliberate attempt to contact the spirit of a deceased person is called necromancy. In spiritism (also known as spiritualism) it is described as conducting a séance.

Christianity teaches that the soul enters the afterlife after expiry. The person's soul is then judged as to whether or not it is a worthy candidate for entry into Heaven. Those souls that are not accepted into Heaven are consigned to Hell. Catholics believe in Purgatory, or a waiting place for such souls who are not obviously saintly or wicked, but there is little belief in Purgatory outside the Catholic Church. Most ghosts are considered to be souls assigned to Purgatory, condemned for a specific period to atone for their transgressions in life. Their penance is generally related to their sin. These ghosts in medieval times appeared to the living to ask for prayers to end their suffering. Other dead souls returned to urge the living to confess their sins before their own deaths. Some will point to the possibility that Earth is purgatory for those souls that have become ghosts, but only a very small number of Christians make this argument and it is not backed by general Christian doctrine.

The basic Christian premise of good souls going to Heaven and the bad ones go to Hell is strongly questioned by a belief in ghosts. Ghosts are considered by most who believe in them to be the spirits of people who have never departed the Earth. These spirits travel around continuing to do the same things that were done in life. This is completely against the fundamental tenet of Heaven and Hell as understood by most Christians. Paradoxically, many Christians still claim to believe in the existence of ghosts.

The Catholic Church, however, believes that ghosts, ie spirits, do exist. There are even times when spirits appear to our benefit, but Catholics are warned against attempting to contact spirits.

“Ghost” is simply another word for “spirit” (geist means “spirit” in German). Spirit is of three kinds: the human spirit which combined with body make up a human being; the defined spirit that has no body, such as angels; and the infinite Spirit, or God, of Whom the Third Person is the Holy Ghost. When someone asks whether ghosts exist, he usually has in mind the first kind, a human spirit. Hence Father John Hardon defines a ghost as “a disembodied spirit. Christianity believes that God may, and sometimes does, permit a departed soul to appear in some visible form to people on earth. Allowing for legend and illusion, there is enough authentic evidence, for example in the lives of the saints, to indicate that such apparitions occur. Their purpose may be to teach or warn, or request some favour of the living” - Fr John A Hardon SJ, Modern Catholic Dictionary (Garden City, New York: John A. Hardon, © 1980) published by Doubleday and Company, p. 229.

The last sentence of Father Hardon’s definition implicitly gives the Church’s teaching on ghosts. Appearances of ghosts are understood with regard to our salvation. Ghosts can come to us for good, but we must not attempt to conjure or control spirits. The Church teaches that spiritism, ie seeking recourse or power from ghosts, is contrary to the virtue of religion (the Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before Me”):
“All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others — even if this were for the sake of restoring their health — are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, number 2117).

Thus, while the Church recognises the existence of ghosts, Catholics are not to intentionally seek them out — for good or for ill. Another theory about ghosts is that these spectres are actually a space-time-continuum replay of events that have happened in the past. This theory is possible, and is the most likely one that could fit into the belief system of the majority of Christians. Finally, there is always the strong risk that a "ghost" might, in fact, be a demon masquerading as a departed soul to torment and deceive the living. The Catholic Church unequivocally teaches that angels and demons are real personal beings, not just symbolic devices. The Catholic Church has a cadre of officially sanctioned exorcists who perform many exorcisms each year. These exorcists teach that demons attack humans continually but that afflicted persons can be effectively healed and protected either by the formal rite of exorcism, authorised to be performed only by bishops and those they designate, or by prayers of deliverance which any Christian can offer for themselves or others.

In contemporary Christianity, demons are generally considered to be angels who fell from grace by rebelling against God. However, other schools of thought in Christianity or Judaism teach that demons, or evil spirits, are a result of the sexual relationships between fallen angels and human women. When these hybrids (Nephilim) died they left behind disembodied spirits that "roam the earth in search of rest" (Luke 11: 24). Many non-canonical historical texts describe in detail these unions and the consequences thereof. This belief is repeated in other major ancient religions and mythologies. Christians who reject this view do so by ascribing the description of "Sons of God" in Genesis 6 to be the sons of Seth (one of Adam's sons).

In religion and mythology, occultism and folklore, a demon (or daemon, daimon; from Greek δαίμων daimôn) is a supernatural being that is generally described as a malevolent spirit.

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus casts out many demons, or evil spirits, from those who are afflicted with various ailments. Jesus is far superior to the power of demons over the beings they inhabit, and He is able to free these victims by commanding and casting out the demons, by binding them, and forbidding them to return. Jesus also lends this power to some of His disciples, who rejoice at their new found ability to cast out demons.
By way of contrast, in the book of Acts a group of Judaistic exorcists known as the sons of Sceva try to cast out a very powerful spirit without believing in or knowing Jesus, but fail with disastrous consequences. Jesus, on the other hand, never fails to vanquish a demon; irrespective of how powerful the demon might be (see the account of the demon-possessed man at Gerasim); and even defeats Satan in the wilderness (see the Gospel of Matthew).

There is a description in the Book of Revelation 12: 7-17 of a battle between God's army and Satan's followers, and their subsequent expulsion from Heaven to Earth to persecute humans (although this event is related as being foretold and taking place in the future). In Luke 10: 18 it is mentioned that a power granted by Jesus to control demons made Satan "fall like lightning from heaven."