Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Prayers for a Priest

Your Excellency, I was a Priest, Archdeacon of the Diocese, and a Parochial School Headmaster here in the United States for several years. I also performed exorcisms with permission from my Ordinary. I encountered many distressing situations in my performance of exorcisms. I was priest ordained according the 1970 Roman Ordinal. My life became very difficult and experienced such spiritual warfare that I stepped away from the priesthood and went back to secular employment. Do you have any words of encouragement and may I solicit your prayers? Pax Christi, Ave Maria Brent Keith.

I empathise with you and understand fully your predicament especially why that ministry was found to be so distressing. You have probably made the best decision in the circumstances, but, as we both know, you remain for ever a priest. That should dwell in your heart no matter what else you do in life. Continue to bring a maximum of depth and supernatural efficacy to your spiritual life, as you continue in your secular life. Peace be with you

Our prayers are with you.

+Seán Manchester



  1. Dear Reverend Manchester,

    I had noticed you in the past commented on the Reverend Montague Summers. As far as I know, he was a Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church, and seemed to have some tendencies towards Occult practices, and in some instances, has even been compared to Abbe Boullan.

    In your learned opinion, how common would you say priests pursue a more Occult-based belief system that is different than the official doctrines of the Church?

    In your role as an exorcist, do you have a rough figure perhaps for the number of priests and other clergy that become possessed? Do you believe those that serve God the most are the most pursued by Satan?

    I was also hoping to understand more about the practice of taking a stance of "incredulity" towards the demon when performing an exorcism. Does this in a sense keep the demon at bay, the semi lack of belief and fear keeping it in check? Do you believe that belief in itself is enough to create or destroy something?

    If you wish to email me in private, please send to paul3923 at hotmail dot com.

    Best regards.

    -Paul Latour

  2. Alphonsus Joseph-Mary Augustus Montague Summers, in whose memory I would dedicate one of my works in print, entered the Old Catholic priesthood (having been diaconated in 1908 in the Church of England, and joining the diaconate in the Roman Catholic Church which he entered a year later). He was consecrated for the Order of Corporate Reunion on 21 June 1927 by Dominic Albert Godwin. He was later consecrated sub conditione on 21 March 1946 by Roger Stephen Matthews and appointed Nuncio for Great Britain.

    My colleague and good friend Peter Underwood knew Montague Summers well enough to have been presented with a protection medallion by him. Summers’ fame as an expert on the occult began in 1926 with the publication of his History of Demonology and Witchcraft followed by other studies of witches, vampires and werewolves; notably The Vampire: His Kith and Kin (1928) and The Vampire in Europe (1929). He also introduced to the public, as an editor, along with many other works, a reprint of The Discovery of Witches by the infamous Matthew Hopkins, and the first English translation of the classic fifteenth century treatise on witchcraft, Malleus Maleficarum. In later life he also wrote influential studies of the Gothic novel, another lifelong enthusiasm; notably The Gothic Quest: a History of the Gothic Novel (1938), and A Gothic Bibliography (1940). Much of Summers’ life remains in obscurity, many of his personal papers have been lost; yet he left an autobiography, The Galanty Show, that was published over thirty years after his death.

    Montague Summers died of a heart attack in 1948. My appreciation of Summers’ work is a matter of public record. Yet I have no knowledge of his private life, or his degree of involvement in esotericism about which rumours abound. I do not question his ordinations, as have some commentators, but I am not qualified to access him beyond his published works.

    One of the more disturbing allegations is that in 1908 Summers is reported to have participated in a Black Mass. Furthermore, Geoffrey Evans Pickering claims that he personally partook in a Black Mass presided over by Summers at his residence on Eton Road, Hampstead, on Boxing Day of 1918. We might, therefore, surmise that between 1908 and 1918 Montague Summers possibly involved himself in occult practices for whatever reason, but, evidently, abandoned them some time between 1918 and 1923 when he severed his friendship with Evans Pickering. Something, I posit, occurred which so terrified Summers that it compelled him to turn against his former "involvement" and lent the fervour of a reformed sinner to his published attacks on all things occult, commencing with the 1926 publication of The History of Witchcraft and Demonology.

  3. I have only ever approached Summers in his capacity as a scholar, vampirologist and as someone with deeply held Catholic convictions. He was certainly no sceptic. He absolutely believed, as do I, that the dark forces he shared with his readers were completely true and that such malevolent entities as vampires, and those who are damned to be transformed into wolves through occultic means, really happen. Indeed, not believing in such things, according to Summers, was akin to heresy or worse. These things were not disorders of the mind, but of the soul.

    I have absolutely no idea how common are the occult-leanings of priests in general, but my experience has informed me that all too many question revealed doctrinal truth and sometimes substitute it with heretical ideas born of systems totally alien to Christianity.

    Faith is a shield by which the exorcist is protected to some considerable degree and without which he has no protection whatsoever, but I really do not know the number of clergy who fall foul of demonic interference and possession. It is always a risk and those most effective against the enemies of God will invariably be pursued by those enemies. At least, I have found that to be the case; though I am pursued in equal measure by living persons who serve Satan and, wittingly or not, are his living emmisaries on Earth.

    I would request that e-mail addresses (and URLs) are not included when posting comments. This is to help prevent you from being pursued by unwelcome elements who obviously view my blog.