Jesuit devil debacle draws fire from exorcist across ecumenical lines

Light of truth

Father Erich Junger, an Anglican exorcist, has joined the chorus of those voicing concern over recent comments by Jesuit Father General Arturo Sosa saying the devil is not a real person, but a symbol.

Speaking to Crux, Junger, a member of the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), said that while he is not a spokesman for his church, as a priest and exorcist he was “greatly shocked and disturbed” to see a person of such prominence in the Jesuit order refer to the devil as “a symbolic reality, not as a personal reality.”

Though not considered part of the Anglican Communion by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the ACNA is in communion with some Anglican provinces in the Global South. It follows the Anglo-Catholic tradition on exorcism, which adheres to more of the practices and rites of the Catholic Church, tending to use the Roman Catholic rite.

Sosa’s comments, Junger said, “are dangerous and inconsistent with the teachings maintained by the Roman Catholic Church as is codified by their own catechism.”

Though the Jesuits themselves did a fair amount of “damage control” after Sosa’s remarks, Junger said the comments were “very startling and unexpected” for many people.

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