“Exorcism” at South Australian Lutheran Camp

Did you catch this news story a few weeks ago? I only caught up with it through reading the LCA President’s comments on his page here.

I know none of the details, but it did remind me of the Vollmer case refered to in the news report above. I had close second-hand experience of that one, due to the fact that one of the men who was charged and served a three month sentence in relation to it was married to my cousin. I remember at the time being terribly frightened by the inept actions of these amateur “exorcists”.

The Catholic Church not only believes in exorcism, but has trained exorcists (always priests) who are licenced by their local bishop. So my problem is not with the idea of exorcism. I am terrified that amateurs might take into their own hands both the diagnosis and the cure. Both the cases refered to in this post were misdiagnoses. That’s bad enough. But, worse still, God help anyone who attempted an “exorcism” on a real demon without the expertise and experience required.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to ““Exorcism” at South Australian Lutheran Camp

  1. Matthias

    I have commented earlier on this blog about an excellent book called THE RITE ,written by a lapsed Catholic ,who follows an American priest ,appointed exorcist to a diocese,being trained in Rome. This is not work of fiction,and what is interesting is the involvement of an eclectic group of specialists-priests,criminologists,psychologists and psychiatrists-in the training of the exorcists from all over the world. Like you Schutz I shudder at the inexperienced/amateurs who think they can do this type of work. I was impressed with the fact that there are strict guidelines including getting a consultation with mental health professionals.But this book showed that old Nick is still the devil seeking to oppose the work of God at every turn
    I was concerned in an email i got from the prayer leader at my Church,who noted that one member who works for a missionary society,was experiencing difficulties,and he put it down to possible satanic opposition.
    Tell me Schutz the people in the Volmer case were they Lutherans or Pentecostals??

    • In the main they were Lutherans, although I think the one leading the group might have been a member of a pentecostal movement at the time. The Lutherans in the Western and Mallee Districts of Victoria have always been a little susceptible to Charismatic theologies due to an underlying pietism in their heritage.

      • matthias

        Must be also in the water. The Church of Christ at Horsham is quite large and if i recall also had pentecostal leanings.
        i wonder how many of these incidents-untrained people presiding over- are happening.

  2. Matthias

    I should elaborate that I was concerned re the above mentioned email because there has been a plethora of literature,mainly in pentecostal circles,that sees the devil in every adversity we experience.

  3. Two other books that always need to be mentioned in this context are Malachi Martin’s “Hostage to the Devil” and Scott Peck’s “People of the Lie”.

  4. David,

    I sent you an email about this THREE WEEKS ago!!!

    But anyway, here is the ABC News article.

    • Marco,

      I’ve been on Long Service Leave and was only using my blog address. So I probably missed it. You, of course, were on the ball as always!

  5. Could I just ask the obvious – the President’s Page (and email) states, “No pastor of the Church has been shown to be directly involved. Where is the leadership?? Why are these people allowed to go unchecked??

  6. matthias

    marco I agree .why are they allowed to go unchecked.It is a matter of not only THE LAW but also church discipline.
    i am concerned that it could occur in other Churches where there is no accountability to a hierarchy. i wonder of the pastor who prophesises with hindsight eg Danny Nalliah engages in this??

  7. I just thought that the statement was a little strange in that context. Like it excused it or something. I hope that there is a behind the scenes “Please explain” to the clergy!!!

    For the sake of transparency, I was a former (now VERY former) clergy-person of the said denomination.