Exorcisms suspended by Christchurch bishop


Following allegations of unauthorised exorcisms, Bishop Michael Gielen has suspended all exorcisms in the Christchurch diocese and ordered a comprehensive review of the practice.

Gielen is currently in Portugal at World Youth Day.

The announcement arrives in the wake of a report by TV3 journalist Michael Morrah that exposed alleged unapproved exorcisms conducted by the fringe Latin Rite church group known as ‘The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer’, or more colloquially, the ‘Transalpine Redemptorists’.

Reports suggest that the group performed at least seven exorcisms, five more than authorised by a Christchurch bishop.

Disturbingly, one individual was allegedly subjected to repeated protracted sessions, including an exorcism that was performed for three consecutive days.

Notably absent were the standard medical and psychological evaluations required before performing an exorcism.

Despite their YouTube Channel having 263,000 subscribers, their most recent video having 563 likes, and 104 comments, a former member of The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, Greg Price stands by Gielen’s call for a review.

“This goes much deeper and wider than just the exorcisms,” Price said. He did not offer more details.

Suggesting that complaints were made to then Christchurch bishop, Paul Martin, Price expressed hope that Gielen would be proactive.

“There are people out there, and they will be willing to converse with the Bishop if he demonstrates a genuine interest in hearing them out.”

Retired Professor Peter Lineham, a religious commentator, suggested: “Bishop Michael would be gravely mistaken if he ignored the pressing concerns.”

Lineham also believes that in ordering a review, Gielen is looking to see whether these priests should be allowed to have standing in the Diocese of Christchurch.

In Tuesday’s CathNews, Dr Joe Grayland questioned why a Bishop of Christchurch give permission to this fringe group to perform exorcisms and why, in light of Pope Francis’ most recent instruction, they are still permitted to use the old Latin Rite for Mass.

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