More exorcisms! The Vatican acts


The Vatican has responded to Bishop of Christchurch Michael Gielen’s request for help dealing with unauthorised exorcisms and related spiritual abuse in the Diocese.

The retired bishop of Toowoomba, Robert McGuckin (pictured), has been tasked with conducting an Apostolic Visitation to investigate the allegations.

The former professor of Canon Law at the University of Notre Dame, Australia, McGuckin has also served as President of the Canon Law Society of Australia and New Zealand.

As the Apostolic Visitor, McGuckin represents the Pope in the matter.

His appointment is short-term and he will present a report to the Holy See at the end of the visitation.

Gielen suspended exorcisms

Following allegations of unauthorised exorcisms, Gielen suspended all exorcisms in the Christchurch diocese in August this year..

Yet despite the suspension order, Newshub alleges more unauthorised exorcisms and concerns about the wellbeing of young people have emerged.

A man told Newshub he had two exorcisms and he was ‘absolutely’ sure Gielen had not given permission for them.

“In my situation, I would count that I knew had exorcisms were about a dozen” (sic).

The man told Newshub that the exorcisms were performed by a man who has since left the Order of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, also known as the Transalpine Redemptorists. He said that the current leaders of the Order, Frs Michael Mary and Anthony Mary, knew exorcisms were occurring.

However Michael Mary denies this, saying the priest was never a community member.

“If he did illegal exorcisms, I have no knowledge of it” Michael Mary said.

In July, Michael Mary said sprinkling Holy Water does not constitute an exorcism.

However, the Newshub source says he doubts what Michael Mary said.

“The Order is a law unto itself. They are above the law. They don’t respect the Bishop or anyone else” he said.

“That sense of privilege must be removed.”

Nothing happened

Former congregant Greg Price feels relieved that something is finally happening.

He says his and other complaints to former Church leaders were ignored.

Price believes the ‘Holy Sons’ should be disbanded.

He told Newshub “I just pray that the truth comes to light and the right decisions are made.”

The Press reports that in November 2021 an email from the Bishop of Christchurch, Paul Martin, said that the allegations against the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer had been referred to the Church’s National Office for Professional Standards, and the matter was in its hands.

Martin said the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer follow the safeguarding protocols and are monitored by the Christchurch diocese’s safeguarding officer like other parish groups.

Current Christchurch bishop Michael Gielen has been in the role for 18 months.

In a statement, he says that he sought guidance from the Holy See soon after his arrival in the diocese, and matters regarding the Institute of the Sons of the Holy Redeemer were brought to his attention.

Gielen recently returned from a visit to Rome and welcomes McGuckin’s appointment.

“The Apostolic Visitor is appointed to act as a Papal representative tasked with reviewing circumstances identified by the Holy See. I have requested all parties involved respect this appointment and the visitation process.

“Out of respect for the Visitation, I have no further comment” writes Gielen.


Additional reading

News category: Great reads, New Zealand, Top Story.

Tags: , , , , , , ,