Rorate Caeli

Dubia answered: Warning for priests treating afflicted souls, guidance on blessings by deacons

The following responses to dubia by the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" (PCED) was provided to Rorate by a source with a deep concern for the spiritual welfare of priests. We post the responses below, with an explanatory note following it, written by our source. There's also an interesting response from the PCED to whether deacons can bless using the traditional Rituale. We have edited the document only to protect the privacy of the priest who submitted the dubia:

Note from our source:

Priests that pray over afflicted souls should be aware of a potential open door.

In the context of demonic activity, the term “open door” refers to the particular means by which a devil or devils were allowed to enter into a person. Any mortal sin is, in and of itself, an open door; but more commonly speaking, open doors would include such things as drug abuse, playing with a ouija board or other occult activities. Material disobedience is an open door; all that is necessary is that an action be forbidden, objectively speaking. In other words, the person does not have to have the slightest idea that he is doing something wrong or opening a door when, for example, he plays with a ouija board; he may very well believe it to be a harmless game. But this lack of knowledge or subjective innocence will not necessarily protect him from devils, who are very strict legalists in such manners, and as a result of his material disobedience he could very well end up in deep trouble: oppression, obsession, or even possession.

The first part of this protocol should be read in that light. In spite of the fact that the use of this blessing (Chapter III in the Roman Ritual) has been standard practice by priests engaged in this sort of ministry, and even recommended in such excellent works as the Manual of Minor Exorcisms for the Use of Priests, written by Bishop Julian Porteous, and containing an Imprimatur by Cardinal Pell, this protocol makes it clear that it is now unquestionably at least a material disobedience each and every time any priest in the world uses this prayer without the proper permissions. And certainly every devil in the world is well aware of this.

This is not a completely theoretical danger. Since this protocol was issued, there has been at least one case where an experienced exorcist had been praying over someone, using the Exorcism against satan and the rebellious angels, written by Leo XIII, when during the prayer he suddenly found himself infested, resulting in having to turn to another exorcist to help him in his plight. As it turned out, the open door, the means by which the devils initially entered the priest, was “Chapter III.” He had used this blessing for many years with very good results, and had no idea that the use had recently been restricted. Having recently acquired a copy of this protocol, it seems that in all charity this information should be made widely known.

Please, Fathers, do not use this prayer without the proper permissions.