According to statistics recorded by Catholic exorcists, the number of demonic possessions has remained the same over the past decades: about 0.5% of the general population.

However, other forms of demonic influence have increased significantly, such as possession, said Father Chad Ripperger, a renowned theologian, priest, exorcist speaking about spiritual warfare at the iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on January 26.

“Rates of diabolical possession are on the rise,” he said. The exorcist explained that the increase in demonic possession and oppression has increased “because people are doing a lot of evil things” and more importantly because the members of the Church are much less holy. “Every mortal sin is an open door to possession,” he warned.

We have a harder time freeing people

Ripperger said the average time it takes to free someone who is fully possessed has increased dramatically in the past decades. “Prior to 1963, the average time to free someone from full possession was one to two days. Maybe a week,” he said. “After 1963, what used to take one to two days took eight months to two years to free the average person. Now, on average, it takes four years for someone to be freed completely.”

“There are two reasons for that. One is because the world is much more evil and the demons are much more powerful. The other component is because of the way exorcisms work, what they call ex opere operantis Ecclesiae.” “What does that mean? This means how holy the people in the Catholic Church are determines how effective my prayers are when I enter a session. This tells us that there is a fundamental problem with the members of the Church. They are not as holy as their brothers and sisters were in the past,” he said. Namely, in one of the previous speeches, Ripperger explains how demons function, hierarchically, like an army, which is why it is easier to oppress individuals, families, and the church in chaos.


Everything is a struggle for grace and virtue

The theologian further explained that God allows demons to influence our lives because He wants to call us to greater holiness. “One of the main reasons God allows demons in our lives is to sanctify us, because when we fight them, it is a credit in God’s eyes and it actually elevates our place in heaven. Saint Paul said: “Take hold of the old serpent and win the crown of glory.””Because you carry only two things with you in heaven: your state of grace, how much grace you have in your soul, and your virtue. That’s all you take with you.” “It’s a struggle,” Ripperger emphasized, adding “when Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the garden, they stepped out of God’s authority structure and stepped under Satan’s authority structure.” “From that moment on, each of us was recruited into this spiritual war,” the exorcist declared.

‘I am not freeing anyone. Christ sets everyone free’

Ripperger emphasized that it is Jesus Christ who frees people from demonic possession, not the exorcist, who is only God’s instrument. “I am not releasing anyone. Christ sets everyone free,” he said. “Once people asked me how many people I freed. I said, “Nothing. But I was present where Christ set many people free.”

The exorcist explained that the best way to fight demons is “to lead an authentic Catholic life; stay away from sin; avoiding temptation; avoiding people, places and things that could cause us to fall; regular reception of the sacraments; regular prayer.”

“Part of the reason prayer is so effective is that prayer uses imagination, thought. So if you’re flooding your imagination with holy things and the demons are there attacking it, they’re going to leave because they don’t want to deal with those things that bother them all the time when they’re trying to tempt you.”

Why is Our Lady so uniquely holy

Ripperger said the most interesting thing about exorcisms is not the supernatural things the demons might do, but the knowledge they sometimes reveal about God or the saints. He recalled the case when Beelzebub revealed to the exorcist why the Mother of God is so uniquely holy.

“It is interesting that God makes them discover about the saints or Our Lady,” he said, adding: “Beelzebub once discovered that the reason Our Lady was different from any other creature was that she sacrificed her whole life and never thought of personal cost . This means that she is not like an angel because angels only have one choice for sacrifice.”

“She did it again and again and again. And she never counted the personal cost. There is not one of us in this room who has not counted the personal costs. That’s why it’s different. It’s wonderful,” he concluded.

High-level Satanists and witches operate in the shadows

Father Ripperger further explained that satanists and witches who work publicly are usually just “low level people” in satanic cults and that the higher ups work in the shadows and never reveal who they are. “Satanists and witches who are public are always, at best, mid-level people. They are usually low-level people who are involved in the occult,” he said.

“High level people in the occult, these are people who have had witchcraft in their families for 300 to 400 years. Their knowledge of how these things work is almost on par with mine. They know exactly how this works. They know exactly which rituals will have a certain effect and they do it, and you will never know who they are.”

“It could be the person sitting next to you in the pew. It can be a police officer or a judge. They can also be the guy who is your baker. They can be perfectly normal people who seem really nice and kind to you.”

“These people… are involved in the occult on a higher level. It’s a cult, it’s hidden, and it’s hidden because once it’s revealed, it diminishes the effectiveness of what they’re doing.”

Ripperger said that “Satanism is like the mafia”.

Blood in and blood out. Get in there; you do those things. You won’t get out alive, that’s like a general rule…

The reason satanists keep their stuff a private cult is because they do things that are literally capital crimes. And they are so evil, they know people won’t tolerate it when it’s revealed, so they have to keep it as a full cult. You just won’t find out about it.

Becoming holy in these dark times

Ripperger ended his presentation with an encouraging message, explaining how the darkness of our time presents a unique opportunity for those who remain faithful to God to become saints.

“We also know that even in the Church, when it just seems to be falling apart, it doesn’t matter how bad things get; Christ said that the gates of hell will not prevail. It will get bad for a while, but hell will not prevail.”

“If demons have taken over and things are as evil as they are, we know from Scripture that where sin abounds, grace abounds even more,” he continued. “This means for those who are faithful to grace, that faithfulness to grace, that when God gives you the grace to go to church, He gives you the grace to go to pray.”

If you are completely faithful to that, what it means is that because so many people are not, God is still generous and He wants to give these things. And that means that this is an unprecedented time to become holy.

This is the time, since things are so evil, if we remain faithful to the grace that God gives us and we will reach the height of perfection that the saints wanted to reach.

“They saw it coming,” Ripperger said. “They saw what we were going through. And they said they wished they could have lived in [our] time because of the degree of holiness and grace available in ways that were not available to them in their time.”

“The fact is that if you are faithful, and you are completely faithful to grace, your chances of becoming a saint are there. And God wants you to do that. So make no mistake in this regard. Do not be unfaithful to grace.”

Times like never before, don’t miss the opportunity

Ripperger declared that the spiritual battles we fight in this life will be for our glory in heaven forever: You will defeat the demons; you will receive a crown of glory when you get to heaven, if you have overcome the demons in your own life, because every family has them and every person is affected by them. But if you defeat them, in heaven, when people see you, they will say: ‘You are the one who beat so-and-so. Fight and it will be to your glory.”

“This is a time when it is more possible to be holy than any other time before,” he said. “It is a time in which you can get a higher place in heaven than in many respects could not be achieved in times past. So don’t miss this opportunity that God has given you.”