Jensen Beach - As a fully authorized exorcist of the Catholic Church, Fr. Thomas Euteneuer does not pass lightly on the topics of devils, demons and poltergeists. However, even exorcists perhaps, especially exorcists may require a wry sense of humor.
"If you have a heart problem, exorcism is possibly not the ministry for you," Euteneuer told a gathering of about 150 Friday for "An Evening with an Exorcist" at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Jensen Beach.
During his two-hour talk, the former Diocese of Palm Beach parish priest and current president of Human Life International lectured on the nature of demons, exorcism and spiritual warfare in our current culture.
"Forget everything you know about ‘The Exorcist' and ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose,' " Euteneuer said. "It doesn't happen like it does in the movies."
Wit, intelligence or theatrical flair will not serve well against an adversary that understands and plays upon human frailty, Euteneuer said. "The main virtue is humility. Only the humility of Christ breaks the power of his arrogance."
Euteneuer, who has performed dozens of full exorcisms over the last seven years, said the ritual is methodical and precise: The demon is required to name itself, indicate the sign of its departure and state what retains it in the possessed body.
"It's kind of like a prosecution in a courtroom a criminal interrogated in the name of Jesus," he said. "You work patiently and undo whatever has been done one by one."
Euteneuer said unseen evil was not the cause of every malady, and there were plausible explanations, causes and traditional scientific remedies for many situations. But as he sees it, there will be no shortage of work any time soon.
"I don't see a demon around every affliction or human problem, but I do know demons can be attached to afflictions and human problems," he said.
"It's going to be more necessary," Euteneuer said. "Now days a spirit of occultism has been opened up like a Pandora's Box on our society. This culture drains everyone of faith or doesn't allow anybody to have faith," he said.
Faith, however, and living in a state of grace, he said were sufficient armament and protection in the spiritual realm.
And don't go looking for trouble.
"I don't want anyone to be fascinated with the devil," Euteneuer said. "Don't invite him in, and don't go on his territory."