Psychosis – Not an Issue in Pastoral Care

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April 5, 2018 by lucieromarin

At the zenith of my director’s exorcistic activity, I started hearing voices presenting outside my head. I heard those voices at work, around the home, and when travelling. The priest interpreted this experience as demonic in origin, and upped the prayers and obedience.

One of two things is possible. Either those were the voices of demons or they were not. If they were, then a priest who assumed responsibility for a woman afflicted by evil spirits ended his pastoral care by walking away from her and leaving her without help or direction of any kind. If those voices were not demonic, then his pastoral care was so bad that it drove an otherwise healthy woman to episodes of psychosis.

I’m not making this up. This history could be proved by our phone records, for the voices were reported and discussed via text message.

I reported this history both to the Church and to CSNSW. I also asked a senior member of the hierarchy for an appointment with the Diocesan exorcist.

“You wouldn’t want that,” he said, “You’d have to see a psychiatrist first.”

“I’m not saying I need to be exorcised,” I answered, “I’m saying that a man, whose opinion you obviously trust, because you’ve employed him, told me for four years that I had evil spirits, and then he just disappeared and I’ve been left in the middle of it. If I could talk to the official representative of the Church, you know, the expert on this subject, maybe I could debrief about my experience and have some closure.”

“You can’t put in a request yourself,” he said. “It has to be made by a parish priest on your behalf.”

Three requests were sent on my behalf, to no reply.

CSNSW learned that at least one person in their chaplain’s history was pushed to transient psychosis by his pastoral care, and they deemed this irrelevant to an assessment of his suitability.

The Diocese knows that a member of their laity is walking about with no way of finding out, from an official representative of the Church, how to interpret their employee’s actions over her. They know that she was exorcised. They know she was left anchor-less and rudderless after four years of absolutist interpretation and direction. They deemed this irrelevant to an assessment of that employee’s fitness for ministry. Then they either refused or ignored that laywoman’s request to speak to the one person in the hierarchy who might have been able to give her closure about her experiences.

I do not know who the Diocesan exorcist is. I do not believe he is too busy for one such conversation.

 

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