Saturday, January 15, 2011

Exorcist priest (Fr. Tom Euteneuer) exits public spotlight, mystifying many

By Lona O'Connor Palm Beach Post Staff Writer


...This summer, without warning, Euteneuer, 48, left his HLI post, saying he had been called back to the Palm Beach Diocese by Bishop Gerald Barbarito. His book on exorcism disappeared.

The Catholic blogosphere lit up like a Christmas tree, as supporters speculated on where he was, why he left an organization he seemed destined to lead and what his professional future might be.

The person who could answer those questions is Barbarito, Euteneuer's superior. And Barbarito is not talking.

A diocesan spokeswoman said only, "This is a matter dealing with priestly personnel, and we are not going to participate in this story."

Euteneuer did not respond to an interview request.

Euteneuer's supporters are still questioning the reasons for his departure.

"What really happened to exorcist Euteneuer?" wrote Catholic blogger Matt C. Abbott in December on RenewAmerica.com, a Catholic website.

Trained in exorcism ritual

Before he dropped out of public life, Euteneuer was a frequent interviewee on Abbott's blog. Abbott contacted the Diocese of Palm Beach regarding Euteneuer, but received no response.

A small number of modern-day priests, like Euteneuer, are trained in a specific Catholic exorcism ritual, in which the priest orders demons to leave a possessed person or place.

Exorcism has been a part of Catholic Church practice since its earliest days. There are references in the New Testament to Jesus casting out devils.

In a speech he would give titled "An Evening with an Exorcist," Euteneuer attempted to demystify one of the least understood of Catholic rituals. He also recounted his bizarre experiences.

In another interview, Euteneuer said one demon offered to help him with his Latin if he would let him stay put. Asked by the interviewer if that might be an example of demonic humor, Euteneuer retorted that demons have no sense of humor.

He condemned the Harry Potter books and movies, the Twilight vampire books and movies and the television sitcom Sabrina the Teenaged Witch as vehicles for the devil to enter weaker natures. He also advocated that exorcisms be performed outside abortion clinics, which he described as "temples of a demonic religion..."

Whatever happened to Euteneuer, it happened swiftly.

In June, HLI was promoting his new book, Exorcism and the Church Militant. In July, Euteneuer was back in his home diocese, in Jensen Beach, giving his "An Evening with an Exorcist" presentation.

On Aug. 27, Human Life International issued a brief press release saying Euteneuer had "stepped down" at the request of Barbarito.

All references to the exorcism book disappeared from the HLI website.

His scheduled September talk on Catholicism in a Chicago suburb was canceled.

By September, it was nearly impossible to buy a copy of his book, Exorcism and the Church Militant, just published in June. One online bookseller was offering it for $975...



2 comments:

editor said...

This is such a disturbing story on so many levels. Father Euteneuer is a very gifted priest. He is definitely in my prayers. I only wish I had purchased his books when they were first published.

Can't help but wonder why all the cloak and dagger about what really happened. Haven't we yet learned as a church to stop hiding from the truth...whatever it is?

+PAX

Bob said...

I personally know both Fr. Tom and his bishop, His Excellency Most Reverend Barbarito and I can assure you that both of these men of God are in serious prayer about what to release to the public for the good of all. Fr. Tom's work as a very public Pro-life priest, is satan's worst nightmare. Can you imagine the pressure that the demons have been putting on him? We need to pray as hard as we can.