Priest and exorcist Fr. Gary Thomas, whose work has been depicted in the book The Rite and the Hollywood film based on that book, starring Anthony Hopkins, said that demons can sometimes take hold of people if they participate in forbidden practices, such as an abortion, which is "a demonic sacrifice." He added that "Satan hates the human race," hates "everyone of us out of jealousy and rage."
Fr. Thomas, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in San Jose, Calif., was selected by his bishop to study exorcism in Rome at a school there devoted to the phenomenon. While there in 2005, Fr. Thomas apprenticed under an Italian priest at more than 80 exorcisms. Since that time, he has worked on hundreds of deliverance cases in the United States and not a few full-blown exorcisms, where a ritual is performed to deliver a person from demonic possession.
During a Young Adult Conference at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in Turlock, Calif., Fr. Thomas gave a talk on exorcism and the ways in which demons can enter one's life.
“We’re always looking to see what might have been a toehold or a foothold that a preternatural – in other words, a demonic entity – may have gained entrance into this person’s life," Fr. Thomas told the audience.
“So, what I want to do, he said, "I want to give you nine forbidden practices of the occult. Among the questions we ask, ‘Have you ever had an abortion? Have you ever participated in an abortion?’ One of the forbidden practices of the occult is human sacrifice."
"Abortion is a demonic sacrifice," he said. "Satan hates the human race. He hates everyone of us out of jealousy and rage."
Fr. Thomas then explained where Satan came from -- pronounced "Sah-ton" in Hebrew -- and why he and other fallen angels despise human beings.
“So, where in fact did this intelligent being, Satan, where did he come from?" said Fr. Thomas. "God didn’t create Satan, God created Lucifer. And Lucifer’s rejection of God was out of a sense of jealousy and envy because of God’s decision to create the human race, of which we are a lower nature than the angelic."
“The angels are more powerful than we are, they’re more intelligent than we are, their sense of free will is much keener than ours, and they have no corporeal bodies – they’re pure spirits," he said. "But in the 12th chapter of Revelation, it gives an account of how the rebellion in Heaven took place, and Michael [the archangel] led the angels against Satan and 1/3 of the realm who were opposed to God’s sovereignty – all because of the creation of the human race."
“And so, Lucifer’s name became changed – not by something, per se, in the Bible," said Fr. Thomas. "But the word Satan comes from the Hebrew Sah-ton [phonetically], meaning adversary. As Lucifer was no longer in league with God, he became opposed to God. Therefore his relationship with God changed, thus, his name."
He continued, “So, abortion, human sacrifice. That very much was in line with what was going on in the Old Testament, prior to Jesus, as it applied to cultures in which the Israelites, who later became the Jewish nation, became engaged with, entangled with, intermarried with, and oftentimes in the history of Israel, they themselves became very idolatrous.”
To watch Fr. Thomas's complete talk at the conference, click here.