Father Chad Ripperger
Father Chad Ripperger, a Catholic priest and longtime exorcist, is sounding the alarm over a rise in "demonic oppression" while rallying the faithful to become "saints" by confronting the dark forces.

Father Ripperger warned of the rise in demonic elements last week during a one-hour talk at the famous St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. While the levels of demonic possession, one of the most severe forms of demonic activity, have remained relatively steady in recent years, Father Ripperger stressed that other forms of demonic activity, such as demonic obsession and oppression, are on the rise.

The cause of this dramatic increase in demonic activity, according to Father Reppinger, stems from the large number of people doing "evil things" and a decrease in holiness among the faithful.

"Before 1963, the average time to liberate someone from full possession was one to two days. Maybe a week on the outside," he explained.

"After 1963, what used to take one to two days went to eight months to two years to liberate the average person. Then it's now, on average, four years to liberate somebody. There's two reasons for that. One is because the world is much more evil, and the demons are a lot more powerful. The second component is [how] exorcisms work, what they call ex opere operantis Ecclesiae.

What does that mean? It means how holy the people are in the Catholic Church determines how effective my prayers are when I walk into session. That tells us that there's a fundamental problem with the members of the Church. They're not as holy as their counterparts were in the past," he asserted.

Though Fr. Ripperger cites mortal sin, an increase in the number of people doing evil in the world, and a decrease in holiness as primary factors for the increased activity among dark elements, he reminds us that God Himself will allow for demonic influence to sanctify the faithful.

"One of the principal reasons that God allows demons in our lives is to sanctify us, because when we combat them and become instruments of justice to them... that is meritorious in the eyes of God, and it actually raises our place in heaven. St. Paul said it: 'Engage the ancient serpent and win the crown of glory.'"

Ripperger continued, "Because in heaven, you take two things with you: your state of grace, how much grace you have in your soul, and your virtue. That's all you take. It's a struggle. It's a fight. We know God loves a good fight; we know He does.

"Part of the reason we know it is because... when Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the garden, they stepped out... from the authority structure of God and stepped underneath the power structure of Satan.

"From that point on, every single one of us was conscripted into this spiritual warfare," Ripperger stressed.

While Father Ripperger has witnessed dozens of exorcisms, he's quick to note that it's God who cleanses the afflicted of their demons.

"I liberate no one. Christ liberates everybody," Ripperger asserted. "... One time, people asked me how many people I have liberated. I said, 'None. I've been around where Christ liberated a lot of people.'"

When it comes to what people can do to avoid falling victim to demonic activity, Ripperger claims that the simplest medicine is the best medicine: Prayer and living a good Christian life.

"...leading an authentic Catholic life; staying out of sin; avoiding temptations; avoiding person, places, and things that could cause us to fall; receiving the sacraments on a regular basis; prayer on a regular basis.

"Part of the reason prayer is so effective is because it uses the imagination. So, if you're flooding your imagination with sacred things and the demons are there afflicting it, they're going to bug out because they don't want to deal with that stuff being pushed in their head all the time while they're trying to tempt you, so they're going to get away from you."

Comment: Notably, Jerry Marzinsky, a psychotherapist who worked with prisoners suffering from schizophrenia, noticed that the voices patients heard also disliked hearing certain Christian prayers, and this, ultimately, led him to conclude that there is a spiritual element to their illness.

Father Ripperger revealed one instance where a demon revealed to him the significance and holiness of Mary, the Mother of God.

"The interesting thing is what God compels them to reveal about the saints or Our Lady," he recalled.

"Beelzebub once had revealed that the reason Our Lady is different from every single other creature is because she sacrificed her entire life and never once counted the personal cost. That means she's not like any angel because angels only got one choice to sacrifice.

"She did it over and... over again. [Beelzebub saying] it was the perpetuity [is what] got me. And then she never counted the personal cost. There's not one of us in this room that has not counted the personal cost. That's why she's different. That's interesting. That's beautiful," he added.

Regarding how demonic forces operate, Father Ripperger indicated that the usual suspects are not always the most influential in the dark realm.

"Satanists and witches that are public are always, at the very best, middle-tier people," Ripperger explained. "Usually, they're low-level people that are involved in the occult.

"The high level of people in the occult, these are people where witchcraft has been in their families for 300 to 400 years. Their knowledge about how this stuff works is almost on the same level as mine. They know exactly how this stuff works. They know exactly what rituals will get specific effects, and they do it, and you will never know who they are.

"They could be the person sitting next to you in the pew... They can be the police officer or the judge. They can be the guy that's your baker. They can be the totally normal people that seem really nice and kind to you.

"Those people... are involved in the occult at the higher level. It's a cult, it's hidden, and it's hidden because once it's discovered, it guts the effectiveness of what they're doing. And so they always keep it quiet."

Ripperger concluded by encouraging the faithful to fight the good fight in these dark times.

"We also know that even in the Church, when it just seems to be in a meltdown mode, it doesn't matter how bad things get; Christ said the gates of hell will not prevail. It'll get bad for a while, but hell will not prevail.

"If the demons have gained ascendancy, and if things are as evil as they are, we know from Scripture that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. This means to those who are faithful to grace, that fidelity to grace, that when God gives you grace to go to church, He gives you grace to go pray."