Exorcist: Priests called to reveal ‘Father’s loving face’
Fr. Gregory Thomas Clark, O.P. at the 3rd National Conference on the Ministry of Spiritual Liberation and Exorcism, Aug. 20, 2018 MINNIE AGDEPPA
By Minnie Abigail Agdeppa
Sept. 16, 2018
In an emotionally-moving sharing of his journey as a priest, an American exorcist recently reminded priests of their important calling to reveal the loving face of God the Father as “alter Christus,” at the 3rd National Conference on the Ministry of Spiritual Liberation and Exorcism.
“Know your identity in Jesus…Part of that is revealing the loving face of the Father. Part of that is liberating people from things that have been holding them bound for so many years, part of that is speaking dignity into the lives of people who do not think they have any worth, part of that is absorbing anger and hatred, enduring persecution, and responding in time,” said Fr. Gregory Thomas Clark, O.P. to the members of PACE gathered at the University of Santo Tomas on Aug. 20.
According to Clark, he realized these things after a retreat that focused on the writings of St. Paul. He shared how God made him realize how mediocre he was as a priest. Particularly, Thomas noted how he “mistreated people”, “[did not show them] the Father’s love,” and “was hurting them and not recognizing their dignity”. He said he cried after “the Lord drove into [his] heart and showed” him what his sins were as a priest.
Thomas also stressed how priests are called to be “sons in the Son,” calling it an “amazing reality.”
“And you can’t do it on your own. It’s not a program you can put together. It’s something you receive from the Father,” he explained, referring to attaining self-knowledge as a priest.
The National Conference on the Ministry of Spiritual Liberation and Exorcism is an annual 5-day conference spearheaded by the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Exorcism (AMOE) and the Philippine Association of Catholic Exorcists (PACE) in partnership with the University of Santo Tomas.
This year’s conference was designed more as a retreat-workshop to deepen the training previously given to exorcists. As such, only exorcists were invited to the 2018 conference, unlike in previous years when it was open to lay associates.