Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Exorcisms of Emma

From Medium:
Soon after settling at his new post, Father Theo, 39, got word from Thomas Drumm, Bishop of Des Moines, about a strange case. Twenty-six-year- old Emma Schmid of Germantown was suffering from disturbing experiences. Theo had met the devoutly religious Emma and her family years before, when she was sixteen and Theo was studying theology in Milwaukee before his stint in New York. His notes reflect finding her “always truthful and obedient, cheerful and companionable, and [leading] an exemplary life.” 
Despite the fallout from his possession cases back east, the request to look into such a claim did not faze Father Theo. As one of his colleagues, Reverend Father Carl Vogl, later wrote of Theo’s state of mind before Emma’s case: “He had little suspicion that he would meet with the severest experience as yet encountered by him.” 
Father Theo followed Roman Ritual, which contained the church-mandated guidelines to “diagnose” a possession and differentiate it from illness or fraud. “I am not so easily convinced that there is a possession,” he explained to the Milwaukee Journal in a rare interview. “Hundreds of persons have been sent to me by priests and laymen who believed that there is a possession. Usually I find otherwise.” (Read more.)

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