Saturday, May 5, 2007

Was Cho Possessed by the Devil?

Updated: Fr. Tom asked that I include the last paragraph in my excerpt.

From Father Tom Euteneuer at Spirit & Life:

Well, first let me say that, as a Catholic priest, I have seen and worked with my share of possessed and obsessed individuals. It’s entirely possible for someone to be at once responsible for his own acts and totally under the influence of the devil in committing them. In this case, Cho pulled the trigger, but the devil was the author of the deed. Does not Jesus call him “a murderer from the beginning”? The devil is the prime mover of all evil in the world, but human beings freely cooperate with him in their evil decisions. No one gets off the hook of responsibility by blaming the devil, but we can’t say that the devil is a detached observer to crimes like this.

The evil work that Cho perpetrated bears the classic marks of a possession that he cooperated in. Four clear signs of serious demonic influence were evident in his life and virtually assured that he would commit some kind of heinous crime against humanity in time. These are the devil’s tactics for the destruction of body and soul: isolate, distort, excite, plot—and then kill.

First, it is not always clear how a demon enters someone, but it is sure that once a demon enters a person, that demon bends all his efforts of mind and will to overtake his host’s life and make it his own. Isolation is the best technique. By all accounts, Cho was an isolated loner whose belonging to his demon was very far advanced. He had no friends to speak of, no significant associates or relationships and certainly no religious practice.

Second, with time and permission, the demon totally perverts all the person’s mental processes in order to translate them into demon-think. Cho’s writings leading up to the crime, and Cho’s now-famous video manifesto, all exhibited signs that the process of demonic perversion of mind and values was complete. He was verbally fantasizing in front of his classmates and teachers about killing people in the most horrible ways. In the end he even blasphemously claimed to be dying like Jesus Christ for the sins of others: this is perverse thinking in the extreme.

Third, a crime of this immensity cannot be accomplished without a person’s total emotional commitment. After reprogramming a person’s thought patterns, the demon excites his passions to do what he wants. Others have very credibly explained how Cho’s pathetic video images imitating the Korean flick, Old Boy, were evidence of his heightened emotions influenced by violent images. He even ranted in imitation of the Columbine killers Harris and Klebold in solidarity for the deed he was about to commit. In other words, it’s very difficult to sustain such an emotional intensity about the evil he planned and carried out without some direct force multiplier. Graphic images provided it.

Finally, he plotted—like all demons from Satan to the perpetrators of the World Trade Center attacks. He bought guns and ammo, he planned the date and times and places of the murder, and he even went regularly at night to work out at the campus gym in order to look the part of a mass murderer. The devil must have been very happy to witness his prey blast his brains out after perpetrating the bloody murders of 32 innocents. That is the ultimate victory for the devil.

As sad as the physical deaths of innocent people are, perhaps the saddest element of the story is the likely loss of Cho Seung-Hui’s immortal soul by this demonic action. The rabbis used to say that the angels weep at the loss of a soul that God created to share in His eternal blessedness; I am sure the angels are weeping now. Let us all commend the innocent victims of this crime, their families and the possessed perpetrator to the Mercy of God and then re-commit ourselves to proclaiming Christ and His victory over evil so that none of God’s children will ever be lost.

4 comments:

  1. This post is of course disturbing, sad, and though-provoking in many ways. But the part that really made me sit up was the last paragraph.

    It may have been the case that in past ages of the Church we were too ready to do God's job and declare people damned. It's a good thing that we have learned that there is always a ray of hope for anyone, no matter how depraved they may have seemed. God's grace can work miracles that we cannot fathom.

    But I think we may have gone too far in the direction of correction for the past and now we are afraid to speak of "likely damnation." I'm afraid if we can't make provisional judgments like this, we will not really be able to confront the reality of damnation at all.

    God be praised if Cho is somehow saved. But he is very likely damned. And the example of his damnation, as well as his possession, can be a salutary one for us.

    ReplyDelete
  2. First of all, I believe that in any horrible act of violence there is a great possibilit that the devil is at work. I must say that I am a bit concerned that as a priest that you would make a connection betweent these acts an actual demonic possession.

    The burden of proof that has been established by the Holy Cathoic Church when looking to identify demonic or diabolical possession starts with confirmation of the following approximate symtoms:

    un natural powers of strength.

    un natrual knowledge of things of knowledge of languages that they could not know or never learned

    adversion to relgious topices and relics and the holy sacraments.

    It has not been made clear in your post or in any other piece of information that I have seen that these things were present.

    While some of these things may have been we must be cautious as Catholics in propigating or sensationlising real demonic possession.

    ReplyDelete
  3. First of all, I believe that in any horrible act of violence there is a great possibilit that the devil is at work. I must say that I am a bit concerned that as a priest that you would make a connection betweent these acts an actual demonic possession.

    The burden of proof that has been established by the Holy Cathoic Church when looking to identify demonic or diabolical possession starts with confirmation of the following approximate symtoms:

    un natural powers of strength.

    un natrual knowledge of things of knowledge of languages that they could not know or never learned

    adversion to relgious topices and relics and the holy sacraments.

    It has not been made clear in your post or in any other piece of information that I have seen that these things were present.

    While some of these things may have been we must be cautious as Catholics in propigating or sensationlising real demonic possession.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 33 is the absolut masonic degree...

    An evil is alive and has always lived
    with the devil.

    ReplyDelete