Thursday, March 11, 2010

Catholic Church Loses an Exorcist

According to today's Crítica de la Argentina, on of the Catholic Church's few certified exorcists, Fr. Gastón Dedyn, has left the priesthood to get married and, on Sunday, will be ordained as a Lutheran pastor.

"They used me, they mistreated me, and that's why I left," says Gastón Dedyn, one of the few priest-exorcists in the worldwide Catholic Church, who is now obliged to change his life. He has just decided to leave the priesthood to marry Laura, a woman he fell in love with three years ago. But he will not leave the ministry. This Sunday he will become a member of the Lutheran clergy in Argentina, after leaving the institution with its headquarters in Rome because of its strict celibacy.

At 61, this priest, who has spent more than half his life consecrated to God, states that his priestly vocation "is intact", but that the humiliation to which he has been subjected by the church leadership made him feel "like Uriah, the Hittite." The biblical comparison refers to the story of the soldier husband of Bathsheba whom King David ordered killed on the battle front after having impregnated his wife.

Dedyn -- who fulfilled innumerable roles of high responsibility during his priestly life -- reached a breaking point when he fell in love and formed a couple with a woman. That situation caused his separation from the Catholic Church.

Father Gastón was professor of Spirituality at the seminary in Paraná, rector of the “Santa María Madre Dios” seminary in the Diocese of San Rafael, Mendoza, vicar general and diocesan administrator and a well-known exorcist authorized by the Vatican.

– When did you begin to perform exorcisms?, Crítica de la Argentina asked.

– I've been doing exorcisms since 1998, when I had to face a woman possessed by a demon for the first time. I have taken evil out of the bodies of many people, over one hundred, through what we call diagnostic exorcism.

- And what is it like to deal with a possessed person?

- Very intense, their eyes turn white, their voices change, they vomit, they develop an uncommon strength.

- Like in the movie "The Exorcist"?

- More or less. They don't turn their heads 180 degrees, but everything else is basically the same. It's terrifying to carry on a conversation with the demon to convince it to stop bothering a person, but with the power of Christ everything is possible.

LOVE. Laura is 47 and she is the woman who changed Dedyn's life. "I met her in Baradero three years ago and we fell in love, I was already fairly upset by everything that was happening to me with the church authorities, I had even had an argument with my bishop where I raised the fact that I could not continue to bear the injustices to which I was being subjected, but it was this love that led me to decide to separate myself," the priest says. And he adds: "I always dreamed of having a huge family. Imagine, I come from one with 11 brothers and sisters and 42 nieces and nephews, and I would love to have children, but we will have to adopt."

According to a survey Dedyn himself took of his parishioners, a substantial majority agree with his decision. Given his friendship with Bishop Manuel Acuña, head of the Independent Lutheran Church of Argentina, he decided to join this new institution, in the Good Shepherd parish, in the Santos Lugares area of Buenos Aires.

"Father Gastón is a Catholic priest who has asked to serve as a minister in our Church, channeling his vocation, after having discovered the affection given by a woman who is now his wife. Father Gastón, being a priest forever and understanding that human love enriches his service to his neighbor, did not find room in the Roman Catholic Church to continue, given the celibacy requirement," Acuña explains.

A special service naming Father Gastón as an official member of the Lutheran Church will take place on Sunday March 14th at 10 am in calle Sudamérica 1712, in Santos Lugares. Perhaps some of the people he exorcised will be present.

Photo: Fr. Gastón Dedyn, Bishop Manuel Acuña, and their spouses.

No comments: