Father Paul Kalchik, the Chicago priest (and victim of predatory priests) who was unceremoniously booted from his church for burning an LGBT flag in an exorcism, described the current spiritual warfare in the Catholic Church and in the world in general as the Battle of Armageddon from the biblical book of Revelation. He also recalled casting demons out of a young man after the man attempted suicide.
“We are in the midst of a super spiritual warfare,” Kalchik told PJ Media. “When we read the book of Revelation, we read about the great battle of Meggido [better known as Armageddon], and we think it’s being fought with guns and knives or whatever.”
“It’s the story about what’s going on now, how before Christ’s Second Coming and return, there will be a great battle,” the priest argued. “It’s not a battle in the physical sense of armies, it’s a battle of demons against the faithful.” He suggested the recent sex cover-up scandal in the Catholic Church, and the culture’s embrace of LGBT ideology are parts of this great spiritual battle.
Kalchik also presented the strategy to win this battle. “It’s a battle that will be won by us by going to Confession, receiving Holy Eucharist worthily, and by prayers said in the State of Grace,” he declared, referencing two of the Catholic Church’s sacraments and the Catholic idea of a “State of Grace” following Confession and Reconciliation after committing a “mortal sin.”
“Many are engaged in this battle right now for the good of the entire church,” the priest added.
“People have asked me, ‘Do you think it’s the end of the world?’ I think we’re right in the pains of it,” Kalchik said. “I’ve been saying my prayers — it’s scary stuff.”
The priest spoke to PJ Media last week, after he had burned an old LGBT flag uncovered in his church recently. The diocese, under Cardinal Blase Cupich, ordered him not to burn the flag publicly, but he did so privately, anyway.
“It was a piece of propaganda, a sacrilegious item,” he explained, mentioning that the LGBT rainbow flag also had the symbol of a cross — thus sullying the cross by tying it with what the Bible describes as an “abomination.”
“If you look closely at church law, sacrilegious items need to be destroyed. One of the principle ways of destroying them is fire,” Kalchik explained. “I purposely said a prayer of exorcism over the thing before it was burnt and a prayer of blessing was said over the fire so that any and all evil attached to this thing would be taken by God.”
The priest emphasized the exorcism prayer in part due to the spiritual warfare in the Catholic Church and the broader society, but also because he himself has performed an exorcism.
“We had an experience of exorcism here in the parish,” Kalchik said. “A young man, 25 years of age, threw himself off of the bridge into the river, but the jump into the river did not kill him — it broke his pelvis and his arm.”
The priest said the family called him to the hospital, and “the Protestant chaplain at the hospital had given up any hope on this young man. I went into the intensive care unit and he was in full restraints and possessed by something other than a sound mind.”
“I prayed the prayer of exorcism multiple times,” Kalchik told PJ Media. “The principle prayer of exorcism used by priests is the Rosary, and the devil hates the Virgin Mary’s humility. Who knows how many Rosaries his family and I said during that horrible period of time.”
“In the aftermath of that period of time of craziness, finally peace descended upon him, then he didn’t speak for 17 days,” the priest recalled. “He started talking, and at this point in time he has no recollection of what he did, why he did it, and that whole first period of time in the hospital.”
“It’s been one of those life-changing periods of time for myself personally, but also for the church,” Kalchik said.
In the midst of the new revelations of the sexual abuse and the cover-up in the Catholic Church, however, the priest experienced “completely debilitating flashbacks” of his own experience being abused by a priest.
“When Father Cozzi abused me, I was totally blindsided. He almost destroyed my faith,” Kalchik told PJ Media. At the time, Kalchik was in seminary — and he had already been abused by a neighbor at the age of 11.
“What did I have to live for? He made the practice of my faith, the reception of the blessed sacrament [Holy Communion], going to church — he made a mockery of it all,” the priest told PJ Media. “That’s the worst part of what has happened in the priest sexual abuse crisis — these perpetrators have destroyed the simple faith of the victims.”
For this reason, “many of the victims of priest sexual abuse end up having taken their own lives by suicide or indirect means, through drugs, alcohol, escaping from it all.”
Kalchik himself has found some peace through therapy, but the recent revelations opened the wounds afresh. Now that he has gone into hiding after being forcibly removed from his church, his struggles must have gotten even worse.
“In my period of recuperation, Jesus gave me this thought,” the priest told PJ Media. “He said, ‘You know, Paul, I too suffer from flashbacks of my passion. I too am debilitated and sobbing. I too know the horror of having gone through something like what you’ve gone through.'”
“I’ve found consolation in the thought that Jesus, fully God but also fully human, knows what it feels like being hurt in such a fashion,” Kalchik confided. He noted that Jesus knows what it is like to be “betrayed by people you’re supposed to trust, like a priest in my case,” and Judas in Jesus’s case.
Americans may or may not believe Kalchik’s exorcism tale — although it is far less theatric than many would expect — but it seems hardly debatable to say the Catholic Church is struggling with inner demons. Many Christians would also agree that the culture war is a deeply spiritual conflict.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.