The chief exorcist of the Archdiocese of Manila warned that the “virtual world” is opening ways for evil to thrive and destroy the human soul.
In an online forum on Wednesday, October 5, Father Jose Francisco Syquia said technology promises “versions of redemption” that are devoid of God.
Speaking at the first “In Defense of Truth” online conference, the priest urged the people to realize that “evil penetrates families and communities” in the subtlest way.
“Not all that is technologically possible is morally acceptable,” the priest said, quoting Pope Francis’ message to the 2017 plenary of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
“Virtual reality is even made to look more real than objective reality,” said Father Syquia, adding that gadgets “make a person fall into an altered state of consciousness that makes him psychically open, if not sensitive to the spirit world.”
He said man has become dependent, even addicted, on gadgets. Social media apps are “purposely made to be addictive,” he said, adding that “addiction is very easy because of man’s concupiscence.”
Father Syquia said the consequence of “man-technology fusion” is “disheartening” and causes “hatred, rage, despair, isolation, and loneliness.”
He also warned that the advent of smartphones has given rise to mental health issues, such as “unforgiveness, apathy, aggressiveness, and rudeness.”
The priest said narcissism is on the rise and loneliness is fast becoming the number one epidemic among young people.
He said low self-esteem is now boosted by the number of likes as well as followers, admiring “outrageous even immoral acts.”
Preoccupations have also increased, leaving people with “no time to prepare for their entry into heaven,” said Father Syquia.
The exorcist-priest urged netizens to avoid “evil websites,” such as those dealing with occultism and witchcraft.
“The devil can speak through social media. In pre and even actual exorcism rites, electronic gadgets have been used by the devil to communicate to netizens,” he said.
Father Syquia urged people to “be aware of the three signs of the devil” — isolation, rage, and nakedness.
He said the diabolical lies and deceptions in the virtual world tend to leak onto offline settings.
The online conference was organized by the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences – Office of Social Communication, Veritas Asia Institute of Social Communication, the Catholic Media Network – Philippines, and Mary the Queen Parish in the Diocese of Novaliches.
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