Exorcist Goes Viral on Social Media, Says ‘Demons Are Not to Be Feared’

‘They’re on a short leash,’ says Father Chad Ripperger. ‘They can only do what Christ permits.’

Ary Scheffer, “The Temptation of Christ”, 1854
Ary Scheffer, “The Temptation of Christ”, 1854 (photo: Public Domain)

The popular Catholic speaker and author Chris Stefanick shared an excerpt recently from an interview he conducted with Father Chad Ripperger, a well-known Colorado priest who specializes in exorcism and spiritual warfare. The two discussed an incident in which Father Ripperger came face-to-face with a particularly obstinate demon.

“So I turned to God the Father and said, ‘Punish him in a way he’s never been punished before.’”

Father Ripperger then described a “full-blown preternatural manifestation” that made him conclude that “this is what hell looks like.” Stefanick was quick to point out: “It’s really fallen out of style to talk about such things [as hell].”

Regardless, the short clip — aptly titled “This Exorcist has only been scared TWICE in his career!” — received 282,000 views and 9,300 likes on Facebook within a few weeks of it being shared and hundreds of positive comments such as: “Great line, Chris! ‘Faith and fear don’t coexist.’”

Chris Stefanick has interviewed Father Ripperger many times on his show, which is put out by the Augustine Institute and aired on YouTube. In a previous interview with Father Ripperger, Chris Stefanick delved into Father Ripperger's personal life, questioning him about what led him to want to be not only a priest but an exorcist.

Father Ripperger described hearing the call to the priesthood at the age of 4 when he watched his mother kneel at the altar to receive Holy Communion. He talked about a childhood in which his parents modeled a deep, personal devotion to Jesus, attending daily Mass often and praying the Rosary together as a family every night.

Father Ripperger encouraged modern-day parents to adopt these same traditional habits.

“In my experience,” he said, “When children grow up and remain Catholic, the family has often prayed the Rosary together every day.” Stefanick was quick to support Father Ripperger's point with a rhetorical question: “[Am I] just talking to my kids about God or am I talking to God, with my kids, all together as a family?”

Such practical advice about how the spiritual life extends into day-to-day practices is why Father Ripperger has become so well-known. He has a way of cutting to the heart of the matter on a countless array of subjects.

To watch the rest of the original 27-minute interview that includes the clip featured in the first paragraph, check out Chris Stefanick Show on YouTube.