House chaplain prays to cast ‘spirits of darkness’ from Congress

Rev. Patrick Conroy

(CNN) — You know things are bad in Congress when the chaplain’s morning prayer on the House floor sounds like an exorcism.

On Thursday, the Rev. Patrick Conroy told members of Congress it has been a “difficult and contentious week in which darker spirits seem to have been at play in the people’s house.”

“In Your most holy name, I now cast out all spirits of darkness from this chamber, spirits not from You,” continued Conroy, a Jesuit priest who has been chaplain of the House of Representatives since 2011. As he prayed, Conroy closed his eyes and raised his hands in supplication.

At times, Conroy’s prayer sounded strikingly similar to the Catholic Church’s old Rite of Exorcism, in which a priest cast “unclean spirits” from a possessed person. (The rite was revised in 1999.)

In a brief interview afterward, Conroy said the echo was intentional. But he added that his prayer, which he wrote himself, was more inspired by traditional blessings for homes or other buildings.

“Anoint your servants here in the House with a healing balm to comfort and renew the souls of all in this assembly,” Conroy prayed. “May your spirit of wisdom and patience descend upon all do that any spirit of darkness might have no place in our midst.”

The idea for the prayer came to him, the chaplain said, after Tuesday’s contentious House vote to condemn as racist President Donald Trump’s tweets telling four Democrat congresswomen to “go back” to their home countries. Three were born in the United States, the fourth is a naturalized citizen.

“I was on the House floor on Tuesday,” Conroy told CNN, “and to me, it felt different than other days. It felt like there was something going on beyond just political disagreement. The energy of the House was very off. No one was relishing what was happening.”

Thursday wasn’t the first time Conroy has prayed for peace amid congressional squabbles.

“At the end of a contentious week, let Your spirit of peace descend upon this place and those who work here,” he prayed on June 29.

But while Conroy often invokes God to provide wisdom and aid to House members, he rarely mentions the darker side of the supernatural.

“If you are a person of faith,” Conroy told CNN on Thursday, “ultimately everything in our lives, our communities and our culture is a battle between darker spirits and our better angels.”

Conroy’s term was approved by the House in January, less than a year after he was briefly ousted in a controversial move by then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

On Thursday, the 68-year-old Jesuit priest said his prayer was intentionally non-partisan.

“You heard it, I wasn’t picking sides,” he said. “That’s ultimately the goal every day. I want every member of the House to be able to say ‘amen.’ I’m praying for our better angels.”


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  • George

    By ‘spirits of darkness’ he means ” Democrats ” , their beloved Jihad squad, and assorted anti American leftists.

  • lml25

    I heard Ocasio-Cortez,Tlaib,Pressley and Omar turned into black smoke and shot through the ceiling.Another successful exorcism.

    • Who Cares

      Could you learn proper spacing at least. I know you are not that smart, but it seems like this is something you could learn!

  • steve

    If someone could cast spirits of darkness from the House, there’d be a loud ‘POOF’, and we’d see many empty seats as a result.

  • Chris

    If people knew the scripture they would understand America is EXACTLY where God would have her. She’s at the threshold of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Isn’t that what Adam and Eve wanted? Didn’t man want to learn what it means to operate outside the context of God’s provision? Well we’re getting it. God is not going to force his way on us, He’ll wait till we bust our head over and over again, until WE get tired of it. God placed three consequences before man. One happened in the Garden of Eden and set the division between man and woman (see Proverbs 31:11-12). The second was set through Noah to his sons and set the division or the consequence of the equation of Master and servant. The final and third one was set at the Tower of Babel and set a division between man using race, Creed and language. These divisions were to keep men at Bay and man from finding an ultimate Triumph and Oneness in their sin, as the people found in Sodom and Gomorrah (to the point where there weren’t even 10 qualified for the grace of God). So America as long as we got more than 10 in this nation that are willing to serve God completely, we just might have a chance. Yes so I’m saying there’s a chance, in Christ always.

    So as the Apostle Paul said, for you are no longer male or female, no longer master and bondservant, no longer Jew no longer Greek but now one in Christ….. The three judgments of God cured in Christ.

    That’s the only way out people. Other than that those judgments from God will always kick in and you will end up with the mess America is finding itself in, with only one way out. So the more a civilization breeds freedom without the provision of God’s word, the more that Civilization will find its men and women at odds with one another…, will find it’s Masters and servants at odds with one another…, and will ultimately find man of different race, Creed and language at odds with one another. But Christ simplified the answer for us, “just love one another.” Something so simple, but yet something so unattainable without Him.

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