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What happened to Fr. Euteneuer – the mystery spreads January 17, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, sadness, scandals.

I’ve written a few times about the seemingly odd connection between the virtual disappearance of the formerly very public Fr. Thomas Euteneuer (also formerly the head of Human Life International) and the simultaneous disappearance of his books Exorcism and the Church Militant and Demonic Abortion.   Now comes an article from the Palm Beach Post discussing his virtual disappearance.  Suffice it to say, his departure was sudden, and was timed very closely with the release of Exorcism and the Church Militant:

But this summer, without warning, Euteneuer, 48, left his HLI post, saying he had been called back to the Palm Beach Diocese by Bishop Gerald Barbarito. His book on exorcism disappeared.

The Catholic blogosphere lit up like a Christmas tree, as supporters speculated on where he was, why he left an organization he seemed destined to lead and what his professional future might be.

The person who could answer those questions is Barbarito, Euteneuer’s superior. And Barbarito is not talking.

A diocesan spokeswoman said only, “This is a matter dealing with priestly personnel, and we are not going to participate in this story.”

Euteneuer did not respond to an interview request.

Euteneuer’s supporters are still questioning the reasons for his departure.

“What really happened to exorcist Euteneuer?” wrote Catholic blogger Matt C. Abbott in December on RenewAmerica.com, a Catholic website.

Trained in exorcism ritual

Before he dropped out of public life, Euteneuer was a frequent interviewee on Abbott’s blog. Abbott contacted the Diocese of Palm Beach regarding Euteneuer, but received no response.

A small number of modern-day priests, like Euteneuer, are trained in a specific Catholic exorcism ritual, in which the priest orders demons to leave a possessed person or place.

Exorcism has been a part of Catholic Church practice since its earliest days. There are references in the New Testament to Jesus casting out devils.

In a speech he would give titled “An Evening with an Exorcist,” Euteneuer attempted to demystify one of the least understood of Catholic rituals. He also recounted his bizarre experiences.

In another interview, Euteneuer said one demon offered to help him with his Latin if he would let him stay put. Asked by the interviewer if that might be an example of demonic humor, Euteneuer retorted that demons have no sense of humor.

He condemned the Harry Potter books and movies, the Twilight vampire books and movies and the television sitcom Sabrina the Teenaged Witch as vehicles for the devil to enter weaker natures. He also advocated that exorcisms be performed outside abortion clinics, which he described as “temples of a demonic religion.”

Euteneuer harshly criticized the public funeral for Sen. Edward Kennedy:

“Senator Kennedy will not be missed by the unborn who he betrayed time and time again, nor by the rest of us who are laboring to undo the scandalous example of Catholicism that he gave to three generations of Americans,” wrote Euteneuer in an official HLI statement in 2009.

Whatever happened to Euteneuer, it happened swiftly.

In June, HLI was promoting his new book, Exorcism and the Church Militant. In July, Euteneuer was back in his home diocese, in Jensen Beach, giving his “An Evening with an Exorcist” presentation.

On Aug. 27, Human Life International issued a brief press release saying Euteneuer had “stepped down” at the request of Barbarito.

All references to the exorcism book disappeared from the HLI website.

His scheduled September talk on Catholicism in a Chicago suburb was canceled.

By September, it was nearly impossible to buy a copy of his book, Exorcism and the Church Militant, just published in June. One online bookseller was offering it for $975.

There is more at the link, including a further explanation from HLI as to why the book (Exorcism…) was pulled (or not published further, whichever you choose to believe), which doesn’t ring any more true than it did before.  Apparently, HLI is sufficiently awash in funds that they don’t need to proceeds from a book  that sold out its first printing in 3 months – a pretty good achievement for a niche market book.  Since he has now been out of the public eye for almost 5 months, with nary a peep from a formerly very public priest, this looks to me less like a sabbatical and more like an enforced silencing.  And he still has no diocesan assignment.  Maybe he’s been pulled into Catholic special ops to serve as a silent assassin of demons?  We can only wonder. 

You might, in your charity, consider offering up a prayer for Fr. Euteneuer, a truly good priest and a man that should, by any logic, have a very public ministry.  I pray he will return to serve the souls he loves very much, very soon.


1. Colleen Hammond - January 17, 2011

Glad I bought a copy of the book before it disappeared…it is AWESOME, by the way!

2. Mary - January 19, 2011

I’m going to throw out a possibility. Fr Euteneuer was sent into hiding, and his book(s) removed from shelves right before the training of new exorcists. Perhaps it’s because Fr was too vocal and too, ahem, conservative and they didn’t want him influencing new exorcists-in-training…

We’ll have to watch and see if the new exorcism training and prayers are as extensive. Is this just a show of sorts?

I pray not; I pray I am completely wrong.

3. Mary - January 19, 2011

or perhaps parents got tired of hearing Fr Euteneuer warn them about the dangers of television, movies, books, and music, mot of the popular ones now involving vampires and such…
that they were allowing into the lives of their children.

4. mia - January 22, 2011

There is something in particular that Fr Euteneuer said in an excerpt from his book that is so powerful that it would never do for satan to not fight this tooth and nail.
It has caused me to think I need to convert to Catholicism.
I would like to read the book in total but it is no where to be found.

5. Gayle - January 22, 2011

I am fortunate to have purchased copies of Exorcisim and the Church Militant and Demonic Abortion before they disappeared (also sent a copy of the latter to Nancy Pelosi). I have prayed for Fr. E. often since he left HLI. He is honest, sincere, and abides by Catholic doctrine perfectly (which is necessary for an exorcist). I have experienced problems with demonic harassment for some time and came to believe Fr. E. might be the one person who could understand it and help me. My parish priest is not comfortable with these things. Please Lord Jesus, keep Fr. E safe and let him return to help us if it be your will.

6. Clara - January 25, 2011

Read today’s article Catholic Church Silences Exorcist Priest by Henry Makow http://www.henrymakow.com

7. Jennifer - January 25, 2011

We all know something is amiss. Novenas, fasting; please pass this message on.

8. Adele - January 26, 2011

Fr. Tom has been removed for good reason. He is not a good man. He is a fraud. His Bishop is protecting the public by removing him from public ministry.

tantamergo - January 26, 2011

Then, what are those reasons? I’ve read and talked to many people who know or met Fr. Euteneuer personally, and your opinion is a far outlier from how they feel about him. Everyone I have talked to describes him as a very good, very dedicated, very loving priest. It’s possible that is simply a public persona, but we don’t know. Even if he is not what he appears, even if there is some severe problem, why make the books unavailable? I could not discern any error in Exorcism and the Church Militant. That’s the angle I fail to understand – he may have some personal problems that required him to step down, but why the shutdown of the books. Is it because they were “too truthful?”

9. MM - January 26, 2011

To all:
It should be considered that the trouble surrounding Fr. E. is more serious and more sensitive than anyone yet realizes. It should also be considered that publicizing it would be very harmful, and very painful to innocent people…people other than Fr. E.

Consider that we should not want to know everything in this case.

The pulling of the books may well be a very necessary distancing of HLI from Fr. E. The credibility of the books may be in serious question, perhaps specifically because of qualities necessary in an excorcist which might be doubtful in Fr. E. at this time.

And please…rather than speculate, or badmouth a holy and wonderful organization such as HLI, pray for them, for Fr. E., and for everyone adversely touched by this tragedy. You’ll find out eventually…and probably wish you hadn’t.

tantamergo - January 26, 2011

All of the above could be true. But, at the same time, it is not outside the realm of possibility that there is an effort afoot to smear Fr. Euteneuer’s reputation. I don’t know which it is. It’s possible a carefully crafted public persona hid numerous shameful private actions. But it’s also possible that actions taken for a completely different set of reasons may be given cover with dark hints floating around the internet, and Fr. Euteneuer unable to speak in his defense. I haven’t said a dang thing negative about HLI, other than that the stated reasons for no longer publishing the books are unconvincing. Which, they are, because if the rumors ARE true, they did not stop publishing the books for the reasons stated.

It’s odd to me that these dark rumors became prevalent after the Palm Beach Post article, that is, when the story left the Catholic blogosphere and went mainstream.

Actually, it appears the claims of a personal failing on Fr. Euteneuer’s part started on the ‘Journey to Therese‘ blog in late December.

As far as reputations being maligned, all I have done is ask questions, and cast some doubt on some spurious assertions. I haven’t maligned HLI and I’ve said not one word about his bishop.

Want to talk privately, you’re free to e-mail me here.

10. MM - January 26, 2011

Please note that I addressed my post “To All”.

As I said, everyone will find out eventually, and they’ll probably wish they hadn’t.

This type of speculation can be really destructive and is certainly unnecessary. As you said, tantamergo, you don’t know which it is. There are those who do know the truth, though, and when they may speak, they’ll speak. Until then, what’s the point of anger and conjecture? If you think about it, anything can be considered to be within “the realm of possibility”. So what’s being accomplished here?

Just my 2 cents. God bless.

tantamergo - January 26, 2011

All I’m trying to do is defend what all available evidence indicates is a good priest! This is stupid!

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