Important Correction - Fr. Ripperger says "25% of Population Suffers from Diabolical Obsession," Not Possession

An Important Correction
A recent article from Church Militant unfortunately portrayed Fr. Ripperger's teaching on the prevalence of possession incorrectly.  
The article presented a much more extreme view of the spiritual malady which oppresses our world today.  In that article, it was erroneously stated that Fr. Ripperger said, "Over 20% of the general population are 'perfectly possessed'." 
This is not correct.
While mortal sin opens us to the influence of the diabolical and to the potential for possession, extraordinary diabolical activity in a person's life depends on God's permission for it to occur.
As Fr. Ripperger has stated, in at least 99% of cases, God blocks the demons from seizing the opportunity to possess us.

As a result, according to Fr. Ripperger, possession is very rare.  As I report in my book, Fr. Ripperger sees the occurrence of possession as being very low:  estimating it to be about 2% of people who come to see him, or three (3) out of every one hundred and fifty (150) cases.

This is nowhere near the "20% of the general population" which it was reported that he had said.

Importance of Correctness

It is important to understand the true reality of diabolical influence, both in what is actually happening in our world and in what is not actually happening.

Presentations of the activity of the diabolical that are exaggerations of the true reality can lead people into an improper state of fear of Satan.  
While a fear of sin and of the consequences of sin is very important in the life of the faithful, a fear of Satan and his demons is not conducive to our perseverance in grace.  Demons are not to be feared, ultimately. When we fear the devil, he gains power against us.
If we sin mortally and give demons permission to enter our lives, they can completely ruin us and pull us away from God, risking our damnation - this we should fear.  But demons have no power over us unless we have separated ourselves from God and His Divine Protection.

The statement that twenty percent of the general population is "perfectly possessed" is a misleading exaggeration, in addition to being an inaccurate presentation of Fr. Ripperger's teaching.  
Further, this percentage would mean that one in five people we encounter in the general public is possessed!  While exorcists, such as Fr. Ripperger, state that the extraordinary activity of the demons is increasing in this age of the world, we are not yet at such a dire state of affairs as the Church Militant article portrays.

Diabolical Obsession ~ "25% of the Population"
What is the more common form of extraordinary diabolical influence is what is called "diabolical obsession."  This is where the demons assault the intellect with all sorts of disordered thoughts in order to drive the person away from God.  It is an extraordinary form of temptation.

I discuss diabolical obsession in my book, Slaying Dragons: What Exorcists See & What We Should Know.  Here is a relevant excerpt: 

"Unlike vexation and oppression, obsession is an internal diabolical assault, involving a bombardment of thoughts into the person’s mind. Fr. Ripperger describes diabolic obsession as a situation where a demon is waging war on the person’s imagination and emotions to the extent that the person, in some cases, loses control over it. He adds that the person is free but is burdened by obsessive thoughts that are “rationally absurd but which the person remains incapable of thinking otherwise.”

"Fr. Amorth describes obsession as an experience where the person is “subjected to a powerful force that creates mental activity in him that is repetitive, obsessive, and irresistible.” It can include visions, voices, hallucinations, and disturbing images. While it does not completely take over the mind, it does “condition him in his relationship with the world.” Since “these obsessive disturbances are very similar to mental pathologies,” it is necessary to seek medical assistance to ensure the illness is not purely natural."

Fr. Ripperger, as I mention in my book, has estimated that about 25% of the population of the US is suffering from this form of diabolical influence - diabolical obsession, not perfect possession.

While being diabolically obsessed is a burdensome situation, which can influence both the way an individual thinks and the way he engages with society, it is in no way on par with the effects of possession.

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