Giorgio Marengo, a cardinal and exorcist in Ulan-Bator
He is the youngest among the princes of the Church. His five pieces of advice for a mature faith: praying, proper catechesis on the devil's actions, paying attention to questions of "demonology", celebrating the expulsion of "impure forces" and priestly formation.
Moscow (AsiaNews) - The CentralAsia website has published a presentation of the newly appointed Cardinal Giorgio Marengo, the 47-year-old administrator of Catholics in Mongolia who will receive the purple by Pope Francis in the consistory on 27 August. In addition to being the youngest of the Church's princes, the Consolata missionary in Ulan-Bator has also worked as an exorcist for more than 20 years, which makes him invaluable in the Mongolian lands.
Mongolia, where there are an estimated 1,500 Catholics, has a long tradition of isolation from any Western influence. One of the oldest and most deeply rooted religions in the local population is that of shamanism, with over 10,000 followers out of the country's almost three and a half million inhabitants. Shamanism was persecuted during the period of the communist dictatorship, and is now flourishing again in the Mongolian lands of Russia.
The bishop commented on his appointment, recalling that 'for me, living with this new vocation means continuing a path of poverty, humility and dialogue. His dedication to the fight against demons has also made him a master of exorcism among his brethren who receive this ministry from the Church. He was one of the lecturers in the 16th course of exorcism and prayer of deliverance, which takes place every year at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum in Rome, which he attended first as a student.
As he himself recounted, people in Mongolia preparing for Baptism face very particular difficulties, in which the deceptions of the Evil One can be seen to turn them away from the graces offered by Christ's redemption. Marengo recalls how such actions were highly perceptible from the very beginning of his mission: "The priests serving in these lands had to be reminded to attune themselves to the first disciples of the Lord, who proclaimed the Gospel by casting out demons and healing the sick".
The bishop often reminds us that not only is Mongolia steeped in ancient superstitions, but that the "new paganism" is spread throughout all the world's societies, through the incessant and universal work of the prince of darkness: "The condemnation of superstition is always topical and necessary, because in it we weaken faith and end up becoming its slaves, in order to escape our fears and uncertainties". Christ, on the other hand, "trusted totally in God the Father, and the humility of the believer consists in placing his unconditional trust in Him".
The new cardinal offers five fundamental counsels for a mature faith free from satanic illusions: first of all prayer, with Eucharistic adoration and devotion to Mary, giving great importance to liturgical texts that invoke healing of body and soul. In his opinion, the experience of Mongolia shows how "everything changes with the spread of the adoration of the Eucharist".
The second way is that of an "adequate catechesis on the devil's actions and the possibilities of counteracting him", thus paying close attention to those who seek dialogue on "questions of demonology". A fourth piece of advice concerns the "celebration of the expulsion of impure forces, when necessary", always adhering to Church norms. Finally, the bishop insists on the formation of priests and religious with regard to spiritual health, and the fight against the Evil One.