“In your most Holy Name, I now cast out all spirits of darkness in this chamber — spirits not from you,” prayed House Chaplain Father Patrick
Conroy in a bid to “cleanse” the congressional chamber of darkness.
Following a week of bickering and hyperpartisan politics, Conroy felt that it was time to step back and assess the spiritual temperature. The result? Not good at all.
Father Conroy was also deeply grieved at the fact Democratic congressman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) felt he had to abandon the House chair on Tuesday due to the relentless, untamed arguing amongst members on the floor.
So, he took action. Rising to the pulpit at the beginning of Thursday’s session, he declared:
“This has been a difficult and contentious week in which darker spirits seem to have been at play in the people’s house,” before ordering the divisive and discouraging presence to leave immediately.
In a Fox News interview Thursday, Cleaver expanded more on the chaplain’s actions, revealing that the pair had a pivotal conversation about the atmosphere of the House earlier in the week.
“Father Patrick and I sat together earlier the day of all of the chaos and confusion during the resolution concerning President Trump,” Cleaver told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum. “And he leaned over and said, ‘You know, I feel a presence in here, an evil presence.’ He said ‘it’s not a Democrat or a Republican.’ He said ‘there’s something else going on here.’ He said, ‘I’m going to have to pray tomorrow to ask God to cleanse this place.'”
A Prayer Straight Out of Ephesians
Cleaver went onto explain the origin of the prayer recited by Chaplain Conroy, noting that it could be found in the book of Ephesians. “It comes from Paul’s letter to Ephesians, where he said, ‘we fight not flesh and blood, but principalities.'”
“In other words, there is another evil spirit,” Cleaver explained.
The verse the congressman was referring to is found in Ephesians 6:12, which reads:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil..” (ESV)
“It’s difficult to argue with Father Patrick,” Cleaver added. “Because there is a mess going on here, and the tragedy is that I think there are many Americans who think it’s OK.”
Cleaver went on to say that, as an ordained Methodist pastor, “there is such a thing as evil and I also think that there are forces outside the United States that are trying to tear us apart.”
“We are raising our hands saying, ‘please get us, let us tear our country up!'”
Cleaver also explained his reasons for abandoning the chair and storming out of the chamber when, despite his pleas, the politicians continued to fight aimlessly.
“Everyone who had spoken violated the House rules,” Cleaver said, adding that he “admonished Democrats and Republicans,” but to no avail. “I thought, ‘these people just want to fight.’ So, [I left],” he said.