Congress remains deeply unpopular, but might the U.S. Capitol also be demonic?
One might be forgiven for thinking so, especially after listening to Thursday’s opening prayer from House Chaplain Patrick Conroy, S.J.
“This has been a difficult and contentious week in which darker spirits seem to have been at play in the people’s house,” Father Conroy said, before closing his eyes and lifting his hands in prayer. “In your most holy name, I now cast out all spirits of darkness from this chamber, spirits not from you.”
“I was on the House floor on Tuesday,” Father Conroy told CNN, adding that “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.”
During the prayer, the Jesuit priest sought to “cast out the spirit of discouragement which deadens the hope of those who are of good will. I cast out the spirit of petty divisiveness which clouds the sense and the desire to be of fruitful productivity in addressing the issues more appropriately before this House. I cast out any sadness brought on by the frustration of dealing with matters detrimental to the honorable work each member has been called to engage in.”
Father Conroy asked God to “anoint your servants here in the House with a healing balm to comfort and renew the souls of all in this assembly.”
“May your spirit of wisdom and patience descend upon all so that any spirit of darkness might have no place in our midst. Rather, let your spirit of comity, of brother- and sisterhood, and love of our nation and of all colleagues in this chamber, empower our better angels to be at play in our common work to be done for the benefit of all your people,” he said.