Exorcisms May Be On The Rise

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Catholic Church has always believed in the idea of demonic possession -- of the fight, within the individual, between good and evil, says CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips.

The ancient ritual of trying to drive evil spirits formtortured souls was dramatically portrayed by Hollywood in "The Exorcist."

The Church, Phillips points out, would rather such graphic religious experiences took place privately.

When one Archbishop, Emanuel Malingo, began holding increasingly popular public exorcisms, the Vatican made him stop. The exorcism scenes weren't pretty, Phillips observes.

There is evidence, though, that the practice of exorcism is experiencing a revival, according to the Washington Post.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

13 Comments
Posted February 27, 2008 at 5:07 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. palmettopastor wrote:

In the “Book of Occasional Services” under “Exorcism” it basically says:  See Your Bishop.

February 27, 9:03 am | [comment link]
2. Ralph wrote:

One wonders whether there is a bishop school where this would be taught.

The ritual, in both Latin and English, is online. It isn’t the words that are effective - it’s the intent behind them, backed up by spiritual energy received from God.

I can think of several bishops who might benefit from the procedure. Perhaps a mass exorcism at the next HOB meeting. It wouldn’t be pretty at all.

February 27, 9:38 am | [comment link]
3. Fr. Greg wrote:

Two books:
People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck
and especially
Hostage to the Devil by Malachi Martin

February 27, 10:26 am | [comment link]
4. Bill McGovern wrote:

Thank you Ralph. LOL

February 27, 10:52 am | [comment link]
5. David+ wrote:

During my active years of ministry I did a few exorcism.  Never even thought of asking the bishop’s ok as I doubted they believed in the reality of Satan’s allies.  But if you see a real exorcism, you can no longer doubt the reality of personal evil forces.  It iinvolves a real spiritual battle and should never be taken lightly.

February 27, 11:53 am | [comment link]
6. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Comment deleted by elf.

February 27, 12:03 pm | [comment link]
7. Wilfred wrote:

#5 David,  you better check on the people you helped.  I read there has been an increase in the number of repossessions lately.

February 27, 12:11 pm | [comment link]
8. Violent Papist wrote:

Malachi Martin was a notorious con artist and Peck, who relied on Martin, had -err - issues.  Exorcist, cast out thine own demons.

February 27, 12:40 pm | [comment link]
9. Ouroboros wrote:

No. 3, those two books changed my life.  Glad to see someone else who holds them in high esteem.

No. 8, please provide specifics for such charges.  I understand Peck’s extramarital affairs were admitted to but, seriously, that invalidates his whole message?  Besides, who among us fallen men isn’t, in one or more ways, a “con artist” or has “issues.”  The message is what’s important, and the message from both men that the Devil is real and out to spiritually harm us is both true, and needs repeating.

February 27, 1:04 pm | [comment link]
10. libraryjim wrote:

Ralph, Post 2,
IIRC, for Catholic priests, they have to be trained at the Vatican to practice the ‘official’ rites of an exorcist, and then only after a rigorous pre-admission screening.

Violent Papist,
When researching “the Road Less Travelled”, which was being taught at the Episcopal Church I attended, I decided that Peck was more new-age than Christian. and he later admitted in a ‘Door’ interview that he was very heavily influenced by Mormon theology in developing his books and programs.  That was enough for me to want to stay away from his books.

Peace
Jim E. <><

February 27, 1:48 pm | [comment link]
11. rorymccorkle wrote:

#6 - your point is off topic and distasteful.

Commented deleted by elf. Thanks for the head’s up.

February 27, 7:38 pm | [comment link]
12. Brian from T19 wrote:

If you want to get past all the mythology and to the truth of the matter, read Fr. Gabriele Amorth’s 2 books:

http://www.amazon.com/Exorcist-Tells-His-Story/dp/0898707102

Amorth is the chief exorcist in Rome and gives insight into why Bishops must give the authority, etc.  Well worth the $20 for both books.  The description is below

In this powerful book, the renowned exorcist of Rome tells of his many experiences in his ministry as an exorcist doing battle with Satan to relieve the great suffering of people in the grip of evil. The importance of the ministry to “expel demons” is clearly seen in the Gospels, from the actions of the Apostles, and from Church history. Fr. Amorth allows the reader to witness the activities of the exorcist, to experience what an exorcist sees and does. He also reveals how little modern science, psychology, and medicine can do to help those under Satan’s influence, and that only the power of Christ can release them from this kind of mental, spiritual or physical suffering.

An Exorcist Tells His Story has been a European best-seller that has gone through numerous printings and editions. No other book today so thoroughly and concisely discusses the topic of exorcism.

February 27, 11:13 pm | [comment link]
13. Ralph wrote:

The authority for a Christian to “perform” an exorcism comes from God through baptism, and the power to do so also comes from God. Some are called to this ministry, and some are not. Exorcism by any other authority or power is spiritually dangerous to the would-be exorcist.

Ordination does not in and of itself confer this exousia and dunamis. It can be “done” by anyone who has this spiritual gift.

No self-respecting neo-Enlightenment liberal bishop would consider having a diocesan exorcist, because such bishops know with certainty that demons do not exist. That’s because their very own demons are keeping them confused.

Movies like The Exorcist imply that demons have great power. Their only REAL power is that of deception, however, that “power” is very well-developed.

February 28, 10:52 am | [comment link]
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