4/04/2007

The Rite of Exorcism

I have always been very interested in the "unspoken" part of the Catholic faith. By this I mean the Church's view of the devil, ghosts, demonic influence, exorcism etc.



Every Catholic diocese has a trained exorcist who can carry out the exorcism ritual.

The diocesan bishop's authorisation is required to perform an exorcism. This authorisation can be granted for a specific case, or in a general, permanent way to the priest who exercises the ministry of exorcist in the diocese.

On the 26th January 1999 Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez, Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, published the revised ritual of exorcism.

De Exorcismus et Supplicationibus Quibusdam ("Concerning Exorcisms and Certain Supplications") is what it was called and this change was made on the back of a recommendation of the Second Vatican council.

The revised rite of exorcism, which replaces Pope Leo XIII's version of 1614, has been 10 years in the making.

According to Cannon law an exorcism is described as follows

"Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church. Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter: treating this is the concern of medical science. Therefore, before an exorcism is performed, it is important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness (cf. Code of Canon Law, can. 1172)."

Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 1673)

In the Catholic Church there are three different types of exorcism, the steps that an exorcist must follow in each situation are linked below.

1- Exorcism of the possessed

2- Baptismal exorcism

3- Other Exorcisms

I remember my father telling me about one of his mates who received an exorcism when he was younger.

Let's first remember that according to the Church only 1 in 5000 reported cases receive the exorcism ritual so it isn't a common occurance.

It seems that his mate and his brother had been left alone in the house and decided to try the Ouija Board. Whilst trying this dark art the name that came up was that of a man who had been killed three miles away an hour before hand (a fact the boys did not know at the time).

The spirit or whatever was extremely violent and threw my Da's mate all over the house.

His brother ran for help and a priest was called. The afflicted lad was constrained until the exorcist arrived and was fine after the ritual.

For that reason my father has always went berserk when one of us mentioned Ouija Boards.

Interesting to say the least!

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