For Catholics, Interest in Exorcism Is Revived
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN - THE NEW YORK TIMES
Added: Sat, 13 Nov 2010 17:15:08 UTC
Thanks to Valerie_ for the link
Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Ill.,
in Baltimore on Friday at a conference
on exorcism. He organized the two-day event.
The rite of exorcism, rendered gory by Hollywood and ridiculed by many modern believers, has largely fallen out of favor in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States.
There are only a handful of priests in the country trained as exorcists, but they say they are overwhelmed with requests from people who fear they are possessed by the Devil.
Now, American bishops are holding a conference on Friday and Saturday to prepare more priests and bishops to respond to the demand. The purpose is not necessarily to revive the practice, the organizers say, but to help Catholic clergy members learn how to distinguish who really needs an exorcism from who really needs a psychiatrist, or perhaps some pastoral care.
“Not everyone who thinks they need an exorcism actually does need one,” said Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., who organized the conference. “It’s only used in those cases where the Devil is involved in an extraordinary sort of way in terms of actually being in possession of the person.
“But it’s rare, it’s extraordinary, so the use of exorcism is also rare and extraordinary,” he said. “But we have to be prepared.”
... Read more
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