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Does the Catholic Church still practice exorcism?

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Does the Catholic Church still practice exorcism?

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Exorcism in the Catholic Church is the use of exorcism in the Roman Catholic faith for those who are believed to be the victims of demonic possession. In Roman Catholicism, exorcism is sacramental but not a sacrament, unlike baptism or confession.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “When the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion, it is called exorcism.

At every Baptism a so-called simple exorcism is performed, a prayer in which the person being baptized is taken away from the devil and is strengthened against the “principalities and powers” that Jesus overcame. Major exorcism is a prayer offered by Jesus’ authority and in his strength through which a baptized Christian is delivered from the influence and power of the devil; the Church rarely uses this prayer, and only after the most rigorous examination.

The depiction of “exorcisms” in Hollywood films for the most part does not reflect the truth about Jesus and the Church. It was often reported about Jesus that he drove out demons. He had power over evil principalities and powers and could deliver men from them. To the apostles Jesus gave “authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity” (Mt 10:1). The Church does the same today whenever an authorized priest pronounces the prayer of exorcism over a person who requests it. First, however, the possibility must be excluded that the phenomenon is psychological in nature (a psychiatrist is competent in such matters). An exorcism wards off spiritual temptation and oppression and delivers from the power of the evil one.

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The Catholic Church revised the Rite of Exorcism in January 1999, though the traditional Rite of Exorcism in Latin is allowed as an option. The ritual assumes that possessed persons retain their free will, though the demon may hold control over their physical body, and involves prayers, blessings, and invocations with the use of the document Of Exorcisms and Certain Supplications.

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