THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELLS YOU!!!! Well, not really… Here is some detailed information about what is ACTUALLY involved in a Catholic Exorcism.
Catholic Church law requires EACH diocese to have at least one specially trained priest to perform exorcisms. However, the Vatican has stated that real exorcisms are SO RARE and usually end up being mental illness. But what does it take to get approval? And what happens after that?
- Medical and Psychiatric Illnesses must be ruled out by doctors.
- Appropriate signs to be displayed including:
-cutting, scratching, or biting of skin
-a cold feeling in the room
-unnatural body postures
-supernatural physical strength (beyond capability)
-levitation or movement of objects
-speaking or understanding a language unknown to the person
-change in person’s voice
-intense hatred towards religious objects/places
3. Once determined by a priest that the case matches that of demonic possession, the Vatican must review the evidence and give approval. Once approved, the priest(s) may begin.
As mentioned earlier, exorcisms are conducted by trained priests. These priests will initially restrain the possessed individual (per reason of signs of possession listed above). Priests will recite prayers such as “Our Father”, “Hail Mary”, “Athanasian Creed”, and other passages/prayers from the bible. The priest will often ask the demon for the name(s), as this is said to have weaken the demon(s). The priest will use religious items such as crucifixes and holy water. While praying over the possessed individual, the priest will sprinkle holy water and at times hold the crucifix at the individuals’ head. This ritual is performed over sessions (2-5 hours each) usually once or twice per week. Exorcisms in the Catholic rituals could take days, weeks, or months to complete. It is said to be completed when the demon is no longer possessing the individual, and he/she feels “reborn”. Obvious symptoms will have gone away, and the priest will conduct a final “cleansing” for the individual. There is sometimes an “aftermath” experienced, in which the house or individual may be experiencing “haunted like phenomena”. This is normal and should be dismissed, unless things get WORSE or the individual begins showing symptoms of possession again. REMEMBER—THE DEMON ALWAYS LIES!!!!