Exorcism conference in progress

Posted by Glennis Byron on November 13, 2010 in News tagged with

The New York Times reports that

American bishops are holding a conference on Friday and Saturday to prepare more priests and bishops to respond to the demand [for exorcism]. 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.

So it’s not, as some reporters are announcing, a ‘how-to’ session.

The conference is organised by Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill. Commentators are suggesting that this revival of interest in exorcism on the part of the church is part of an attempt on the part of many American Catholic bishops and priests to correct the lack of emphasis on questions of sin and evil in the wake of the modernising reforms following the Second Vatican council meetings in the 1960s. Many believe, along with the current Pope, that the supernatural element of the church was lost in the modernising process, reducing it to just another institution.

The Vatican’s current  guidelines on exorcism, written in Latin, were last updated in 1999. This was the first updating since 1614.

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