Exorcism: Is It Real?
Evicting Demons or Other Spiritual Entities
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|Exorcism: Is It Real?
Evicting Demons or Other Spiritual Entities
exorcism is the practice of evicting a spirit or evil entity from a
person or place which is believed to be possessed by causing this entity
to swear an oath.
The term became prominent in early
Christianity from the early second century onward as the casting out of
Nevertheless, the practice is quite ancient and part of the
belief system of many cultures and religions.
In Christian practice the person performing the
exorcism, known as an exorcist, is often a member of the church, or an individual thought to be graced with special powers or skills.
The exorcist may use prayers, and religious material, such as set formulas, gestures, symbols, icons, amulets, etc.
The exorcist often invokes God, Jesus and/or several different angels
and archangels to intervene with the exorcism. In general, possessed
persons are not regarded as evil in themselves, nor wholly responsible
for their actions.
Therefore, practitioners regard exorcism as more of a cure than a
punishment. The mainstream rituals usually take this into account,
making sure that there is no violence to the possessed, only that they
be tied down if there is potential for violence.
The Christian practice of exorcism approaches the subject with a
procedure of presuming mental or physical illness and employing mental
health and medical professionals to rule out physical or mental causes
before authorization of the exorcism ritual.
When all possible benign
causes are ruled out, the case is treated as a malignant demonic
possession and an exorcism may be performed.
In Christianity, an exorcism is a ceremony used to drive demons out of a person they have possessed. By the 3rd century this task was assigned to a specially trained class of lower clergy. Rituals for exorcism of people and places also exist in many other traditions.
Exorcist - To Cast out the Devil or Demons
In some religions an exorcist is a person who is believed to be able to cast out the devil or other demons. A priest, a nun, a monk, a healer, a shaman or other specially prepared or instructed person can be an exorcist.
An exorcist is a person who performs the ridding of demons or other supernatural beings who are alleged to have possessed a person, or (sometimes) a building or even an object.
Since the Council of Trent in 16th century, "Exorcist" was one of the four minor orders in the Roman Catholic Church, received after the tonsure.
At the time this order was formally defined and confined exclusively to exorcism of the catechumen in the rite of Baptism, leaving exorcisms of demons to priests; but its role was later expanded.
By the twentieth century, the order had become purely ceremonial. As a minor order, Exorcists wore the surplice. The office of Exorcist was not a part of the sacrament of Holy Orders but as a sacramental was instead first conferred on those who had the special charism to perform its duties and later to those studying for the priesthood.
Nevertheless, until recent times, Catholic exorcists were both clerical and lay, since every Christian has the power to command demons and drive them out in the name of Christ. The Exorcist order was suppressed during the reforms of the minor orders after the Second Vatican Council by Paul VI.
The rite of conferral continues in societies that use the 1962 form of the Roman Rite, such as the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, or earlier forms, such as the Society of St. Pius V.
Some believe that attainment of the position of Acolyte in post-Council practices implies ordination to the minor orders which used to be below it, such as Exorcist and Porter, although this has not been officially defined. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that: "Jesus performed exorcisms and from him the Church has received the power and office of exorcizing".
Recently, many dioceses have formally appointed priests to the function of Exorcist as a result of reaffirmation of exorcism as a necessary ritual by Pope John Paul II (who reportedly performed three exorcisms himself during his pontificate) and Pope Benedict XVI. Gabriele Amorth is the chief exorcist of the Diocese of Rome, and founder of the International Association of Exorcists.
The Demonic Documentary - Ghosts and Spirits
Exorcism (from Late Latin exorcismus, from Greek exorkizein - to bind by oath) is the practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed by causing the entity to swear an oath.
The term became prominent in early Christianity from the early second century onward as the casting out of demons.
Nevertheless, the practice is quite ancient and part of the belief system of many cultures and religions.
Exorcism is another instance where religion and science clash. Many religious and non-religious people believe that a person can become possessed by 'evil spirits' and that an exorcist performing an exorcism in some circumstances is the only way to cure the 'possessed' individual.
Scientists look at this particular issue from another stand-point. Most scientists believe that there are rational explanations behind a person that appears to be 'possessed'. Such explanations usually start with the 'possessed persons' brain. Most scientists figure that this type of behavior is brought on by such things as mental illness and other psychological disorders.
Psychological disorders are considered rational explanations to what would make an individual appear to be possessed. These types of disorders include:
- Tourette syndrome - Tourette syndrome causes involuntary movements and vocal outbursts
- Schizophrenia - schizophrenia involves auditory and visual hallucinations, paranoia, delusions and sometimes violent behavior
- Epilepsy - people with epilepsy can suddenly go into convulsions when having a seizure
- Low self-esteem or Narcissism - low self-esteem and narcissism can cause a person to act out the role of "possessed person" in order to gain attention