Tags: Religion | churchexorcismUS

Atlantic: Catholic Exorcisms Surging in Popularity in US

father vince lambert with the book he uses for exorcism
Fr. Vince Lampert poses with his Rite of Exorcism book at the SS. Francis and Clare Church in Greenwood, Indiana. (Scott Roberson/AP)

By    |   Monday, 26 November 2018 07:46 PM

Though the belief in demonic possession is as old as religion, exorcisms are now particularly widespread in the United States, according to The Atlantic.

In an extensive profile of one case that caused a tormented woman in Washington state to seek help from both mental health experts and an exorcist, The Atlantic noted the demand for exorcism appears to be growing. 

One poll finds about half of Americans believe in demonic possessions.

According to The Atlantic, the official exorcist for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Father Vincent Lampert, said in early October that he had received 1,700 phone or email requests for exorcisms in 2018. 

Father Gary Thomas, whose training was reprised in the 2011 movie "The Rite," told The Atlantic he gets at least a dozen requests a week.

In addition, the Church has been training new exorcists in Chicago, Rome, and Manila, The Atlantic reported.

Thomas told the outlet there were fewer than 15 exorcists in the United States in 2011 — and well over 100 today.

"There's been a whole reclaiming of a ministry that the Church had set aside," one exorcist from a midwestern diocese told The Atlantic.

Exorcisms also occur in some Protestant and nondenominational Churches, though the Catholic Church has the most formal and long-standing tradition, The Atlantic noted.

In the cases of Catholic exorcism, if neither a mental-health evaluation nor a subsequent physical exam turns up a standard explanation for the person's affliction, the priest may begin looking for what the Church considers the classic signs of demonic possession: facility in a language the person has never learned; physical strength beyond his or her age or condition; access to secret knowledge; and a vehement aversion to God and sacred objects, including crucifixes and holy water.

Thomas said as many as 80 percent of the people who come to him seeking an exorcism are sexual-abuse survivors. 

In recent years, there has been a documented renewed interest in magic, astrology, and witchcraft, primarily among millennials, but Pope Francis' renewed attention to exorcism may also be playing a part in the rising interest, The Atlantic reported.

There are "societies where the supernatural is a daily occurrence," Roberto Lewis-Fernández, a Columbia University psychiatry professor, told the Atlantic. "It's really modern Western societies that draw a sharp line between experiences attributed to the spiritual or the supernatural, and the material, daily world."

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Though the belief in demonic possession is as old as religion, exorcisms are now particularly widespread in the United States, according to The Atlantic.In an extensive profile of one case that caused a tormented woman in Washington state to seek help from both mental...
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2018-46-26
Monday, 26 November 2018 07:46 PM
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