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Catholic Church Translates Exorcism Ritual Into English

Image: Catholic Church Translates Exorcism Ritual Into English
(Jan Sochor/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 October 2017 03:36 PM

The Catholic Church has issued an English-language version of the rites used for centuries to deal with people believed possessed by demons because too few priests can read the exorcism rituals in the original Latin, the Catholic Herald reported Wednesday.

The English translation of the rituals "should make it easier for a bishop to find a priest who can help him with this ministry," said Father Andrew Menke of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which is distributing the book.

"Given that there's less facility in Latin than there used to be, even among priests, it opens the door to more priests to do this. Until now, not only did the priest have to be wise and holy, but he also had to have strong facility in Latin."

"Exorcisms and Related Supplications" is available through the bishops' conference, but only bishops can get copies. They can, however, authorize priests, scholars, and seminary professors to buy the book.

Powerful Latin prayers calling on the power of God, Jesus and the Archangel Michael to drive out demons are central to the rites of exorcism. But often the person believed to be possessed has no idea what the prayers mean.

"The first and foremost reason for an exorcism is to rid the person of the demon," Menke said. "And whether the person understands what's being said or not is irrelevant on one level. They just want to be free of this oppression.

"But at the same time, exorcists have told me that for some people it can be a big help to hear words that they understand, words that are consoling, words that remind them of the power of Christ over the demons. There's a certain confidence that comes from hearing these words."

The ritual was popularized in the 1973 movie, "The Exorcist," based on a novel inspired by an exorcism in the 1940s of a Maryland boy, Ronald Hunkeler, whose family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, after he showed signs of demonic possession.

In St. Louis, two priests performed an exorcism, reporting they expelled the demon on the day after Easter in 1949.

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Because too few priests can read the exorcism rituals in the original Latin, the Catholic Church has issued an English-language version of the rites used for centuries to deal with people believed possessed by demons, according to the Catholic Herald.
exorcism, ritual, catholic, church
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2017-36-25
Wednesday, 25 October 2017 03:36 PM
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