Vatican issues first new exorcism ritual since 1614

In this week of history, the Roman Catholic Church issued the first update of the Rite of Exorcism in over three hundred and eighty five years.  Taking into consideration the events of the 20th century that have placed the rite of exorcism in the realm of the superstitious, a ritual that outlived its usefulness a century ago, this was a major turning point in the battle against the demonic.  Of course not everyone had written off the benefits of the sacramental rite, but until just the last 20 years few educated people place any stock in the possibility that the rite was even remotely credible.  However even before the 1999 press release from the Vatican, a few mental health professional as well as others recognized the therapeutic values of Exorcism.

Following is the transcript of a CNN report from 1999 regarding the Vatican’s actions.

January 26, 1999 VATICAN CITY (CNN) — Blaming Satan for many of today’s ills, the Vatican on Tuesday unveiled updated exorcism rules, along with a caution not to mistake psychiatric problems for diabolic possession. The Vatican’s first updated ritual for exorcism since 1614 tries to bring the church up to date with modern science and, for the first time, urges church-approved exorcists to consult modern medicine where needed. However, officials made clear at a news conference that the traditional belief in the devil was not optional for today’s Roman Catholics. {Click here to read the entire news report archived in a PDF document.}

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