The Devil came down to Georgia…and traveled the United States this year: Exorcism’s reappearance in the Catholic Church
By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK) 3/10/2016
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – “It is a big phenomenon,” J. Gordon Melton, a Methodist minister said of exorcisms in the United States. “There is a lot of exorcism going on.”
Sociologist Michael Cuneo, author of newly published “American Exorcism,” believes “Exorcism is more readily available today in the United States than perhaps ever before.”
In his book, Cuneo wrote, “By conservative estimates, there are at least five or six hundred evangelical exorcism ministries in operation today, and quite possibly two or three times this many.”
The Roman Catholic Church keeps at least 10 official exorcists in the United States, while only ten years ago they retained only one.
Since the release of William Friedkin’s “The Exorcist,” the world has become more aware of a practice the Roman Catholic Church has practiced for centuries – releasing those inflicted with demonic possession.
Several other films have cropped up from the 1980’s original, which has only gained popularity over the decades.
Unlike the practice seen in the film, an actual exorcist is an extremely religious and delicate process that demands respect. Not all exorcisms involve spinning heads, gushing vomit and disfigurement of the possessed. Some believe exorcists can be as simple as laying hands on the afflicted and praying, leaving the rest to God.
As the popularity of possession spreads, so, too, does the idea that people, who are otherwise healthy, have acted out in bizarre ways as a result of demonic afflictions.