From Gwinnett Daily News Tuesday, March 6, 1990 Cardinal discloses exorcisms in New York T
From Gwinnett Daily News Tuesday, March 6, 1990
Cardinal discloses exorcisms in New York
The Associated Press
Theologians expressed surprise Monday about Cardinal John O'Connor's disclosure
that the rare rite of exorcism has bee performed twice in New York in a year.
But other ceremonies dealing with evil spirits, including a baptismal prayer,
are more common in the Roman Catholic Church.
O'Connor mentioned the exorcisms during a sermon Sunday and to reporters
afterward. He said heavy-metal music spiked with satanic lyrics created an
atmosphere conducive to devil worship and demonic possession.
The cardinal said the exorcisms were approved by the archdiocese's vicar
general and appeared to be successful, but gave no other details. He also said
the novel "The Exorcist" is a "gruesomely authentic" portrayal of demonic
According to a story published Dec. 12 in the San Fransico Chronicle, Pope John
Paul II recently increased the number of exorcists in Rome and in Turin, where
there are reported 40,000 devil worshippers.
Last week, police in Indianapolis asked an unidentified priest to pray and
From: LONE STAR
Subj: FYI 2/2
"Ever since then, there have been outbreaks of similar behavior," he said. "It
was found that when very holy priests were sent to pray for and about these
very troubled people, there would be an increase in the behavior, then
eventually a complete liberation from it."
Exorcism is more common in countries where Christianity is not well established
or where other influences such as voodoo, come into play. Since the 1970's,
exorcism has been performed only by a priest approved by a bishop, archbishop
"If you ask most bishops in the country, 'Who is your exorcist? they probably
wouldn't have one. It's an ad hoc thing," Burtchaell said. "Probably a number
of bishops would be surprised to hear there were two in New York," one of the
largest dioceses in the nation.
Typically, he said, an exorcist must be a "very self possessed, consistently
holy man" to survive the experience. "It involves a great deal of self-abuse,
bodies being flung around the room, excrement, assumed voices -it's pretty vile
"The average Catholic would have no first-hand information to speak of, " he
said. "The darn movie is going to be the image everybody has. But, I must
say, events in the movie are very faithful to the stories I've read" about real
exorcisms, Burtchaell said.
A battery of medical and psychological tests is ordered before some undergoes
exorcism. "If a person has Lupus, for instance, and periodically has seizures
where they go out of control, that's a chemical imbalance," Harak said.
But there also are informal rites to get rid of, or guard against, demons.
Harak said a standard, prebaptismal ritual contains "three scrutinies that are
really rites of exorcism that have been kind of tamed in the church."
"It's not like, 'Oh, my goodness, William Peter Blatty's 'The Exorcist.' It's
a recognition that there are good spirits, angels and bad spirits, devils. And
the evil spirit hates human nature," Harak said.
The church also has a practice called deliverance for ridding "infestations of
evil spirit" less serious than possession, Harak said. They are performed
--- TBBS v2.1/NM
* Origin: LONG ISLAND CONNECTION - MAGICKNET NY (2600/301)
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank