BASIC R.C. BELIEF
The driving out of the devil in cases of possession according to a special
rite of the Church. The priest must have the express consent of his Bishop
to perform an exorcism. Lesser exorcisms, which do not imply possession,
are performed in the exorcism of salt and water in the making of the Holy
From USA TODAY, 3/6/90. "Outspoken Cardinal John O'Connor of New York
surprised theologians when he said Sunday there have been two exorcisms in
the New York archdiocese in recent months.
"`We hope, as far as we know, they have been successful,' he said in his
sermon at St. Patrick's Cathedral. He gave no details of the exorcisms.
"`If you asked most bishops in the country "Who is your exorcist?" they
probably wouldn't have one. It's an ad hoc thing,' said Rev. James
Burtchell, theology professor at Notre Dame University. `Probably a number
of bishops would be surprised to hear there were two in New York.'"