Exorcists in training as church revives rituals


Church leaders in Minnesota say the practice of exorcism is making a comeback.

A report by the Minneapolis Star Tribune says the number of exorcists has exploded over the past 15 years, an indication that the trend may extend far beyond Minnesota’s borders.

“When I first was appointed as exorcist in 2005, I knew of only a dozen exorcists in the United States,” said the Rev. Vincent Lampert, exorcist of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. “Today I’d say there are at least 175 — and more each year.”

And while rituals long considered relics of the Dark Ages are seeing new light, phychologists warn that even well-intentioned treatment of traumatized people can aggravate the situation.

Bishop Andrew Cozzens of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis says the church is working with “several dozen” people, but counsels them to seek medical or mental help if deemed necessary. Still, the church doesn’t turn away people who request to see an exorcist.

As interest in the practice grows, training in the rites of exorcism is also proceeding. The Pope Leo XIII Institute, just a few miles north of Chicago as you head toward Milwaukee, trains priests.

Modern interest in exorcism peaked in the 1970s with the movie, “The Exorcist.” The case that inspired William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel is among paranormalpapers.com’s 10 famous real-life cases of exorcism and demonic possession.

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