Fonticulus Fides

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Pray for them...but how?

Claire was kind enough to e-mail me about the prayer of exorcism posted below at Bai McFarlane's request. Claire writes,

Sparki, here is something pertaining to exorcism prayer you recommended to say for Bai and Bud. This is from EWTN Q&A. Also Father Gabriel Lamothe  (the exorcist of Rome) stated we are not to do this. We can open up a whole can of worms reciting this prayer. We can do deliverance prayers, but not exorcism.

Here's the bit from EWTN:

Question from ric ballard on 07-29-2003:

I heard that lay people are allowed to do prayers in the name of Jesus if the person prayed for has some demonic problems. What if the person had a demon in them and the person praying told the demon in the name of Jesus to come out and it worked. Could they be in volation of the church teachings on exorcism? Should I tell them to stop doing this even if it helps others?

Answer by David Gregson on 08-18-2003:

Basically, the power to exorcise demons has been granted to the Church, not to individuals. That's why the authority to attempt exorcism must come from the Bishop, as the Church's primary local representative. Catholics who try to cast out demons without the Bishop's authorization do so at their own risk. Read "On The Current Norms Governing Exorcisms" issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1984. Also "Who Has the Power to Exorcise Demons?", both in our Document Library.


Okay, so now I'm really confused. I'm sure there's a difference between a formal exorcism and any faithful person praying for any given person who appears to be under demonic influence. Or is that what makes it wrong? Ought we just pray for the person without any mention of possible demonic activity?

Please post your thoughts in the comments box. And regardless of your opinion, keep on praying for Bud and Bai and their marriage, however you wish to do it.



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