Exorcisms Today

In the time of Jesus and the disciples when they cast demons out it seems from the texts of the Bible that the demon left the individual immediately. Today, in exorcisms, it seems that the rituals need to be done, in some cases, for weeks or months. Why would this need to happen for weeks and months when with the disciples and Jesus the demons left immediately?

Do you remember the case where the disciples could not cast a demon out and they asked Jesus why and he said, “This type can only be removed by prayer and fasting”

:yup: I just finished reading a new novel (Ignatius Press) about the life of St. John of the Cross. Taken from contemporaneous remembrances of him, it shows - among other things - what an effective exorcist he was. This is no doubt attributable to his great sanctity built on his life of prayer and fasting and the mortifications he willingly embraced to save souls.

I don’t know that answer to your question, but, Fr. Amorth says that successful exorcism is 90% exorcee and only 10% exorcist. So, the extra time is probably not due to exorcists.

Some exorcisms are brief and some are longer, as JohnMPhilomena said some require much more time. I highly recommend Matt Baglio’s book The Rite which details many exorcisms brief and long (my review of the book is here :o) and also Fr. Amorth’s An Exorcist Tells His Story.

MarcoPolo -

Are there scriptural accounts of demons occupying “objects” as aside from people? If so, how do we understand that an object can occupy an evil spirit? Did the book have examples of this? Clearly, the bible shows us that demons can occupy people…that is not what I am asking. The answer will help me in my discussion of evil spirits with a non-Catholic friend.

Note: I just started reading An Exorcist: More Stories by Gabriele Amorth and Nicoletta MacKenzie.

Thank You.

Forgot which gospel…but in one instance…the demons asked to infest/possess swines after being exorcised…which Jesus said ok.

I read the book The Rite…but forgot the particular section…I think the book says demons cannot occupy an object (inanimate) but can infest it.

Thanks Pablope. Jesus cast the demons into a herd of swine and they went over the cliff. I’m thinking or asking more about a house or objects in a house.

Both The Rite and An Exorcist More Stories, if I remember right, refer to “cursed” objects. I don’t know about “possessed” objects. There is a term if there is an evil spirit indwelling a house, for example. And this is called demonic “infestation.” Another one you might want to check out, and is on my to-read list, is Fr. Fortea’s Interview with an Exorcist. You can hear audio of actual exorcism workshops to priests by Fr. Fortea here. (I think part 1 is a different speaker as I recall, but the rest are all Fr. Fortea)

p.s. This is from one of Fr. Amorth’s articles:
*Diabolic infestation. Infestations affect houses, things, or animals. This book will only mention the topic. I merely want to state that I will never use this term when I refer to persons. I will always talk about possession, oppression, and obsession.*Full article [here at Ignatius Insight](“The Real Exorcist.”). Be aware that in the intro to Fr. Amorth’s first book, Fr. Groeschel warned to give pause, because I think Fr. Amorth tends to sensationalize. I know Jimmy Akin has written as much as well. However, I think the above is more academic commentary, so it’s probably more in line with the Church’s understanding of evil activity.

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