Has exorcism become superfluous?

I was wondering whether people who are possessed by the devil aren’t, in reality, people that suffer from a kind of mental disease and should consult a psychiatrist, not an excorcist?


Dear P,

Usually the first thing that is done in such cases, is check to see if the problem is a psychological one. But it must be noted that diabolical posession is not a psychological disorder. Exorcism is not for psychotics. It’s for ridding one of evil forces. I have received requests for help from Catholic Answers for just such cases and have referred them to the local Catholic Diocese. Some were not Catholic, but didn’t know where to go for help–other than the Catholic Church.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.