Currently, more and more frequently unauthorized people take up the ministry of freeing: common frauds and people, who exorcise against Jesus’ commandments and for money. Their actions bring dire effects. They are usually bioenergotherapists, psychics, charmers, witch-doctors. They often advertise in the internet and magazines. Their actions are in fact covertly occultism and spiritism. Do such “exorcisms” bear a real power of freeing? – No.
It is a service of deliverance from influences of evil spirits, Jesus Christ did it and commissioned His disciples to do so using words “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons” (Mt 10,8). Exorcism (from Greek “exorkizein” means “to curse”) is the command to leave a human being, an animal, place or item, given to the demon in Name of God. It is a special sort of blessing (sacramental) that a priest conducts in certain situations and needs.
The sacramental of exorcism is conducted according to the recommendations of the Roman Ritual. Exorcisms take place in a place of solitude, e.g. a chapel or a suitable room, usually with a visible image of the Crucified Christ, Holy Virgin Mary, angels. Apart from the priest, other priests and lay faithful, whose task is praying for the tormented person and helping if necessary, can participate in the exorcism. They cannot say any of the exorcism’s formulas.
Initially, exorcising was a matter of individual charisma and many practiced it without ordinations. A formal appointment of exorcists is mentioned for the first time in the letter from Pope Cornelius (251-253) to Fabius, the bishop of Antioch. The first mention of an exorcist’s statute in the East can be found in the documents of the synod of Laodycea (ca. 360 A.D.). The matter of the first ordinations of exorcists was touched upon by the synod of Carthage (398 A.D.).
The way of expelling evil spirits was taught to the apostles by Christ. Jesus’ exorcisms, just as those conducted by the apostles among the Jews and pagans later on, were famous for their effectiveness. The power over evil spirits is in a way a confirmation of the reality of Christian faith and the fruit of spreading the Good News.