A Roman Catholic priest performs an exorcism to drive out an evil spirit or spirits. The church recognizes three different types of exorcisms. A baptismal exorcism is performed on an infant to purify it from the evil of original sin. A simple exorcism is a ritual that rids any place or thing from evil influences. A real exorcism is the one that most people are familiar with, in which a priest performs a rite of exorcism to free a human from demonic possession.
One symptom of demonic possession is when a person is suddenly able to speak and comprehend foreign languages. Another telltale sign is when a person knows about things that he or she couldn't possibly have been aware of. Unnatural physical strength is another symptom that a priest looks for. The most obvious sign that someone is in the throes of a demonic possession is a violent aversion to such Catholic symbols as the cross and the Virgin Mary.
Whenever a case of possible possession is reported, the church launches an investigation. A priest first tries to eliminate all other possible explanations for a person's unusual behavior. For example, a psychiatrist will be consulted to investigate the possibility of mental illness; a medical exam may determine if the symptoms are connected to any physical illness or disorder. A priest must also investigate the possibility that a fraud is being perpetrated. According to the church, only a very small minority of reported cases of possession turn out to be genuine. If a priest confirms that a subject is indeed demonically possessed, the next step is to report this to a bishop. The church may well authorize an official exorcism.
How is the Dalai Lama chosen and prepared for his role?
Answered by Discovery Channel
What is Zoroastrianism?
Answered by Jennifer Horton
Have any Western religions believed in reincarnation?
Answered by Science Channel