In today's New York Times, Laurie Goodstein describes a renewed interest in exorcism on the part of the Church. Her piece, titled "For Catholics, Interest in Exorcism Is Revived" describes how Catholic priests are responding to a call from the laity for more exorcists. On Friday and Saturday, Bishop Thomas Paprocki (any relation to Danny and Snookie?) of Springfield, Ill, is holding a 2 day conference for priests on exorcism and the determination of demonic possession.
For those who might be scratching their heads over "why do this now", in light of other issues facing the Church, Ms. Goodstein consulted R. Scott Appleby, a Professor of Catholic History at Notre Dame, who offered this quote:
“What they’re trying to do in restoring exorcisms,” said Dr. Appleby, a longtime observer of the bishops, “is to strengthen and enhance what seems to be lost in the church, which is the sense that the church is not like any other institution. It is supernatural, and the key players in that are the hierarchy and the priests who can be given the faculties of exorcism.
“It’s a strategy for saying: ‘We are not the Federal Reserve, and we are not the World Council of Churches. We deal with angels and demons.’ ”