Very interesting programme from the BBC about Exorcism. Starts off with Catholics but when it gets to Britain entirely focuses on Protestants.
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So You Want To Be an Exorcist
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It isn’t clear how sceptical or convinced the presenter is. Though the programme ends on either a sceptical or a despairing note.
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I have no expertise in this area whatsoever, but I have always wondered about the efficacy of non-Catholic exorcism. It seems to be limited but real. This is of course connected to the issue of how many Baptised non-Catholics are merely material heretics (to which I will return at some point). Anyway, the efficacy of non-Catholic exorcism has a long pedigree.
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“John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is for us.’” Mark 9:38-40
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On the other hand, no sooner has the presenter done an impressive survey of apparently genuine and committed non-Catholic exorcists then he talks to the clearly non-believing Anglican ‘bishop’ of Monmouth who thinks that Jesus in exorcising was mistakenly following the superstitions of ‘his’ time. Even though this man has clearly encountered various preternatural phenomena attendant upon deliverance. This brought to mind the other pertinent verse about non-Catholic exorcism from the New Testament.
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“And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to pronounce the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, ‘I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.’ Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?’ And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, mastered all of them, and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks; and fear fell upon them all; and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Many also of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all; and they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew and prevailed mightily.” Acts 19:11-20
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Relics, Apostolic jurisdiction and precedent for book burning all in one passage! Not one of those which the university evangelical Christian Union teaches its members to memorise…
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The best short intro on exorcism seems to be the CTS pamphlet by Fr Jeremy Davies.

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