"What an excellent day for an exorcism."
For centuries, whenever a person exhibited bizarre or deviant behavior, such as violent outbursts or speaking in a different voice or language, they were often thought to be possessed by a demon or spiritual entity. When this occured, the community's priest, cleric, witch doctor or medicine man would typically be summoned to expel the invading spirit through a ritual exorcism. Exorcisms began to decline dramatically by the 18th century due to advancements in medicine, and they were all but unheard of by the middle of the 20th century, with the majority of so-called possessions diagnosed as mental illnesses like Tourette's syndrome, schizophrenia or dissociative identity disorder.
Considering how advanced our science, medicine and technology is now in the 21st century, you would think that ritual of exorcisms would be extinct like the archaic practices of bloodletting and trepanation, but exorcisms have been on the rise around the world for the past few decades. Claims of possession have gotten to be so numerous that the Catholic Church in the United States held a conference to prepare priests and bishops to identify possessions, while a priest in Columbia reportedly performs as many as 10 exorcisms per week. In Milan, Italy, so many people entreat The Church for help with possessed friends and family members that a special "exorcism hotline" had to be set up to deal with all of the claims. Possessions on the rise around the world >> Posted 03.01.13 by BrentJS