Care of Persons Seeking Deliverance and/or Exorcism Ministry
The pastoral center receives telephone calls from various members of the faithful and from other or no faith traditions expressing their need for pastoral care attributing to what is described as interior battles with diabolical spirits.
Being duty bound to the best care of the whole person, the bishop collaborated with clergy and laity well versed in the ministry of healing, deliverance, and exorcism to develop a protocol. On 16 March 2018, the bishop promulgated as particular law a diocesan Deliverance Ministry Protocol, noting that the timing of the decision coincided with the USCCB’s publication of the new booklet Prayers Against the Powers of Darkness. The clergy of the diocese met to receive instruction from experienced exorcists on the implementation of the procedures, and the printed protocol booklet.
The bishop is pleased to have designated two deliverance priests whose names are public to all clergy. In addition, two exorcist priests were designated whose names are to remain always anonymous.
To more immediately address the ever increasing requests of the faithful who are seeking deliverance and exorcism ministry, the following general outline is provided.
Note: only persons who reside within the geographical area of Orange Diocese qualify for the diocesan resources.
Note: Those residing outside of the Orange Diocese should contact their local parish priest or diocesan chancery office.
Policy for Deliverance and Exorcism
Persons seeking personal deliverance or exorcism ministry from the diocesan mandated clergy (together with their team of laity and mental health professionals):
- For Catholics or non-Catholics residing in the Diocese of Orange, the first step is to request an appointment with his/her local parish priest.
- During the appointment the priest will listen to the person’s history, provide pastoral counseling, pray, and, depending on the nature of the case, fill out the required “Intake Form”.
- If the person still considers him/herself under spiritual oppression or attack, he or she is referred for a consultation with a mental health professional of his/her choice to help discern any medical or mental health conditions prior to deliverance sessions.
- Once the mental health professional is able to complete his/her assessment and deliver it to the deliverance team, the deliverance/exorcism lay coordinator will call the person to work out the logistics of a prayer ministry session.
- The person will be offered a date, time, and place to come for deliverance ministry led by the designated priest and his lay team.
- The person will receive a 30-day prescription of prayer to help strengthen his/her spiritual life. This is part of the pre-care and post-care. Pastoral post-care is done with one’s parish priest.
- Confidentiality is assured throughout the process.
- The mandated deliverance priest and team will prayerfully discern if the person’s situation is a case for the diocesan mandated exorcist whose name shall remain anonymous. If the major rite of exorcism is required, the lay coordinator will advise the person regarding next steps.
- Parents seeking ministry for a son or daughter under the age of eighteen may start by making an appointment for their child with their local parish priest, and the above outline is the same.
- While parents may desire ministry for children over 18, at that age, the son or daughter must take the initiative in their care and follow the above outline.
Policy on Deliverance of a Place
The prayers for liberation of a place may be prayed by any and all priests.
- Those seeking the blessing or cleansing of their home or business should contact their local parish priest.
- The bishop’s protocol provides the proper prayers.
Policy on The Rite of Exorcism
The Rite of Exorcism is a sacramental of the Catholic Church. Canon Law requires the “express permission of the local Ordinary” for the use of this rite (canon 1172), granted only to a priest, and in the Diocese of Orange permission must be given in each case. Exorcism is when “the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1673). It is “directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to His Church (ibid.).”
Please be assured that the bishops and clergy of the Orange Diocese understand that your needs are real and pressing. They will not be ignored. Any delay that may be necessary is likely due to number of requests that are lined up at any given time.
For additional information and/or resources, one should contact one’s parish priest.