Archdiocese of St. Louis warns of exorcism dangers before TV show

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - The cable network "Destination America" will air the first live televised exorcism on Friday night. They are performing the religious rite at the same home that inspired the 1972 movie "The Exorcist."

In 1949, an exorcism was performed by a St. Louis University Jesuit Priest on 14-year-old Roland Doe. His goal was to rid him of demonic possession. Some claim a spiritual entity remains in that house to this day.

The Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis has released this statement about the “Live” Exorcism in St. Louis:

The cable network “Destination America” reportedly plans to air a purported exorcism live on national television on Friday, October 30, from a home in St. Louis which was associated with the well-known exorcism of “Roland Doe” in 1949.

Given the public nature of this event, the Archdiocese of St. Louis – which is not involved in this dangerous endeavor – deems it necessary to educate and warn the public about the dangers of participating in such activities.

“No exorcism can take place without the authority of the local Roman Catholic ordinary,” said auxiliary bishop emeritus Robert Hermann.

Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, has not granted the necessary permissions – known as “faculties” – to any priests or bishops for the purpose of this televised event. Anyone involved in this production who claims to be a member of the Catholic clergy is not affiliated with the Archdiocese of St. Louis nor are they operating under the authority of the Vatican.

Any purported exorcism by spiritualists, paranormal investigators, mediums, or non-Catholic clerics for the purposes of entertainment trivializes this ancient rite of the Roman Catholic Church and the very real danger of evil.

“Any attempt to use the solemn Rite of Exorcism as entertainment exposes all participators to the danger of future hidden satanic attack,” said Bishop Hermann. “We cannot play games with Satan and expect to win.”

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