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U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Publish “Prayers Against the Powers of Darkness”; Prayers Drawn from Appendix of the First Official English-Language Translation of Exorcism Rite

October 27, 2017

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is making available through their publishing division prayers drawn from the appendix of the first official English-language translation of the ritual book on the rite of Exorcism. While the ritual book is not available for widespread distribution, it contains an appendix of prayers that can be used by anyone. Available through the USCCB's online bookstore, the appendix is available for purchase in a small booklet entitled Prayers Against the Powers of Darkness.

Father Andrew Menke, executive director of the USCCB's Secretariat of Divine Worship, notes that these prayers can strengthen and assist anyone who prays them. "The book is meant to facilitate a very reflective kind of prayer. It's meant to be a meditative, patient, trusting, quiet sort of prayer," says Father Menke.

Prayers Against the Powers of Darkness can be ordered online at

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Divine Worship is also announcing the release of the first official English-language translation of the ritual book, Exorcisms and Related Supplications. The book will only be distributed to bishops. Others who have a legitimate use for it, such as exorcists, clergy, scholars and seminary professors, will need to obtain a copy through their bishop.

"Some priests might not be all that comfortable using a Latin text, so having it available in the vernacular now means they can concentrate on prayer and on the ritual, without needing to worry about working in another language," says Father Menke. "This should make it easier for bishops to find priests who can help them with this important ministry. Another benefit of the vernacular translation is that hearing the prayers in English can also bring comfort to the person undergoing an exorcism."

Drawing from rituals used by the Catholic Church for centuries, the English translation has been prepared from the rite that was revised following the Second Vatican Council.  Ultimately, it is up to the discretion of the exorcist to choose which language to use during the rite.

It is important to note that under canon law (Canon 1172), only those priests who receive permission from their bishops can perform an exorcism, after proper training. Bishops automatically have the right to perform an exorcism and can share that authority with other priests.

Each of the texts affirms the reality of evil in the world, but above all, affirms the sovereignty of Jesus to overcome any and all evil on a personal level and in the world.  

Additional books and resources pertaining to marriage and family life, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Vatican, ministry and more can be found by visiting the USCCB's online bookstore at

Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Secretariat of Divine Worship, Father Andrew Menke, Exorcisms and Related Supplications, Second Vatican Council, Exorcism Rite, Latin, English translation, canon law, Prayers Against the Powers of Darkness, prayer. 


Media Contact:
Judy Keane

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