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 By Public Affairs Office

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

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

PrayersAgainst the Powers of Darkness can be ordered online athttps://store.usccb.org/prayers-against-the-powers-of-darkness-p/7-567.htm.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committeeon Divine Worship is also announcing the release of the first officialEnglish-language translation of the ritual book, Exorcisms and Related Supplications. The book will only bedistributed to bishops. Others who have a legitimate use for it, such asexorcists, clergy, scholars and seminary professors, will need to obtain a copythrough their bishop.

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

Drawing from rituals used by the Catholic Church forcenturies, the English translation has been prepared from the rite that wasrevised following the Second Vatican Council. Ultimately, it is up to the discretion of the exorcist to choose whichlanguage to use during the rite.

It is important to note that under canon law (Canon1172), only those priests who receive permission from their bishops can performan exorcism, after proper training. Bishops automatically have the right toperform an exorcism and can share that authority with other priests.

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

Additional books and resources pertainingto 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 https://store.usccb.org/.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Secretariat ofDivine 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. 

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Judy Keane
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