Posted: Mar 31, 2015 8:40 pm
by The Serpent
I don't think has so much to do with Poland -- consider the reaction of the parents -- as is does with the priest.

I can't say for certain but I wouldn't be surprised if this fellow is part of the reactionary "traditionalist" movement that has arisen in the RC in response to the liturgical reforms that followed from Vatican II. He's certainly the right age.

Prior to 1973 or 74 there were numerous "minor orders" (not to be confused with religious orders) to which men could be ordained. The "major orders" were sub-deacon, deacon, priest and bishop. The minor orders were acolyte, porter, lector and exorcist. Men discerning a clerical vocation would be ordained progressively to these orders.

Paul VI suppressed sub-deacon, and the minor orders for the Western church though some of the traditionalist organisations like the Priestly Society of St Paul (FSSP) and the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest (ICRSS) are still permitted to ordain men to these orders.

So every catholic priest, deacon and bishop was (is) an exorcist and during the sacrament of baptism an exorcism was explicitly performed. I'm not sure if it's still part of the baptismal rite. The effect of Paul VI's reform was, certainly, to de-emphasise the role of exorcism for catholics.

Exorcisms are still performed by catholic clergy and have become more popular in recent years, but generally speaking the practice is strictly controlled by local bishops. I'm not sure what the arrangements in Poland are, however.

Even though any priest can perform an exorcism, he must have permission (called "faculties" in Rome-speak) from the local diocesean bishop to do so lawfully. It would be very unusual -- even in Poland -- for some 30 something priest to be allowed to don stole and biretta and start driving the devil out of small children on an impromptu basis.