The single “token” exorcism in the current baptismal rite vs. the quadruple exorcism in the old


Most significant among the changes in the Rite that occurred in 1969,(And what I like to concentrate on here) was the removal of the exorcisms, four in all. And these were not mild exorcisms at all! They were weighty and imperative (i.e. commanding). The devil is really given his walking papers; he is commanded in no uncertain terms that he must depart, recognizing his sentence as having been defeated by Christ who claims this child now for his own.

Critics at the time argued that the prayers seem to treat the infant as though he or she was possessed. And for this, and other reasons, the exorcisms were removed from the baptismal rites of the Church. The new right does feature a prayer that is technically referred to as an exorcism. But the prayers is so mild-mannered, really more in the form of a mere blessing, that I doubt the celebrant of baptism really thinks of it as an exorcism, (let alone any demons understand that they are being commanded to leave). Here’s the current prayer that is, in the rite, referred to as the exorcism:

Read more from Msgr. Charles Pope


  1. Here we are, once again on this blog, dealing with the “happy fault,” the “necessary sin of Adam (my emphases).”

    The sin that was committed once upon a time by two people. The sin that, therefore (and why?), every human being since has been conceived in, despite having no culpability as to its commission. The sin that Baptism, we are taught, eradicates…leaving us yet in the flawed state in which we were conceived and born, subject to endless and overwhelming temptation, destined to sin again, again and again.

    Well into my seventh decade on earth, I have yet to read or hear anyone make any more sense of this than some variation on the clouded, fallen vision of mortal man vs the mysterious ways of God.

    We believe that God is infinitely just, and infinitely merciful. That a human being just born, having committed no act other than squirming out of the womb, would immediately be in need of that infinite mercy just because he was born, and be condemned in the absence of receipt of a sacrament over which process he has absolutely no control—or responsibility, for that matter—leaves me incredulous to the point of a serious challenge to my faith. Still, after all this time.

    Either the sacrament is efficacious by virtue of the simple pouring of water and recitation of the essential words of Triune invocation, or it is a fiction and we are all fools to believe in it.

    • The universal penalty for sin is death. Since the first will be last and the last, first – death will be the last thing to be destroyed. Saint Paul explains it thusly:

      But now Christ is risen from the dead, the firstfruits of them that sleep: For by a man came death: and by a man the resurrection of the dead. And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But every one in his own order: the firstfruits, Christ: then they that are of Christ, who have believed in his coming. Afterwards the end: when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God and the Father: when he shall have brought to nought all principality and power and virtue. For he must reign, until he hath put all his enemies under his feet. And the enemy, death, shall be destroyed last: For he hath put all things under his feet. And whereas he saith: All things are put under him; undoubtedly, he is excepted, who put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then the Son also himself shall be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
      (1 Corinthians 15:20-28)



      • I’ve read and heard all that, and much more. Can’t say it helps to read it again right now; you’ve read me before on this topic, so you know whence I come. I recall you, too, expressing a desire to have this seeming injustice explained in the next life.

        Anyhow, thanks for trying.

  2. For, The Wages of Sin is Death,
    But the Gift of God, is Eternal Life!

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