True, the priests themselves admit that not all people who turn to church with such an unusual need are really possessed, and many simply need a psychiatrist.
Scientists believe that the belief in a settling agent is very ancient. From time immemorial, it was easier for people to imagine the disease as a kind of creature that settled inside and devoured the patient. For any problem, it is always easier to blame someone evil from the outside than yourself. Such features of the human psyche lead to the fact that belief in evil spirits capable of dwelling in a person, in one form or another, exists in almost all religions. And, accordingly, in each confession there are specialists who get rid of this scourge.
Today, there are several hundred Catholic exorcist priests around the world. One of the most famous representatives of this specialty in the 20th century was Gabriele Amorte, an Italian Catholic priest and official exorcist of the Roman Diocese. Amorte took office in 1986 and has performed tens of thousands of ceremonies over the 30 years of his ministry.
The famous expert in exorcism believed that the main reasons for "defeat" are sects, psychics, various spiritualistic experiences and the media. The fault of the latter, according to the chief exorcist of the Vatican, lies in the suppression of facts.
To lead to obsession, according to Amore, can both "devilish music" (as an example he cited the work of Merelin Manson), and the dangerous idea of the existence of "white magic", so that Harry Potter can be considered an extremely dangerous book. Favorite film of Gabriele Amorta's father was the American film "The Exorcist" of 1973.
The acting exorcist believed that, despite the special effects, this film was correct and in many ways realistic. In an interview, he emphasized that the motion picture demonstrates to the broad masses the essence of his work - "people are obliged to understand what we are doing." The death of the famous defender of human souls in 2016 was perceived by many as a global tragedy.
The signs of obsession in all religions are described in approximately the same way: inability to pray and hostility to religious rituals, pain from touching sacred objects, stench, convulsions, as well as demonstration of powers and skills that exceed ordinary human abilities - for example, speaking in a foreign language.
However, psychiatrists name many disorders that have the same symptoms, so Catholic exorcists must first make sure that the person is not suffering from a mental illness before starting "treatment". To do this, he is persuaded to be examined by doctors.
But the most famous Protestant exorcist, pastor of the Church of Spiritual Freedom and televangelist Bob Larson, always associates the success of casting out a demon with emotional (mental) healing and believes that his patients often need psychiatric help along with spiritual help.
Since the 1980s, this seasoned priest and showman has been very effective at casting out the devil live on his Talk Back TV show. Usually there is one caller in each issue, who then quite successfully “accepts Christ”. Bob Larson considers rock music to be the main evil of our world.
In Orthodoxy, priests do not have a consensus on the issue of driving out demons from a person, but, nevertheless, the practice of exorcism exists. For this, a lecture is performed - a special prayer service, during which the priest, who has the blessing of the bishop and spiritual strength for this, reads incantatory prayers to expel fallen spirits from a person. According to tradition, the lecture should be performed one-on-one with the demoniac, but in recent years the priests have carried out them en masse.
To recognize the "possessed", the following simple method is used: two glasses are placed in front of a person - with holy and plain water. If he chooses plain water several times in a row, then he needs help.
Even in Soviet times, when most of the churches in our country were closed, two Orthodox exorcists, Archimandrite Adrian and Schema-Archimandrite Miron, acted in the Pskov-Pechersky Monastery. Today, there are many more priests who practice chanting, and it is “group sessions” that are becoming popular. A psychiatrist's certificate is not required to start the sacrament, although Orthodox priests also note that they most often deal with mentally ill people.
One can only hope that prayer is not the greatest evil for an unhealthy consciousness obsessed with religious ideas. It is much worse if people in this state, instead of doctors, turn to psychics, magicians and occultists. There are really terrible cases when such "rituals" were carried out independently, "at home", and spiritual "self-healing" was also applied to children.