Time Magazine did an interview with a journalist who followed around a priest taking a course in exorcism. Time is obviously skeptical but that’s not the point. Check out this section of the Q and A where a weird juxtaposition occurs:
Q. What were your first thoughts about the class? Did you think, Wait a minute, this is the 21st century. Why are we even still talking about exorcism?
A. Absolutely. My first thought was, Why is the church doing this class? Is it just a p.r. stunt? But then I saw that a lot of the course work itself was very theologically and historically based. None of it was practical, which is why Father Gary had to eventually go out and apprentice with a veteran exorcist, Father Carmine. The course would bring in experts — experts in satanic cults, experts in criminology, they even had a psychiatrist come in to talk to the priests about the differences between the various mental illnesses that could be confused for demonic possession vs. what the church says is actually demonic possession. (See photos of Pope Benedict XVI.)
Odd juxtaposition, eh? Talk about mental illness and demonic possession and hey look, here’s Pope Benedict!
In the end, the piece is worth the read and the writer is open to the possibility of possession, which is a surprise. Check it out.