The first official English-language translation of the ritual book Exorcisms and Related Supplications is now available from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Distribution of the text is limited to bishops. Exorcists, other clergy and scholars can only obtain a copy with a bishop’s permission. However, a separate booklet, Prayers Against the Powers of Darkness, is being sold by the bishops for general use and is made up of prayers from the main book’s appendix.

Fr Andrew Menke, executive director of the US bishops’ Secretariat of Divine Worship, said having the ritual available in English “should make it easier for a bishop to find a priest who can help him with this ministry”.

“Given that there’s less facility in Latin than there used to be, even among priests, it opens the door to more priests to do this. Until now, not only did the priest have to be wise and holy, but he also had to have strong facility in Latin,” he said.

“It makes it easier for a priest who might otherwise be a good exorcist but who would be intimidated by a requirement to use a Latin text. Having it available in the vernacular means he can concentrate on prayer and on the ritual, without needing to worry about working in another language,” he added. The translation is from the Latin rite revised after Vatican II. It was promulgated in Latin in 1999 and amended in 2004.

The revised text draws on rituals used for centuries.

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