|Bishop Julian Porteous|
Father Gregory Jordan, S.J., 80, who was appointed as exorcist to the archdiocese of Brisbane about 10 years ago, said in his experience ouija boards and astrology posed a risk. He said the growth in demand for exorcisms in Western countries, albeit from a low base, was unquestionable: he had performed four this week.
The Jesuit priest, who was asked to preview The Exorcist in 1973, said the Catholic rite involving prayers to drive out the devil bore little resemblance to its depiction in popular culture. Most exorcisms dealt with ''oppression'' (feeling weighed down) or ''obsession'' (unusual, persistent negative thoughts) rather than possession,
Father Jordan said. ''After an exorcism I've had people say, 'I feel lighter.' They straighten their shoulders.'' A protocol in place stipulated that the subject of the rite was medically examined before undergoing it, he said.''When there's real doubt, I simply … give them the Sacrament of anointing, which is quite appropriate and [with] which generally speaking they're quite happy,'' he said.