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Roy Doyle wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Can you give me the biblical proof that only priests can perform exorcisms?

I have read that Jesus gave authority and power to cast out all demons to all believers in His Name! I recently converted to a non-denominational Christian group after reading several articles stating the Catholic Church was in the wrong. I then looked to Catholic web sites about two months ago for Scriptural proof disproving the articles I read. I found everything except proof for why priests can only do exorcisms. I can't understand why only they can do them when Jesus said in the Bible that all believers have the authority and power to cast out demons!

  • Is there biblical proof stating only priests can do this?

Only biblical proof please!

Thank-you!

Roy

  { Can you give me exclusively biblical proof that only priests can do exorcisms? }

Mike replied:

Dear Roy,

Thanks for the question.

  • Why would you want me to give you Biblical proof based on an un-biblical belief — namely, that the Bible is the sole rule or measuring rod for the Christian faith?

There is no place in the Bible where it states the Bible is the sole rule of faith. Yes, it says that the Scriptures are useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness
(2 Timothy 3:15-16), but no where does it state only Scripture is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

The Bible was never intended to be a Catechism or book of beliefs. The Bible was complied in 382 A.D. at the Council of Rome. Catholic bishops guided by the Holy Spirit chose which books are in all Protestant New Testaments today. Up until 1517, all Protestants agreed with the decision the Catholic bishops had made, guided by the Holy Spirit, on both the entire Old and New Testament canon. Before 382 A.D., no one knew what the canon of the Scriptures was.

Again, the Bible was never intended to be a Catechism or a list of creeds and beliefs for any Christian group, yet Christians who reject the Catholic Church use it in this manner.

The Bible is a Catholic book, written:

  • by Catholics and their Old Testament ancestors
  • for Catholics
  • for use in the Catholic worship service, the Mass.

When a non-Catholic Christian uses the Bible to attack the Catholic faith it is like pulling a man's arm out of the socket of the man's body and hitting him over the head with his own arm.

If you are interested, these web posting address your question on exorcism from the Church's view today.

There are teachings that are supported in the Bible (See my Scripture Passages page below), but the Church is Jesus-based, not Bible-based.

I hope this helps,

Mike

Eric replied:

Hi, Roy —

There is no doctrine that says that only priests can perform exorcisms, in fact in the early Church there was an office of exorcist below the priesthood that conducted exorcisms. Being a priest does help, however, which is why the Church's current discipline restricts exorcisms to priests.

Such a restriction need not be biblical since there are lots of disciplines that even so-called Bible churches exercise that are not found in the Scriptures. One could not run a church without at least some extra-biblical principles of discipline.

Eric

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