Group wants ban on exorcisms after incident in Saskatoon
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, April 17, 2012 6:23PM EDT
SASKATOON - A group that promotes secularism is calling for a prohibition on exorcisms after an incident in Saskatoon.
The Centre for Inquiry says there's no good evidence that exorcisms work and that they can do more harm than good.
Centre spokesman Justin Trottier said from Toronto that most cases of claimed demonic possession are misdiagnoses of genuine and serious mental health conditions.
The comments come after a priest was called to a Saskatoon home last month by a woman who said her uncle showed signs of being possessed by the devil.
Blessings were offered until his behaviour returned to normal, but the Catholic Church says no formal exorcism took place.
Bishop Don Bolen says it's not clear if the Saskatoon man was possessed or was having a mental breakdown.
He says Catholic Church leaders are considering whether they need a trained exorcist -- the last person in Saskatoon with formal training retired in 2003.