Recently I made a post about Rituale Romanum (Roman Ritual) a book containing the official Catholic exorcism ritual in Latin. I made that post simply because I have a copy of that book from 1776 and it is so picturesque that it just deserves a post.
Little did I know that since then I will receive a whole pile of emails asking for PDFs of Rituale Romanum both in English and Latin and for various other info on it.
So, for everyone interested here are the downloads and online resources for this book as well as some questions covered.
One question I received was whether only a priest can conduct exorcism and another one was how to tell apart possession from mental illness.
Instead of me providing an answer I will just give quote the beginning of the Rituale Romanum, Chapter 13 (Exorcism):
DE EXORCIZANDIS OBSESSIS A DAEMONlO
Sacerdos, seu quivis alius legitimus Ecclesiae minister, vexatos a daemone exorcizaturus , ea qua par est pietate,. prudcntiae, ac vitoc intcgritate prseditus esse decet: qui nott sua, sed divina fretus virtute , ab omni rerum humanaruui cupiditatc alienus, tam pium opus ex caritate constanter et humiliter exequatur. Hunc praeterea maturae aetatis esse decet, et non solum officio, sed etiam morum gravitate reverendum.
A priest or other legitimate minister of the Church chosen to exorcize a demon should be endowed with piety, prudence and integrity of life. He should rely not on his own but on divine power to perform the undertaking humbly, firmly and out of charity, and forget all human affairs. Moreover, he should be of mature years, and revered not just for his office but for his moral qualities.
Signs of posession
In primis, ne facile credat, aliquem a daemonio obsesjum esse; sed nota habeat ea signa, quibus obsessus dignoscitur ab iis, qui vel atra bile, vel morbo aliquo laborant. Signa autem obsidentis dacmonis sunt; Ignota lingua loqui pluribus verbis , vel loquentem intelligere: Distantia, et occulta patefacerc: Vircs supra aetatis, seu conditionis naturam ostendere: et id genus alia , quae cum plurima concurrunt, majora sunt indicia.
In the first place he should not be fast to believe that someone is posessed by a demon, but note whether the person has signs by which person possessed differs from those who suffer from a disease. Signs of posession are these: Speaking unknown language in many words or understanding when foreign language is spoken by someone else; Ability to divulge future and hidden events;Powers that are beyond person’s age or natural condition; and other such things which together build up evidence.
As we can see the book refers to “speaking in tongues” as it is usually referred to in English. Latin term for this is “glosolalia”. Those who remember the movie “The Exorcist” will also remember that this “test” was also performed by the exorcist. When the possessed girl said something in Latin ( “Mirabile dictu”) the priest wants to know whether those are just few words that girl heard somewhere or an actual working knowledge of Latin. So he asks “Quod nomen mihi est?” (What is my name).
Glosolalia is certainly one of the more prominent signs of connection to a spiritual world.
For all the other details, feel free to help yourself with the Rituale Romanum and find out more: