Reverend George Pitcher: 'Casting out demons from children sounds highly abusive'


Thursday, January 3, 2019

A Reverend has claimed he is "mystified" by new Church of England guidelines which state priests should should call in social workers or police officers before they carry out an exorcism on a child.

Appearing on the Cristo Foufas show, Reverend George Pitcher claimed terminology like "casting out demons" from children sounded "highly abusive".

Guidance on carrying out exorcisms was first released by the Church of England in 1975 following the popularity of the horror film The Exorcist. It was later revised in 2012.

"In the first instance we look for rational explanations - is there an awful practical joker that's gaslighting them? If that doesn't stand up and we can't find peace and protection through doing that then there might be a medical issue," Reverend Pitcher explained.

"The brain is a physical organ like any other, but almost infinitely more complex. Under those circumstances we need to explore whether there's a mental health problem. In that context I would want to bring in medical professionals."

Under the new guidance issued earlier this week, Clergy and Church officials have been advised to bring in child welfare specialists or police if a crime is suspected.


No such thing as 'someone with a pointy tail and hooves'

It reads: "Deliverance is an area of ministry where particular caution needs to be exercised, especially when ministering to someone in a disturbed state."

Reverend Pitcher said he did not believe in "someone with a pointy tail and hooves", and claimed mental trauma could be behind parents believing their child was possessed.

"I haven't come across any priests in my Anglican church who believe in a devil or Satan, or posession," he said.

"They certainly believe in mental ill health. Ill health needs comfort and prayer and medical help, of course."