Curriculum of The Pope Leo XIII Institute

The Pope Leo XIII Institute is comprised of four modules spanning two years; each module consists of an intensive 10-day session of prayer and study.

The following modules are sequenced to provide the learner with the foundations of the Church’s teaching and practice in the ministry of exorcism. In all modules, both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Liturgy are included as sources for these tasks. The Pope Leo XIII Institute course spans over two years with each curriculum session building upon the one before it.

First Module: Biblical Sources

This module investigates the biblical narratives regarding creation, angels and demons, possession and exorcism, and the last things. The uniqueness of Christ as exorcist is emphasized.

First Module in Detail
The following points list components of this module. Elements such as cosmology, angelology, demonology, soteriology, possession, and exorcism are the common themes through which each sub-topic is explored.

A. Old Testament
B. Gospels
C. Acts of the Apostles
D. Paul’s epistles
E. Book of Revelation

Second Module: Liturgical Sources

This module investigates the Liturgy as a source both for understanding possession and exorcism, as well as a remedy for demonic affliction through the use of the Church’s many rites. Both the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite are studied for their multiform expression of exorcism.

Second Module in Detail
The following points list components of this module. Elements such as cosmology, angelology, demonology, soteriology, possession, and exorcism are the common themes through which each sub-topic is explored.

A. Understanding the Liturgy as a theological source
B. Exorcism throughout the Roman Rite
C. The Rites of Exorcism of 1962
D. The reformed Rites of Exorcism of 2004/5

Third Module: Spiritual Sources

This module investigates the spiritual life of the ordinary believer and of the priest-exorcist in understanding possession and exorcism, as well as in the performance of the rites themselves. A spirituality of the exorcist is developed through a study of the rites of exorcism and the lives and writings of saintly exorcists–the Apostles, Fathers of the Church, monks, nuns and priests–who have left a treasury of reflections to guide those who follow them.

Third Module in Detail
The following points list components of this module. Elements such as cosmology, angelology, demonology, soteriology, possession, and exorcism are the common themes through which each sub-topic is explored.

A. Spiritual warfare in the Liturgy
B. Exorcists and the spiritual life: the desert Fathers, monks, nuns, mystics and ordinary priests
C. The Mariology of exorcism and devotion to Mary
D. The particular graces of exorcism within the economy of the sacramental system
E. Spiritual care of the energumen and the family; the ministry team, and the exorcist

Fourth Module: Application of the Rites

This module presents the many ways in which the rites of exorcism are performed and administered in the life of the Church: (1) liturgical practice; (2) administrative organization of this ministry in a diocese; (3) canonical and civil law obligations; (4) medical and psychological support; and (5) deliverance ministry.

Fourth Module in Detail

  • Part One: The Ministry of Exorcism on a Diocesan Level
    • A. The authority and role of the Bishop
    • B. The ecclesiology of this ministry
    • C. Canonical requirements; diocesan regulations
    • D. Civil and legal obligations
    • E. Team approaches: assembling and coordinating kinds of care for the afflicted
    • F. The training of team members
  • Part Two: Understanding the Inculturation of Demonic Affliction
    • A. The relationship of human culture and the demonic
    • B. Inculturations of the demonic in the US
    • C. Strategies and tactics in response
  • Part Three: Discerning True from False Possession
    • A. The spiritual tradition
    • B. Medical diagnosis
    • C. Psychological evaluation
    • D. The experience of exorcists
    • E. Taking a life history
  • Part Four: The American Protocol
    • A. Why a protocol?
    • B. Eight steps in approaching a case
      • 1. Initial contact
      • 2. Regularization of sacramental and spiritual life of the afflicted
      • 3. Taking a life history
      • 4. Medical examination
      • 5. Psychological assessment
      • 6. Applying the traditional norms from the Praenotanda
      • 7. Team analysis and report to the Bishop
      • 8. The discernment and permission of the Bishop
  • Part Five: Performance of the Rite
    • A. Preparing for the rite
    • B. The ritual performance of deliverance and minor exorcisms
    • C. The ritual performance of the solemn rites of exorcism
    • D. Care of the energumen before, during, and after the rites
    • E. Demonstrations
  • Part Six: Case Analysis and Review