Both Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians believe in exorcism (ie the religious or spiritual practice of evicting demons, jinns, or other malevolent spiritual entities from a person), but did the Early Church Fathers believe and perform exorcisms?

1 Answer 1


The eight orders,

Major Orders

  1. bishop
  2. priest
  3. deacon

Minor Orders

  1. subdeacon
  2. acolyte
  3. exorcist
  4. lector
  5. porter,

which include the minor order of exorcist, were mentioned at the Fourth Council of Carthage, 398 A.D. (Pohle vol. 11).

Also, (ibid.):

The first mention of the complete series of orders is found in a letter of Pope Cornelius (251–253) to Fabius of Antioch. The Pontiff states that there are [were] among the Roman clergy forty-two priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons, forty-two acolytes, and fifty-two exorcists, lectors, and porters.25 While it is not likely that Cornelius himself had instituted the four minor orders mentioned in his letter, they are nowhere enumerated fully and in proper sequence before his time. St. Cyprian (+ 258) speaks of exorcists, lectors, and acolytes, but makes no mention of porters.

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