Exorcism has been in Catholic Church doctrine for centuries, but a recent action by the Vatican brings the practice into the modern discussion.  The Church recognized the International Association of Exorcists.  Retired theology professor Lynn Miller says its use had faded away in recent years.

“After the development of the modern age, they didn't put much emphasis on exorcism,” Miller says, “but there are still Catholic clergy who are exorcists.”

Miller says exorcisms are performed here in the Houston area, though the numbers aren't documented.  They are done much more often in Central America and Africa.

“There are probably exorcisms all the time in America, but they're not necessarily called exorcisms,” he says.  “They're called casting out of demons.”