Woman sues archdiocese after ‘lay exorcism’ leaves her emotionally damaged

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A woman in Texas is suing the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and her parish claiming she suffered psychological and emotional abuse through a lay-led exorcism during a retreat.

Beth Ann Andrews filed her lawsuit on July 25 after attending a “Faith in the Fire” event, which is associated with the Catholic Charismatic movement.

According to its website, the Faith in the Fire retreat “provides its participants the opportunity to reconnect with what matters and share their faith journeys in a loving community.”

“The whole purpose of me attending the retreat was to get close to God and the Catholic faith,” Andrews told ABC13 Eyewitness News.

She said she wasn’t informed that “exorcisms” would be performed by the lay leader of the retreat.

According to Church law, exorcisms can only be performed by authorized personnel, but the Church has published a book of “Prayers Against the Powers of Darkness” that can be used by anyone.

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