An exorcist is an extinct office within the minor orders of clergy. The primary duty of exorcists was as the instructor of catechumens, whose entrance into the catechumenate was accompanied by an exorcism, ridding them of any demonic presence that may affect them. An exorcist may also have been called upon in other instances requiring an exorcism, such as the suspicion of demonic possession of a person or location.
The exorcism of catechumens has subsequently been conflated into the rite of baptism and is usually performed by the priest or bishop celebrating the baptism. Since the fourth century, the functions and ministry of the exorcist have been subsumed by the presbyter.
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