Church of England drops the Devil

The Church of England has ‘driven out’ the Devil.

While the Catholic Church can exorcise the Devil, the Church of England has officially ‘excised’ the Evil One by rewording its baptismal ceremonies to remove reference to the Devil during the rejection usually verbalised by parents and godparents. Now, in a change to the version of baptism utilised by the Church since 1998, participants are invited to “reject evil, and all its many forms, and all its empty promises”.

The new approach was drawn up by the Church of England’s Liturgy Commission following a motion tabled by clerics at the Church’s General Synod in 2011, based on concern that the existing wording could dissuade people who are not regular churchgoers from seeking baptism for their children.

The new wording has been backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev. Justin Welby and has been introduced to 1,000 churches on a trial basis until Easter this year.