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'Pope Francis Effect' Leads to Exorcism Boom

Nick Squires - The Telegraph
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April 21, 2015
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At the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Atheneum in Rome, a priest holds the necessary items for casting out demons - a crucifix and a book of the exorcism rites. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

The “Pope Francis effect” has been credited with encouraging a resurgence in faith among rank-and-file Catholics but it has also had a more unexpected consequence – a boom in the demand for exorcisms.

The Argentinian pontiff’s fire-and-brimstone language and frequent references to the Devil have helped propel belief in Beelzebub back into the mainstream of the Catholic Church, where once it was an embarrassment.

Dioceses in the UK, Italy, Spain and elsewhere have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of people claiming to be possessed and have responded by training more priests in the dark arts of how to perform exorcisms.

A week-long exorcism conference, held this week at the Pontifical University of Regina Apostolorum in Rome and endorsed by the Vatican, is being attended by around 160 Catholic priests from around the world, who insist that demonic possession is very real.

"Pope Francis talks about the Devil all the time and that has certainly raised awareness about exorcisms," said Father Cesare Truqui, a Mexican priest trained as an exorcist. "But all Latin Americans have this sensibility – for them, the existence of the Devil is part of their faith."

Read the rest at The Telegraph

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