Facing 'Unprecedented Rise in Demonic Possession', Church Training More Exorcists
Michael Trimmer - Christian Today
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January 10, 2014
It isn't just demons that the Church is fighting. More exorcists are needed to combat the increasing trend of unofficial exorcists plying their trade in more superstitious corners of the Catholic world. (Associated Press)
A rapidly increasing number of Catholic priests are reportedly being trained in the rite of exorcism.
Dioceses in Italy, Spain, and Mexico are reporting a growing number of cases of someone being possessed by the devil or some other demonic influence.
The Diocese of Milan recently nominated seven new exorcists to combat this increase. Crescenzio Sepe, the Archbishop of Naples has appointed three in previous years, and the Catholic Church in Sardinia recently sent three priests for exorcism training in Rome out of growing concern that the Mediterranean island, particularly its mountainous, tradition-bound interior, is rife with occultism.
Archbishop of Madrid Antonio Maria Rouco Varela was quoted by The Telegraph as saying that the cases they were encountering "go beyond the competence of psychologists" and that these were occurring with "a striking frequency".
Eight priests have been specially chosen to undergo rigorous training in May to confront what the Archbishop described as "an unprecedented rise" in cases of "demonic possession".
Many in the Mexican Catholic Church there believe that the violence of the drug cartels has its roots in demonic activity. Mexican exorcists are so overwhelmed that some are refusing to take on new cases, facing new possessions daily. Speaking to the BBC, Mexico City exorcist Father Francisco Bautista said: "This didn't happen before."
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