Exorcism – Vatican course opens doors to 250 priests
17 April 2018 Share https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43697573
(In addition, to the very short “What are the objections?” section at the end of this article, I can think of various reasons for the church supporting this as a ‘specialty’ including, obviously, a source of income for ‘trained’ exorcists, while among my objections would be the lack of potential ‘other lifetime’ or interdimensional familiarization of the ‘trained’ priesthood. To me, identifying such contributing factors is essential to addressing the root cause of potential “demon possession.” ~ Don Chapin)
Image copyright AFP Image caption Priests from around the world attend the course
The Vatican has opened its doors for its annual exorcism course amid increasing demand among some of the world’s Catholic communities. The course has been running since 2005.
As many as 250 priests from 50 countries have arrived in Rome to learn how to identify demonic possession, to hear personal accounts from other priests and to find out more about the rituals behind expelling demons. (Hmmm, “demons”… yes, they do exist, but my information indicates that such “possession” is in the vast minority, that proportionally, there are far more prior-life and interdimensional factors involved. What ‘training’ do these priests receive in those fields?. ~ Don Chapin)
Exorcism remains controversial, in part due to its depiction in popular culture and horror films. But there have also been some cases of abuse linked to exorcisms in a range of religious sects.
The week-long Vatican course is described as the only international series of lectures of its kind. Entitled Exorcism and the Prayer of Liberation, it first opened its doors in 2005 and the number of priests attending has more than doubled since then. The event costs €300 (£260, $370) and covers the theological, psychological and anthropological background to exorcisms.
Image copyright AFP Image caption The course has been running since 2005
Why is demand growing?
(I would suspect the dimensional shifts taking place within Earth and Humanity creating individual conflicts between holding on to what’s ‘known’ and desiring positive change is a large contributor. ~ Don Chapin)
Catholic priests in several countries have told the press there has been an increase in the numbers of people reporting signs of demonic possession.
Last year Pope Francis told priests that they “must not hesitate” to refer parishioners to exorcists if they suffer from “genuine spiritual disturbances”.
Half a million people reportedly seek exorcisms every year in Italy, while a report by Christian think-tank Theos in 2017 said that the practice was also on the rise in the UK, in part due to the spread of Pentecostal churches.
Some dioceses have developed their own courses to meet the growing demand, including in Sicily and the US city of Chicago.
- Exorcism in Italy a job ‘too scary’ for young priests
- The country where exorcisms are on the rise
Father Gary Thomas, an American priest who has practised exorcisms for 12 years, says that one reason for the increase is that as society has begun to rely more heavily on social sciences, fewer
churches have trained exorcists. The decline of Christianity has also led to an increase in superstitious practices, he believes.
Italian priest Benigno Palilla told Vatican News that the growing use of tarot cards and sorcery had also led to a renewed demand for exorcisms.
However, very few cases actually require a major exorcism. Out of 180 cases he has seen, Father Thomas says he has carried out just a dozen major exorcisms.
From Don’s research at
“Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church. Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science. Therefore, before an exorcism is performed, it is important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness.” (And who is to determine whether any “illness” is physical or psychological, such as a “neady” personality that invites some form of “possession” … which does happen ~ Don Chapin)
It involves specific prayers and an invocation for the demon to leave the body of the possessed in Jesus’ name.
When do priests perform exorcisms?
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A number of countries have reported an increase in demand for exorcisms
In 1999, the Catholic Church carried out its first major update to the rules surrounding exorcism since 1614 and distinguished between demonic possession and physical or psychological illness.
As a result, Father Thomas works with a team of doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists – all practicing Catholics – to rule out any other cause for a person’s suffering before diagnosing demonic possession.
The priest will then try a series of deliverance prayers. A major exorcism will only take place “as a last resort”, he adds.
What happens in an exorcism?
As outlined by www.catholic.org, the priest must wear a type of embroidered white tunic called a surplice alongside a purple stole. The person who is possessed may be bound, and holy water should be used. The priest will make the sign of the cross on the person at several times throughout.
The priest calls on saints, prays and reads excerpts from the Bible in which Jesus drives out demons from people.
In Jesus’ name, he asks the possessing demon to “yield to God” and “depart”, as many times as necessary. Once the priest is convinced the exorcism has worked, he prays to God to prevent the evil spirit from bothering the afflicted person further, and for the “goodness and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ” to take hold of the person instead.
What are the objections?
But there is widespread criticism of exorcism and concern that it has been used by a variety of religious practitioners to carry out abuse of children and other vulnerable people.
Some victims have died in rituals linked to exorcism.
The ‘exorcism’ that turned into murder
More generally, there is a risk that people with illnesses such as epilepsy or schizophrenia could be misdiagnosed and miss out on medical treatment if their symptoms are ascribed to supernatural phenomena.
In 2012, the UK government published a national action plan to help prevent abuse of children in religious rituals.