Vatican Conference Guides Clergy in Exorcisms; Surge in Satanism Cited

By:  Warren Mass
Vatican Conference Guides Clergy in Exorcisms; Surge in Satanism Cited

The Vatican’s annual course on exorcism, entitled “Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation,” began on May 5 at Rome’s Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum. The course concludes Saturday with an examination of the ministry of exorcism and a roundtable discussion. Its description states that the course “seeks to explore the theoretical and practical implications of the ministry of exorcism. It is designed particularly to help bishops in the preparation of the priests they assign to this ministry.”

The Rome correspondent of the Telegraph (U.K.) cited a statement from Giuseppe Ferrari, of GRIS, the Catholic research group that organized the conference, who said there was an ever growing need for priests to be trained to perform exorcisms because of the increasing number of lay people tempted to dabble in black magic, paganism, and the occult. “We live in a disenchanted society, a secularized world that thought it was being emancipated, but where religion is being thrown out, the window is being opened to superstition and irrationality,” said Ferrari.

The abandonment of religion “inevitably leads people to ask questions about the existence of evil and its origins,” Ferrari told Adnkronos, an Italian news agency.

The southern Italian newspaper Gazzetta del Sud quoted Father Cesar Truqui, identified as an exorcist from the Legionaries of Christ, which helped organize the conference with GRIS, who said, “Exploring the theme of demonic possession does not mean causing general paranoia, but creating awareness of the existence of the Devil and of the possibility of possession.”

Truqui noted that Pope Francis in his April 11 homily admonished the faithful to “learn to fight the devil ... who exists even in the 21st century.” “The pope reminds us,” continued Truqui, “that speaking of demons doesn’t mean creating a new theology outside the Gospels, but rather staying within Jesus Christ’s teachings.”

Speaking to ZENIT news service from the conference, Father Louis Wesly Merosne from the Haitian diocese of Anse-a-Veau and Miragoane, said the course has shown him the need for ministers “who are willing to be used by the Lord in the work of exorcism and prayers of liberation.”

“We need clarity on how to proceed, so that our tactics can be organized to have the greatest effect against the kingdom of evil,” he said.

Merosne stated: “Satan has much power and wants to cause a lot of damage to God’s people. However, Christ is risen and is all powerful. Therefore, with Him, we do not need to fear anything from the enemy.”

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