Blog Post

Vatican Responds to Increasing Demand for Exorcisms

Due to a threefold increase in demand for exorcisms in Italy alone, and concerns about the skill level of today’s exorcists, the Vatican is planning to hold an international conference next month aimed at training more priests to meet the demand.

The Daily Mail is reporting on the week-long training conference which will be held from April 16-21 at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome with the aim of equipping priests to meet the soaring demand for exorcisms around the world.

This is particularly true for the country of Italy where over 500,000 exorcisms are now being performed every year. Demand has been at this level since 2016 and is now triple what it was in past years.

According to Father Benigno Palilla, a Franciscan friar and exorcist in the Sicilian town of Palermo, the increase in demand is due to an increased interest in the occult.

“Because the amount of people has grown that are ready to go to the wizards, the sorcerer who reads the cards and tarot cards. Doing so opens the door to the devil and to possession.”

Although many of the cases are not actually related to demonic possession but to spiritual and psychological programs, they still have to be investigated.

Palilla is calling not just for training, but for an improvement in the training being provided.

'We priests, very often, do not know how to deal with the concrete cases presented to us - in the preparation for the priesthood, we do not talk about these things,' he said.

Some priests are even conducting exorcisms without proper training, he said.

Priests who are in the process of becoming an exorcist should serve a period of apprenticeship where they work alongside an expert in the field.

Our New Age Q&A blog here at Women of Grace has also seen an ever-increasing number of emails from people desperate for help after casually dabbling around in the New Age and occult. These communications mostly report severe oppression (insomnia, mental confusion, anxiety attacks) as a result of participating in today’s fitness and/or spiritual trends such as yoga, Reiki, eastern meditation (mindfulness and Transcendental Meditation) crystal healing and other alternatives such as acupuncture and psychic healers. Some of these people required deliverance before experiencing relief.

We can only pray for more intensive education for our priests who stand on the front lines in this spiritual war. They need the constant prayer of the faithful as well as the necessary training to deliver those in need during these dark times.

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