Experts from the Catholic Church in Italy and the US have said that exorcists are needed more than ever before because more people are trying Satanism.
“The lack of exorcists is a real emergency. There is a pastoral emergency as a result of a significant increase in the number of diabolical possessions that exorcist priests are confronting,” Valter Cascioli, a psychologist and scientific consultant to the International Association of Exorcists, an association endorsed by the Vatican, told Italian Newspaper, La Stampa.
“The number of people who take part in occult and satanic practices, which lead to serious physical, psychological and spiritual damages, is constantly rising. It is dangerous to underestimate a phenomenon that is caused by the direct actions of the devil, but also by a decline in faith and values” he said. He added that young people are mainly at risk as the internet is a part of their everyday life and it’s used a lot.
He is also urging colleges and other educational institutions to be set up programmes to specifically educate exorcists. “There doesn’t exist a training institution at university level. We need an interdisciplinary approach in which science collaborates with religion, and psychiatrists work with demonologists and exorcists,” he said.
The Italian psychologist’s concerns are also echoed in the US. Two of America’s top exorcists, Father Gary Thomas and Father Vincent Lampert, have said that a surge in ‘pagan practices,’ failures in mental health care, and a spiritual void all add up to the situation.
“We’re gaining all sorts of knowledge, but there’s still that emptiness within us that is being filled with addictive behavior such as drugs and pornography. The decline in faith goes hand in hand with the rise in evil,” said Father Lampert, of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
“I am a full-time pastor and this is a very intense ministry. Almost every free night that I have is taken up with exorcisms,” Father Thomas, the official exorcist of the Diocese of San Jose in Northern California said.