RELIGION

Extreme Exorcist Shortage Has Satan-Battling Priests Spooked

A Vatican-backed exorcist is alarmed about a sharp increase in black magic

RELIGION
"The lack of exorcists is a real emergency." — REUTERS
Sep 28, 2016 at 2:08 PM ET

A Vatican-backed exorcist is sounding the alarm over a purported surge in satanic dabbling and demonic possession worldwide.

Valter Cascioli, whose International Association of Exorcists has received papal recognition from the Roman Catholic church, said that the sharp rise among those practicing black magic has caused a sudden shortage of priests who are able to battle the devil and other evil spirits prone to possess these would-be sorcerers.

“The lack of exorcists is a real emergency,” Cascioli, a psychologist and scientific consultant to IAE, told the Italian newspaper La Stampa. “There is a pastoral emergency as a result of a significant increase in the number of diabolical possessions that exorcist priests are confronting.”

In other words: if you’ve ever considered a career in helping those compelled by Satan to speak in tongues, vomit nails, or levitate above the ground, now would be a good time to sign up.

Regarded for years as a taboo practice, Catholic exorcisms have seen a resurgence under Pope Francis, who frequently invokes Satan in his sermons. In 2014, the Pope personally praised a convention of exorcists for their efforts to combat the works of the Devil.

Cascioli also called for a technical training college or university where Catholic priests would hone their exorcism skills. “There doesn’t exist a training institution at university level,” he said. “We need an interdisciplinary approach in which science collaborates with religion, and psychiatrists work with demonologists and exorcists.”

A pair of prominent Catholic priests in the United States told The Daily Telegraph that they’ve struggled to keep up with exorcisms. Fathers Gary Thomas, author of “The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist,” and Vincent Lampert, a featured guest on the television show “Paranormal Witness,” said that Americans’ appetite for drug use and pornography helped fuel a steady uptick in demonic possessions.

“I am a full-time pastor and this is a very intense ministry,” Father Thomas said. “Almost every free night that I have is taken up with exorcisms.”