With reported demonic possessions on the rise in Italy, the Vatican is hosting a weeklong training to better prepare exorcists for ministry. Catholic leaders have said that the country needs more exorcists, and better training. “Today we are at a stage crucial in history: many Christians no longer believe in [the devil’s] existence, few exorcists are appointed and there are no more young priests willing to learn,” said one of the event’s speakers, exorcist Father Cesare Truqui, according to Vatican News.
An exorcism course will be held at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome from April 16-21. The training will focus on exorcism and the prayer of liberation, a prayer commonly used for deliverance from possession.
He also said that many alleged possessions are actually psychological issues, highlighting the need for well-trained and discerning exorcists. Palilla said those facing the demonic are in need of the prayers of all Catholics. “The demoniacs are the existential peripheries to which Pope Francis drives us. They are people who suffer a lot and, unfortunately, are not included in the registry of the Church,” he said.
This has to be overcome by more than just an increase in available priests appointed by the bishops, he said, but must have an increase in exorcism apprentice programs. “A self-taught exorcist certainly makes errors. I will say more: it would also take a period of apprenticeship, as happens for many professionals.”
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