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Vatican to train army of exorcists to deal with rising number of demonic possessions

  • Doctors, teachers and psychologists being trained to cope with rising tide
  • The Exorcist film left cinema audiences green more than 40 years ago
  • Experts are teaching ordinary Catholics how to recognise possession 
  • Course aims to help would-be exorcists distinguish demonic possession from psychological or medical conditions

By

Hannah Roberts In Rome For Mailonline
Published:
12:45 EST, 13 April 2015

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Updated:
13:07 EST, 13 April 2015

The Vatican are training up ordinary doctors, teachers and psychologists to cope with a rising tide of demonic possessions.

More than 40 years after The Exorcist left cinema audiences green, the Vatican has gathered a team of experts including practising exorcists to give ordinary Catholics the tools needed to recognise a case of demonic possession when they see one – and teach them what to do about it.

The tenth edition of the annual course, ‘Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation,’ sponsored by the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy, the department responsible for overseeing matters regarding priests, began this morning at Rome’s Regina Apostolorum University.

More than 40 years after The Exorcist (pictured) left cinema audiences green, The Vatican are training up ordinary doctors, teachers and psychologists to cope with a rising tide of demonic possessions

More than 40 years after The Exorcist (pictured) left cinema audiences green, The Vatican are training up ordinary doctors, teachers and psychologists to cope with a rising tide of demonic possessions

One of the main purposes of the course is help would-be exorcists distinguish demonic possession from psychological or medical conditions, organisers said.

In 2013 Francis appeared to perform an exorcism on a young man in a wheelchair who shook violently when the pope laid his hands on him and said a blessing.

He has frequently expressed the belief that the devil really exists and is not merely ‘a myth, a figure, an idea, the idea of evil.’

Experts say demonic activity is on the rise due to an in creased interest in the occult among the young including ouija boards and seances. Last year the International Association of Exorcists claimed it was ‘a pastoral emergency.”

In 2013, Pope Francis (pictured( appeared to perform an exorcism on a young man in a wheelchair

In 2013, Pope Francis (pictured( appeared to perform an exorcism on a young man in a wheelchair

The Vatican tried to introduce Holyween, where children would dress up as saints and attend prayer vigils instead of Halloween.

Father Pedro Barrajon, director of the Sacerdos Institute, which is organising the course said ‘Living in an increasingly secularised society than in the past there is more tendency to open the door to the occult.

Demonic activity is increased by the practice of magic and visiting fortune tellers which can increase the likelihood of a possession’.

 

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