Pope Francis is reportedly directly responsible for the increase in exorcisms across the world, while it’s also been suggested that excessive masturbation is a symptom of being possessed.
The Telegraph, via the NY Daily News, have reported that dioceses in Italy, Spain, Britain, and Mexico have seen the popularity of the ritual to cast demons out of individuals rise tenfold. In fact, priests in these areas have been forced to undergo training to perfect the practice.
An event that has been sanctioned by the Vatican regarding exorcisms in Rome has also reportedly been attended by 160 priests. Those in attendance at the event in Pontifical University of Regina Apostolorum in Rome are insistent that the demonic possession is true.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Cesare Truqui, a Mexican priest who has already been trained in exorcism, explained, “Pope Francis talks about the Devil all the time, and that has certainly raised awareness about exorcisms. But all Latin Americans have this sensibility. For them, the existence of the Devil is part of their faith.”
Father Truqui, who insists that he’s conducted 100 exorcisms during his career, provided details on the symptoms that you can expect from someone who is possessed.
“Symptoms include obsessive behaviour,” he remarked. “I once treated a woman who combed her [hair] eight hours a day, and a man who was obsessed with masturbating — he did it every day, many times,” while he added that others speak in ancient tongues.
Religious experts have predicted that the rise in these rites is also down to the increasing violence from drug cartels, and people who have requested the exorcism have been murderers.
Pope Francis has previously praised priests who have conducted exorcisms and commended their fight against “the Devil’s work.” Pope Francis believes that the Church also should continue to assist “those possessed by evil.”
This has led the amount of exorcists in Rome to rise from 5 to 10, while Milan now has 12 rather than 5, too.
In England an anonymous priest, who excels in exorcism and hails from Birmingham, also spoke to the Telegraph and provided further reasons for the rites’ rise in popularity.
“Until a few years ago, a significant number of people in the Church didn’t believe in the Devil, but people are now going back to the Scriptures,” he explained. “Pope Francis has given a certain amount of encouragement to that. A few years ago, at least half the dioceses in England and Wales did not have an exorcist. Now, pretty much all of them do.”
[Image via Express]