The Vatican plans to hold a week-long international conference in April to deal with a threefold increase in demand for exorcists in Italy alone, with 500,000 cases each year.
The decision comes out of a recent four-day meeting the Vatican held in Sicily in southern Italy where testimonies were heard on sects and Satanism, according to USA Today, which translated a report published in Italian in Vatican Radio.
One of the organizers of the Sicily meeting, Friar Beningo Palilla, was quoted as saying the church is concerned that an increasing number of people are turning to fortune tellers and Tarot readers, which can “open the door to the devil and to possession.”
He said roughly 500,000 cases requiring exorcism are seen in Italy each year.
The international conference, to be conducted at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, an educational institute of the Catholic Church in Rome, will supposedly be focused on teaching new priests the techniques of exorcism.
“We priests, very often, do not know how to deal with the concrete cases (of demonic possession) presented to us: in the preparation for the priesthood, we do not talk about these things,” Palilla said. “A self-taught exorcist certainly meets errors. I will say more: it would also take a period of apprenticeship, as happens for many professionals.”
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Source: Christian Post