COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns led to increased calls for exorcism
An Italian Catholic priest who is a trained exorcist said the demand for exorcism has increased as the pandemic and ongoing lockdowns have “made people more vulnerable to the idea that Satan or an evil entity has taken over. their life “.
“We have seen an increase in the demand for exorcisms because the pandemic has made people more vulnerable to the idea that Satan or an evil entity has taken control of their lives,” the father said. Gian Matter Roggio said at an international conference of exorcist priests in Rome, The Telegraph reported.
“People fell into poverty, they found themselves suffering from anxiety and depression. They feel that their life is no longer in their hands but in the hands of an evil force. It’s a big crisis, ”he added.
Describing the effects of possession, the priest reportedly said, “People speak languages they have never spoken before, even ancient languages like Aramaic, Latin, Greek and Hebrew. They are able to levitate from the ground or vomit objects like nails and pieces of glass. There are people whose voices change completely – a woman can start to speak like a man. Some develop superhuman strength and it takes four or five people to hold them back.
Professor Giuseppe Ferrari, one of the conference organizers, cited additional reasons for the increased demand for exorcisms.
“Young people are drawn to the exploration of witchcraft, vampirism, black magic and the occult through the mass media. It’s a growing phenomenon and it’s really worrying, ”he said.
Commenting on Rogglo’s statement, Catholic Online said his “explanation made sense.”
“Satan and his demons prey on people when they are most vulnerable,” the publication said.
“Those who face a crisis, people who are desperate, are more likely to engage in behaviors that facilitate demonic possession. These behaviors include sinful activities, including engaging in vices and dabbling in the occult. While many people turn to their faith in times of need, some turn away, blaming God for their difficulties. When some people realize their mistake, it may already be too late. The family and the Church must intervene to investigate and, if necessary, to perform an exorcism. “
Catholic Online clarified that not all suspected demonic possession cases are genuine, saying mental illness could be mistaken for possession. “This is why many exorcists work with doctors and mental health professionals to provide people with the help they need. However, demonic possession is real, and in such cases an exorcism is warranted.
Catholic law allows priests who have received permission from their bishops to perform an exorcism, but only after proper training.
Two of the most active exorcists in the United States said in 2016 that there was a growing demand for their services due to the greater number of Americans without a church seeking help against demonic oppression, possession and other dark spiritual activities.
“We acquire all kinds of knowledge, but there is always this void in us that is filled with addictive behaviors such as drugs and pornography,” said the father. Vincent Lampert of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis said at the time.
The first official English translation of a ritual book on exorcisms was published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2017, detailing practices that get rid of demons and prayers against “powers of darkness.”
“Since there is less ease in Latin than before, even among priests, this opens the door for more priests to do so. Until now, the priest not only had to be wise and holy, but he also had to have a strong fluency in Latin, ”said Fr. Andrew Menke, executive director of the Divine Worship Secretariat of the USCCB, told then at Catholic News Service.
“This makes it easier for a priest who would otherwise be a good exorcist but who would be intimidated by the obligation to use a Latin text. Having him available in the vernacular means he can focus on prayer and ritual, without having to worry about working in another language, ”he added.
The ritual book, titled Exorcisms and associated supplications, was posted on the USCCB website.
“This little pocket book will help the faithful Christians in their fight against the infernal enemy. It is a powerful treasure of prayers of praise and supplication to Almighty God and of prayers invoking the intercession of the saints”, reads- we on the site. .
The book includes prayers to God for protections, invocations to the Holy Trinity and Jesus Christ, as well as to the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael.
“Prayers Against the Powers of Darkness contains the full text of” Supplications which may be used by the faithful in private in their struggle against the powers of darkness “, which is Appendix II of the Exorcisms and Associated Supplications, the ritual book used by the exorcists. ”he adds.
The original Latin version of the book comes from the revised rite following Vatican Council II in the 1960s.