Study says Catholic exorcists are overworked due to all the demonic activity out there today
· May 31, 2022 ·

I bet that's not the headline you were expecting to read today, but here we are.

In a recent study done by the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum (a Catholic university in Rome), in association with GRIS (a socio-religious research group), Catholic exorcists have overwhelmingly reported being overworked and undersupported by bishops and other priests.

Italian exorcists are reportedly performing 30-50 exorcisms per day, and exorcism experts at the Regina Apostolorum say that they're in desperate need of trained psychologists to separate mental illness from demonic activity.

Adding psychological evaluations is a relatively recent development in Catholic exorcism rites thanks to the first update to the exorcism manual since 1614, which says that some signs of possession could just be mental illness and that exorcists should "consult with experts in medical and psychiatric science who have a sense of spiritual reality."

Of course, not everyone is convinced that exorcisms are needed at all.

Steven Engler, professor of religious studies at Canada's Mount Royal University in Calgary, attributes the increase in exorcisms to what he refers to as the "Pope Francis effect" after the pontiff started a program training exorcists to help "those possessed by evil."

Engler says,

Pope Francis' openness about speaking about the devil reflects his Latin American background and that reflects an openness in the church in using this particular lens for problems that people experience.

Way back in 2013, Pope Francis was involved in what was claimed to be a failed exorcism, though the Vatican said he didn't mean to conduct an exorcism and was just praying for the man.

As for me (Protestant that I am), when you consider that Monsignor Stephen Rossetti, the leading Catholic exorcist for Washington DC, is only performing 20 exorcisms per week (sometimes over the phone!), I have to believe these numbers are being vastly underreported.

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