Vatican Increases Exorcism Training

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In response to an unsettling increase in demand for exorcisms in Italy, the Vatican has announced plans for a new course to better train priests to perform the practice.

The week-long event to be held in April was detailed by Italian priest and exorcist Benigno Palilla in an interview with Vatican Radio.

According to Palilla, requests for exorcisms from the Church have skyrocketed in Italy over the last few years with experts estimating an astounding 500,000 such cases being reported.

Although the priest acknowledged that not all of these events are genuinely connected to an actual possession, he cautioned that the jaw-dropping number of exorcisms indicated that there is some sort of sinister surge happening.

As to what may be behind this spike, Palilla pointed to the popularity of fortune tellers, tarot card readers and other soothsaying mystics in Italy.

He warned that partaking in such ‘sorcery’ unwittingly “opens the door to the devil and possession.”

Additionally, Palilla expressed concern that the whopping number of exorcism cases in the country has led to inexperienced priests being enlisted to perform the ritual.

Calling for a proverbial apprenticeship for exorcists, he lamented that the phenomenon of possession is often verboten during the process of preparing for the priesthood, leaving newcomers overwhelmed when they are called to confront the issue.

By holding this new course on the subject later this year, Palilla hopes to strip away some of the sensationalism surrounding exorcisms and better prepare priests for the various cases they may encounter.

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What is behind all this is the Vatican trying to scare people back to the pews. The church is losing believers en masse. Another attempt to get more money in the collection baskets.

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Memorable Images from The Pyeonchang Games

The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which ended on Sunday, yielded 102 gold medals in 16 days.

The Olympic stadium is seen in an aerial shot during the closing ceremonyImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

The closing ceremony was a colourful event, complete with drones depicting the official mascot, a white tiger named Soohorang, with white lights (below).

Artists perform as yellow and red lines of light follow behind themImage copyrightREUTERS
Team Great Britain athletes walk holding flags and recording on their phonesImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionTeam Great Britain walked in the Parade of Athletes, with snowboarding bronze medallist Billy Morgan holding the Great Britain flag
Red fireworks explore over a crowded Olympic stadiumImage copyrightREUTERS
Figures gather around a giant projected logo of the Beijing 2022 OlympicsImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThe upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics were advertised in style

We take a look at some of the best pictures taken by sports photographers during the Games.

Four male skaters race each other with the Olympic rings image seen in the ice beneath themImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionSkaters race in the Men’s Mass Start semi-final
Ice skater Anna Duskova spins in the hair horizontally as her partner Martin Bidar looks up at herImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionAnna Duskova and Martin Bidar of Czech Republic in action during the Pair Skating competition
Shaun White hugs a friend in celebrationImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionShaun White (right) of the US hugs a friend as he wins gold at the Men’s Halfpipe
Team Sweden hug each other in celebrationImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionTeam Sweden celebrate their curling win against South Korea
Dawid Kubacki is seen on skis in mid-airImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionDawid Kubacki of Poland competes at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre
Skater Nathan Chen is seen with arms outstretched with coloured Olympic signs in the ice beneath himImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionUS skater Nathan Chen performs
A South Korea fan smiles with logos on her faceImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionA South Korea fan shows her support for her team
Nicola Tumolero and Riccardo Bugari seen on the ice, one with arms outstretched, the other sitting on the iceImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionSkaters Nicola Tumolero and Riccardo Bugari of Italy fall after a final
Phoebe Staenz lying on the groundImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionPhoebe Staenz of Switzerland scores a goal against South Korea
Magnus Nedregotten slides along the ice whilst CurlingImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionMagnus Nedregotten of Norway in action during a curling event
Yura Min and Alexander Gamelin perform their routine with Yura's arms outstretchedImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionFigure skaters Yura Min and Alexander Gamelin of Korea perform
Adam Rippon spins on the iceImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionAdam Rippon spins during a figure skating event
Kaori Sakamoto holds her ice skate up to her head whilst competingImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionKaori Sakamoto of Japan competes in a Single Free Skating event
Thomas Bing lies in the snow whilst looking at the cameraImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThomas Bing of Germany lies on the snow during a cross-country quarterfinal
North Korean cheerleaders hold unification flagsImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionNorth Korean cheerleaders hold unification flags
Lizzy Yarnold competesImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionLizzy Yarnold of Great Britain slides during the Women’s Skeleton

The Elevator Women

The elevator in the building at work has a recorded voice of a women telling the riders which floor they have landed on. The voice also advises that the car is going up, or going down. Very helpful stuff.

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The voice is soothing and reaffirms that you are in a civilized setting. I began wondering if that women, whose voice is used, receives royalties every time she talks in the elevator? If she does she must be rich!

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