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.
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.
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.
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!
This composite photo first appeared in 2001 and is considered one of the first viral internet hoax photos.
I even used it in a photoshop showing the Red River in Winnipeg.