A worrisome survey of Catholic exorcists found that they feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of potentially possessed people coming to them for help to the point that they are asking the church to provide them with assistance. The troubling trend reportedly came to light during an annual conference of priests who specialize in the practice of casting demons out of unfortunate individuals. Speaking to researchers from the Catholic Church’s educational institute Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, the 120 exorcists in attendance at the event raised serious concerns about managing the myriad of possible possession cases they are currently encountering with some saying that they receive a staggering 30 to 50 such reports per day.
In the face of this monstrous workload, the exorcists called upon the Catholic Church to provide them with additional resources, specifically access to psychologists, in order to determine if an individual is actually possessed or if they are afflicted with mental illness. One priest who encountered this conundrum recounted how he was forced to independently enlist such a professional when a young woman’s parents were divided over what had caused her to attack a group of monks and assail them with insults spoken in Latin. He indicated that it was ultimately determined that the woman was possessed and she was freed from the demonic grip following an arduous nine-hour-long exorcism.
Beyond feeling as if they were forced to take on the burden of helping possibly possessed people by themselves, the exorcists also expressed unhappiness with having to perform the ritual for those who were sick with COVID-19 as it puts their own health at risk. Why, exactly, there are so many people requesting the practice is uncertain, though Spanish priests in attendance at the conference indicated that these individuals “have spent time with New Age, spiritual or meditation groups.” By taking their grievances public, one hopes that the exorcists can receive the help they need from the Catholic Church as, after all, they are something of a front line in the battle of good versus evil.