17 February 2008

Exorcism Resurgence?

If nothing else, this is interesting. A new exorcism center in Poland has received the blessing of the local Catholic Archbishop.

Exorcism — the church rite of expelling evil spirits from tortured souls — is making a comeback in Catholic regions of Europe. Last July, more than 300 practitioners gathered in the Polish city of Czestochowa for the fourth International Congress of Exorcists.

About 70 priests serve as trained exorcists in Poland, about double the number of five years ago. An estimated 300 exorcists are active in Italy. Foremost among them: the Rev. Gabriele Amorth, 82, who performs exorcisms daily in Rome and is dean of Europe's corps of demon-battling priests.

"People don't pray anymore, they don't go to church, they don't go to confession. The devil has an easy time of it," Amorth said in an interview. "There's a lot more devil worship, people interested in satanic things and seances, and less in Jesus."

Amorth and other priests said the resurgence in exorcisms has been encouraged by the Vatican, which in 1999 formally revised and upheld the rite for the first time in almost 400 years.
Rev. Amorth has an excellent point; the more secularized that the West has become, the easier it has become for people to stray from the straight and narrow. The less a people believe in God, the more likely it is that they will also no longer believe in the devil. In such a situation, the devil would have an easy time of it.

It's been said that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist. If that is the case, then a few more exorcists could hardly hurt.


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