Catholic experts in the U.S., Italy and Ireland have warned in recent years that there’s a “real emergency” surrounding a purported lack of exorcists to meet a growing need of spiritual care for people who are increasingly getting involved in Satanism and other evils.
Valter Cascioli, a psychologist and consultant for the International Association of Exorcists, detailed the purported problem in an interview last year with Italy’s La Stampa newspaper.
“The lack of exorcists is a real emergency,” he said, according to the Telegraph. “There is a pastoral emergency as a result of a significant increase in the number of diabolical possessions that exorcist priests are confronting.”
And this month, Fr. Pat Collins, Ireland’s most famous exorcist, criticized the Catholic Church for purportedly not training enough exorcists; he made his comments in a documentary that aired on RTE, according to The Daily Mail.
“The Church is rightfully admitting its sinfulness in child sex abuse, that we did not defend children. Now it has all the safeguarding measures and that’s excellent,’ he says in the documentary, which focuses on evil,” Collins said. “But it appalls me that we have no safeguarding from the evil spirits.”
Collins warned that there is a growing and “morbid” interest in evil and said that people are losing faith in God. At the same time, he said that the church isn’t training enough priests to deal with the problem, accusing Catholic bishops of neglecting their responsibility, the Daily Mail reported.
Cascioli made similar claims last year when he said that there’s a constant rise in the number of people who are engaging in “occult and satanic practices” and warned that these endeavors can lead to “serious physical, psychological and spiritual damages.”
He said that the growing problem impacts young people the most — and that there simply aren’t enough exorcists to deal with it.
“There is a broad spread of superstitious practices, and with that a growing number of requests for help from people who are directly or indirectly struck by evil,” Cascioli continued. “It is dangerous to underestimate a phenomenon that is caused by the direct actions of the devil, but also by a decline in faith and values.”
As Faithwire previously reported, the subject of exorcisms has increasingly been in the headlines of late. Recently, an Italian exorcist reportedly claimed that current events, including natural disasters and North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un’s antics, are signs that the apocalypse could be nearing.
“All natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, demonstrate that the end of the world is coming,” Don Antonio Mattatelli said, according to the U.K.’s Express. “It will not be the end of the world in general, but of this world yes.”
“Exorcist” director William Friedkin also recently revealed the details of a real-life exorcism that apparently left him pretty terrified. Friedkin told Variety that he saw the exorcism rite being performed first-hand decades after making “The Exorcist” — and that the real-life experience included thrashing, screaming, foaming at the mouth and other horrors.
It was an event that he filmed while working on his new documentary, “The Devil and Father Amorth,” a film about Father Gabriele Amorth, a 91-year-old priest who performed daily exorcisms for the Vatican’s Rome Diocese until his death.
“It was terrifying,” he said. “I went from being afraid of what could happen to feeling a great deal of empathy with this woman’s pain and suffering, which is obvious in the film.”
Read more about that here.