It is a devil of a job but someone has to do it. Applications are invited for exorcism training at the Vatican’s Rome university, the Athenaeum Pontificium Regina Apostolorum. The 10-week course includes sessions in exorcism rites, how to talk to the Devil, the tricks he uses to fight back and signs of the occult hidden in rock music and video games.
Students also attend classes in psychology so that priests can distinguish between “real cases” of satanic possession and illnesses such as schizophrenia.
The recruitment drive comes amid growing Vatican concern about a rise in Satanism. Pope Benedict XVI this week praised 180 of the students gathered at a secret location outside Rome.
“I encourage you to continue your important ministry in the services of the Church,” the new Pope told them, saying their work would be closely supported by local bishops.