“Pope Benedict XVI has no intention of ordering local bishops to bring in garrisons of exorcists to fight demonic possession,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters in Rome just hours after the news report was published.
Roman Catholic news agency Petrus said the pope planned to install more exorcists in every diocese next year and reintroduce a prayer during mass to Mark the Archangel, believed to be the prime protector against evil, The Telegraph reported.
The satanic cleansing initiative was revealed by 82-year-old Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican “exorcist-in-chief,” to Petrus news agency.
“Thanks be to God, we have a Pope who has decided to fight the Devil head-on,” he said.
“Too many bishops are not taking this seriously and are not delegating their priests in the fight against the Devil. You have to hunt high and low for a properly trained exorcist.
“Thankfully, Benedict XVI believes in the existence and danger of evil – going back to the time he was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” The CDF is the oldest Vatican department and was headed by Benedict from 1982, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, until he became Pope in 2005.
Paolo Scarafoni, a priest at Vatican University who teaches how to recognize and expel Satan, said exorcists increasingly are in demand because devil worship has become so common, reported ANSA. “Priests are being bombarded,” Scarafoni told the Italian news agency.
The topic of exorcism commands considerable public interest in Italy, and Father Amorth has frequently generated attention with his warnings about the unchecked spread of diabolical influence.
In a new course on the topic, being offered by the pontifical university Regina Apostolorum in Rome, Father Paolo Scarafoni has warned that Satanic cults are making inroads in Italian society, and cautioned that the influence of the devil is real, although he has also reported that most suspected cases of demonic possession can be explained by other factors.
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