Nov 20, 2014
On September 21, 2014, 1,600 people gathered outside Oklahoma’s Civic Center Music Hall to protest the satanic ritual of a Black Mass that the city officials had permitted. Inside, forty-two people attended the blasphemy. A few months before, a similar event was cancelled at Harvard University in response to the great outcry from believers. Recent times have witnessed an increased fascination with the devil.
Throughout the world, the decline in faith and the rise of interest in the occult have fomented a climate that favors the phenomenon of demonic possession. As more and more people abandon the practice of the faith, they satisfy their innate desire for the other-worldly with alternate forms of spirituality that open them to the influence of the evil spirits.
As a result, requests for exorcisms have dramatically risen within the last decade. In May of this year, 200 delegates from around the world took part in the ninth annual conference on exorcism in Rome. Psychiatrists, priests, sociologists, religious and doctors approached the reality of evil from their own area of expertise.
The reality of the devil belongs to the bedrock of Christian tradition. Even a casual reading of the New Testament brings the reader face to face with the devil. Within the gospel tradition, casting out the devil (exorcism) stands out as one of the miracles Jesus most frequently performed. In fact, in the Gospel of Mark, exorcisms are the largest number of healings Jesus worked (cf. Mk 1:21-8; 5:1-20; 7:24-30; and 9:14-29).