However, even though cases of demonic possession are not as common as cases of psychological illness, most people are too unaware and unfamiliar with spiritual realities, he said.
In 2014, the International Association of Exorcists (AIE) called the rise of occult activity a "pastoral emergency."
"It usually starts out of ignorance, superficiality, stupidity or proselytizing, actively participating or just watching," AIE spokesperson Dr. Valter Cascioli told CNA at the time.
"The consequences are always disastrous."
Father de Meo said that people often turn to "the chatter of magicians and Illusionists" for answers, rather than "the weapons the Lord has put at our disposal."
While people often seek radical answers or signs, the best defense against demonic possession is a simple and sacramental life of prayer, the priest said.
"It's absolutely fundamental to get rid of sin and live in the grace of God," he said.
"The Church in fact, wants a life of prayer, Not just on the part of the priest but also the (member of) the faithful asking for the intervention of the exorcist, who benefits from the help of family members as well," the exorcist explained.
The Catechism offers further guidance on how to avoid demonic activity: anything that involves recourse to Satan or demons, or that attempts to conjure the dead or reveal future events, is to be rejected.
From CCC paragraph 2116: "Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone."
As for the exorcists themselves, it is important to remain humble and to remember that their power comes from Christ, Father de Meo added.
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"Regarding spiritual preparation, humility and the conviction that we exorcists aren't the ones who are going to cast out the demon that's fighting Christ. We're called to fight on behalf of Christ."
This article was originally published on CNA March 17, 2016.