Rome, Italy, Feb 28, 2018 / 14:04 pm
With reported demonic possessions on the rise in Italy, the Vatican is hosting a weeklong training to better prepare exorcists for ministry. Catholic leaders have said that the country needs more exorcists, and better training.
"Today we are at a stage crucial in history: many Christians no longer believe in [the devil's] existence, few exorcists are appointed and there are no more young priests willing to learn," said one of the event's speakers, exorcist Father Cesare Truqui, according to Vatican News.
An exorcism course will be held at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome from April 16-21. The training will focus on exorcism and the prayer of liberation, a prayer commonly used for deliverance from possession.
The event "is to offer a rich reflection and articulated on a topic that is sometimes unspoken and controversial," Father Benigno Palilla, an exorcist from Sicily, told Vatican Radio on February 22.