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Scene from the 1973 film The Exorcist. Scene from the 1973 film The Exorcist.

Church’s nine exorcists swamped with work

Archdiocese of Mexico says many people believe they are possessed by the devil

The nine exorcists who work in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico are overwhelmed with demand for their services, the coordinating priest of the College of Exorcists has revealed.

In light of the current situation, Guillermo Barba requested that parish priests better assess cases before they refer them for treatment.

He also said that priests need to be prepared to attend to cases themselves because “when people arrive who say they are possessed they send them to one of the exorcist fathers, who are swamped with work.”

However, the priest warned against disregarding cases completely.

“. . . When a person feels a vexation or the influence of evil and a priest, because of his incredulity, doesn’t attend to it, the affected person seeks to resolve it and may turn to pseudo-religious associations, spiritualists or even witchcraft or satanism where they offer to heal the malaise.”

In addition, the priest called on the wider population to take the practice of exorcism more seriously.

“For many people, it may be a medieval issue but the reality is that it is a matter of the devil, a matter of all the ages that has intensified in our times,” Barba said.

The Archdiocese of Mexico agreed that there is a high number of cases in which people believe they are possessed by the devil.

However, the archdiocese told the newspaper Milenio that the number of cases its exorcists attend to is much lower because medical and psychiatric examinations determine who really needs an exorcism.

Barba said that priests are chosen to become exorcists according to principles established by Canon Law, explaining that it must be “a prudent and discrete priest living a life of deep prayer.”

However, the priest added: “Let’s not forget that the natural-born exorcist is the bishop of each diocese and he is the sole authority that can appoint a priest to carry out the mission.”

In Mexico, it’s not just individuals whom the clergy of the church attempt to exorcise of their demons.

Priests, including one in San Luis Potosí in 2015, have also carried out exorcisms intended to purge the whole country of ills such as high levels of violence and the presence of drug cartels.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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