The Vatican has decided to hold a week-long international conference in April to address a three-fold increase in the demand for exorcists in Italy alone. The church is reportedly very much concerned about the fact that new priests are no longer willing to learn the techniques of exorcism even though the demand is increasing day by day.
The decision to hold a week-long International conference came just days after the Vatican conducted a four-day meeting in Sicily that included testimony on sects and Satanism.
Friar Beningo Palilla, one of the Sicily gathering's organizers told Vatican radio that there are more than 500,000 cases reported in Italy which demand exorcism. Palilla revealed that the obsession of people towards the services of fortune tellers and Tarot readers has increased drastically in the recent years, and these practices have opened the doors for negative forces which will finally result in demonic possession.
Palilla insisted that priests should master themselves in exorcism, as self-taught exorcist will be more prone to meeting with errors.
"We priests, very often, do not know how to deal with the concrete cases presented to us: in the preparation for the priesthood, we do not talk about these things. A self-taught exorcist certainly meets errors. I will say more: it would also take a period of apprenticeship, as happens for many professionals," said Friar Beningo Palilla, USA Today reports.
The Vatican has recognized exorcism under the canon's law, but it can be performed only under the consent of the church. As the demand for exorcists increases, especially in Italy, the church will surely increase the number of neo-priests who are well trained in exorcism by the end of the upcoming International conference in April.
Palilla described the upcoming conference as the first of its kind, and billed it as an initiative to provide a reflection on a topic which goes many times unspoken. The April International conference will be conducted at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, a Catholic educational institution headed by the church in Rome.