By M.P. Pellicer | Stranger Than Fiction Stories
There are essentials in exorcism rites, but now the Vatican uses all the modern tools at its disposal including a cellular phone to connect clergy to assistance and prayers.
Starting in 2018, a new tool was added to the arsenal of an exorcist's weapons—it's a cellular phone. Sprinkling holy water, chanting exorcism rituals in Latin are the cornerstone of the rites, but the Catholic Church must be inventive to meet the rising demands for exorcisms.
In 2017, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) created the first-ever English translation of the Roman Catholic Church's Latin rituals for exorcism, making it easier for a bishop exorcist to find a priest who could assist him, since even among the clergy there's a lack of facility with Latin.
Cardinal Ernest Simoni of Albania described assisting in exorcisms by reciting the Latin prayers over a cellphone. "They call me and we speak, and that's how I do it," Simoni said.
Sessions in the week-long course The Auxiliary Exorcist include: Requirements and Tasks; Symbolism in Magical-Occultist and Satanic Rituals; and Discerning the Extraordinary Actions of the Devil.
In Italy, it's estimated a million people seek exorcisms each year. Most of the time mental disorders, and physical conditions such as epilepsy are the more likely explanations for accounts of so-called demonic possession — medieval and modern — according to a study published in 2014 in the journal Early Science and Medicine.
The course which is held in Italy provides attendees only with a certificate, and this entitles them to be helpers only.
Father Vincent Lampert, Catholic priest and designated Exorcist for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, has noted a rise in exorcisms globally for the last 20 years.
He was appointed as an exorcist in 2005, and he was one of 12 priests around the country trained specifically for this ritual. Eleven years later there were 50 exorcists and in 2023, it had grown to 150.
In 1994, six priest including the late Father Gabriele Amorth, who was the Church's leading exorcist, founded the International Association of Exorcists. The organization educates clergy in the realm of spiritual battle, and teaches the Rite of Exorcism and other seminars.
Amorth enter the priesthood in 1954. In June 1986 he was appointed assistant exorcist of the Diocese of Rome under the tutelage of leading exorcist Candido Amantini. Amantini died in 1992 and Amorth succeeded him. Amorth wrote two memoirs: An Exorcist Tells His Story and An Exorcist: More Stories.
In April, 2023, The Pope's Exorcist a film based on Amorth's memoirs was released. Russell Crowe played the role of Father Amorth.
Dr. Richard Gallagher a psychiatrist who worked with the Catholic Church for 25 years, investigating possessions, diabolic attacks and the paranormal, described his role was to help distinguish when a person was suffering from psychosis versus possession.
In 2020, he retold an incident that occurred many years before. One night he was awoken by his two pet cats, normally docile clawing at each other while screeching to the high heavens. He was forced to place them each in a separate room.
The next morning a priest of his acquaintance, arrived at his office with a woman with jet black hair and thick eyeliner. Unexpectedly she said, "How'd you like those cats last night?"
Her name was Julia, a satanic high priestess who claimed she was possessed. He was told that during a possession she spoke in languages she didn't know, levitated for over 30 minutes, spoke in a voice that was not her own, and she didn't remember anything afterward.
Dr. Gallagher has not only consulted with the Catholic Church, but with other faith leaders of different religions.
He described that in the United States and around the world are spiritually-oriented psychiatrists, who accept the possibility of possession by spirits, but are reluctant to speak out.
Based on his years of experience in this field, he concluded that people who get possessed have turned in a serious way to something evil. This could be dabbling or full blown immersion in the dark arts like satanism. These people who join dark cults expecting favors in return, when none are forthcoming they try to back out, but by then they're in over their head. They become victims of the occult forces they were invoking.
Even those who are atheists or agnostics can become possessed if they commit evil acts, and these were the individuals who sometimes came to him for psychiatric help, not believing the paranormal attacks they were experiencing had anything to do with the occult activity they were involved with.
He described where the first step, was to stop dabbling in the dark arts or witchcraft. He said that Julia was one that liked the activity in the coven she belonged to, but was also frightened by them and afraid to leave, since she believed she would be harmed by the other members.
Gallagher described the different personalities of the demons that range from nasty, prideful and arrogant, and at times silly, but clearly quite malevolent. They are bitter and do not want to leave and will lie, like saying they are a dead soul.
In ancient times Jewish and Christian writers felt that demons pretended to be gods possessing people. This was a common belief in the Greek world.
He clarified that mentally ill people cannot suddenly know how to speak a foreign language, levitate, have superhuman strength or psychic abilities such as when Julia asked about his cats..
He attributed the rise in exorcism is a jump in paranormal beliefs, and the decline of traditional religions of different faiths. He warned against hucksters, who described themselves as healers and shamans. He had not seen anyone successfully delivered by a person who charged money for the exorcism.
He said that certain people who are committed to true diabolism, hate all authentically spiritual persons, especially clergy of different faiths. They are seen as the enemy since they instruct on how to combat evil forces.
To prove the existence of these spiritual forces are difficult to do through a scientific method, since they can't be studied empirically. But he qualified that this doesn't mean they don't exist.
These are creatures who know you're studying them, observing them, or trying to record them. Their main weapon is to hide themselves and avoid proof of their existence.
In November, 2023, on a Frontier Airline jet traveling from Houston to Denver, the flight was rerouted to Dallas after a woman started to scream for no apparent reason. She cried while arguing with the crew and other passengers at the same time
At one point she crawled over seats through the cabin, while hyperventilating and sobbing. Another woman turned to the other and said they were witnessing a demonic possession. The passenger yelled "That's not her, she's possessed! She needs help!"
The police removed the disturbed woman, and no one was injured but mighty freaked out. So was this a crazy woman or was she possessed by a demon that was afraid of flying?
In late 2023, Father Dan Reehil, exorcist of the Diocese of Nashville warned that entertainer Taylor Swift might be summoning demons by performing witchcraft during her concerts. She along with her dancers dress in black capes and dance around, surrounded by orbs in the song Willow. There are also other occult symbology interspersed in the performance. He also warns this could spiritually endanger fans. Father Reehil qualifies his statement by saying that even if her actions are not intentional, she could be attracting a lot of demons to her concerts. His warning is to skip her in-person performances altogether.
Swift released "The Eras Tour" in theaters on October 13, 2023, and her concert began streaming on December 13.
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