Devil of a Job: Growing Number of Exorcists in England Due to Soaring Porn and Drug Use

The number of exorcists in England is growing following a rise in demonic possession, the Times reports.

A priest who is one of four Britons to attend an exorcism course in Rome said that most Catholic dioceses in England now have an official exorcist, whereas only half had one just five years ago. He explained that part of the reason for this increasing demand is the rise in the consumption of pornography and drugs in modern society.

“Porn and drugs are addictions which can allow an evil spirit to enter, but there is also a growth in awareness within the church of the Devil,” he said.

All four of these priests present at the conference – which has total attendance of around 160 Catholic priests and laymen from around the world – have declined to be named as “otherwise every nutter rings you up”, one explained.

Two of them said they had previously performed exorcisms, one on a woman from north England who was “growling in a deep voice” and another on a woman who “screamed and suffered from extreme aggression”.

Since his election two years ago, Pope Francis has frequently mentioned the Devil, helping put belief in Satan back into the mainstream of Catholic thought. Father Cesare Truqui, a Mexican exorcist, told the media: “Pope Francis talks about the Devil all the time and that has certainly raised awareness about exorcisms. But all Latin Americans have this sensibility – for them, the existence of the Devil is part of their faith.”

One of the British priests added: “Until a few years ago, a significant number of people in the Church didn’t believe in the Devil, but people are now going back to the Scriptures. Pope Francis has given a certain amount of encouragement to that.”

Fr Truqui, who serves as exorcist for the Swiss diocese of Chur, says he has taken part in around 100 exorcisms. “Symptoms include obsessive behaviour. I once treated a woman who combed her hair eight hours a day, and a man who was obsessed with masturbating – he did it every day, many times.”

He said that exorcists were able to discern the difference between demonic possession and medically treatable psychiatric disorders.

“Some people are mentally ill and do not need exorcism. But others do and there are some classic signs – people who speak in ancient tongues, for instance. Other people have supernatural strength when they are in a state of possession – it might take four men to hold down a slightly-built woman. In some cases, people are able to levitate.”

One of the British priests also said: “If one is addicted to something, it allows the evil spirit to hook into that and make it more potent.” He added, however: “A considerable number of the cases referred to us are in fact psychiatric cases.”


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