Despite the rising demand for exorcists in Italy, younger priests are not applying for the job, which they claim to find “too scary” for their level of experience.
Rome’s busiest exorcist, 79-year-old Father Vincenzo Taraborelli, who sees dozens of troubled people every day in his backroom office, says that the need for exorcists is great but it is hard to find willing candidates, especially among younger priests.
“I told the bishop that I can’t find anyone willing to do this. Many of them are scared. Even priests can be scared. It’s a difficult life,” he said.
As Breitbart News reported last week, exorcisms are experiencing a “boom” in Italy, with some 500,000 Italians requesting an exorcism last year and not nearly enough exorcists to meet the demand.
The archdiocese of Milan in northern Italy has doubled the number of its exorcists, while an exorcism hotline has been launched in Rome, but those in the field claim these efforts aren’t nearly enough.
Father Gabriele Amorth, a prolific author and Rome’s most famous exorcist, died last month and his successor, Father Taraborelli, says that he cannot keep up with the daily requests for liberation from demonic influence.
“Padre Vincenzo,” as he is known, sees some 30 troubled persons a day, and has appealed to Church superiors to appoint more priests as exorcists to share in the mission of satanic deliverance.
“There are only nine of us left and many more are needed,” he said. “We need other priests like me to meet the needs of so many families.”
Padre Vincenzo says that he didn’t apply for the job either, but stumbled into it when a fellow priest needed help.
“I didn’t know what it was, I hadn’t studied it,” Taraborelli says. “He told me what to do. I was totally ignorant.”
Many of those who believe they are assailed by the devil are really experiencing some psychological disorder, the priest notes, and it is important to sort out what is really happening before going forward.
“Before doing exorcisms I urge people to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist, and I ask them to bring me their prognosis. I’m in touch with many psychologists who send their patients here,” he said.
The priest says that his most memorable case involved a married woman whom he treated for 13 years.
“Another man, who was a Satanist, wanted her,” he said. “She refused. So this man told her: ‘You’ll pay for this.’ He cast so-called spells to attract her to him, twice a week.”
Taraborelli says that the woman would blurt out insults and blasphemies in his presence.
“As the rite continued, she started feeling worse and worse. So when I told the devil: ‘In the name of Jesus, I order you to go away,’ she started to vomit little metal pins, five at a time. Aside from pins she would also vomit hair braids, little stones, pieces of wood,” he said.
To sceptics who don’t believe in the devil, Father Taraborelli says that along with biblical testimony there is plenty of evidence in the world today, right down to Islamic terrorism.
“You only need to see how the world is nowadays. It has never been this bad. These violence acts are not human. So terrible, like ISIS,” he says.
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