Catholic Church inundated with exorcism requests; sets up phone-in advice line

‘Hi, deliver me from evil’: Church sets up an exorcist hotline to deal with demand – The Independent.

The Catholic Church has established an exorcist hotline in Milan, its biggest diocese, to cope with demand. Monsignor Angelo Mascheroni, the diocese’s chief exorcist since 1995, said the curia had also appointed twice as many exorcists to cope with a doubling in the number of requests for help over 15 years.

“We get many requests for names, addresses and phone numbers; that’s why we’ve set up a switchboard in the curia from Monday to Friday from 2.30pm to 5pm,” he told the chiesadimilano website.

“People in need can call and will be able to find a priest in the same area who doesn’t have to travel too far.” And to that end, the number of demon-busting priests on call has increased from six to 12.

This is a really interesting article. There is a serious problem when one clergyman says he sees up to 120 people a day! What is going on? Monsignor Mascheroni suggests that parents are calling for help with their rebellious and/or troubled teens. He clearly notes it’s not demonic but a family issue. Yeah, teenagers.

He also notes that many people have mental disorders which account for the behavior. Does the church have staff equipt to deal with this or do they point people to professionals? It’s not clear but it is concerning that some might not be referred to the help they need but strung along with religious views about demons. They do acknowledge that there are real cases of possession (!).

Then you have people like Father Gabriele Amorth, who was the Vatican’s chief exorcist for and claims to have dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession. He is a hazard. He thinks that Harry Potter and such literature is the devil’s handbook. He’s stuck in the dark ages and thinks “the Devil is at work inside the Vatican”.

Interest in demons and exorcism has taken an upswing in the past 10 years. I’m not clear why. Ideas?

Regardless, this trend is troubling. People blame outside evil forces instead of acknowledging a real world problem and dealing with it in a reasonable way.

  4 comments for “Catholic Church inundated with exorcism requests; sets up phone-in advice line

  1. Mr. Shreck
    November 30, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    If you are possessed by Beelzebub, please press one…

    My theory on why is that it represents the retreat of a traditionally religious culture into the old ways under the stress of present economic crises. I also wonder if paranormalism is on the rise in Italian pop culture in the same way it is in the US. From the anecdotes, running to the church often seems to be an abreaction to “involvement with the occult”, at least from what I read in those Jack Chick comics.

    (Sorry if this is a dupe. I tried to post earlier from my phone but I think it failed.)

  2. November 30, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Chick tracts are whack!

  3. Mr. Shreck
    November 30, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Tee hee. I used to have a huge collection of them, but misplaced them somewhere along the way. I did pick up this book at my favorite comic store’s tent sale a couple of years ago:

  4. Brian
    November 30, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    *Interest in demons and exorcism has taken an upswing in the past 10 years. I’m not clear why. Ideas?*

    I’d say it’s a combination of gullibility on the rise, intelligence on the downswing, and the church trying to glom on to as many suckers as possible in the middle. Convince them they are sinners, being chased by demons and in danger of spending all of eternity on a spit roasting- and THEN ask for the $$- to spare them, of course.

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