WORLDWIDE DEMONIC POSSESSION ON THE RISE, CHURCH PREPARES FOR SPIRITUAL WARFARE
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The Catholic Church is quietly preparing for an unparalleled episode of spiritual warfare, training more clergy to meet the inexplicable but steadily increasing demand for exorcisms. Church officials say a rise in materialism and pop obsession with the occult is to blame.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In the bright and cheery world of "Christianity Lite," many forget that Satan is real and that his tactics are ancient and tested. While many souls fall to the wayside because of secular influences, the number of people reporting possible demonic possessions to the Church is also increasing.
Church officials say that rediscovered obsessions with the occult, such as with Ouija boards, paganism, and Satanism, are causing people to suffer demonic possessions at an unparalleled rate.
Priests can cast out demons by the rite of exorcism, but it requires special training that few priests have. Several dioceses, particularly in Spain and Italy, are sending priests to train for spiritual warfare unlike that seen in ages - if ever.
According to a report in the Telegraph, dioceses in Spain and Italy are training several priests in exorcism in an effort to meet demand. Additionally, the Church hopes to "sideline" unauthorized exorcists by displacing them with officials appointed and trained by the Church.
Many Christians now regard Satan and demonic possession as something of the past, failing at all to recognize the subtle guile of evil. However, it is real, present, and always hungry.
As people stray from God and the Church, and dabble in the occult "for entertainment" they engage evil forces that are beyond their comprehension and belief. With psychologists and doctors sometimes unable to explain or diagnose the conditions in question, since the illness is spiritual, hapless people must turn to the Church for rescue.
This is where specially trained priests come in.
According to the Church, despite the surge in possible demonic possessions, most of the people they encounter suffer from undiagnosed mental conditions. Conditions which can be dangerous if left untreated, but are still treatable. In those cases, where mental illness is suspected, Church officials will tell the individual to seek the care of a licensed medical professional. About only one in a 100 cases will meet the criteria for demonic possession and require an exorcism.
However, there are cases where science and medicine stop - and the powers of Good and Evil begin.
Church officials also warn that there are several self-appointed exorcists, even people who pose as priests, and have not undergone appropriate training to perform the rite of exorcism. The Church is cracking down on this practice by training known, qualified clergy who answer to their bishops for performing the rites.
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The clergy selected must be level-headed, and discreet, according to La Repubblica which recently conducted several interviews with involved clergy.
In addition to a rise in the number of demonic possessions occurring in people, there also appears to be a rise in the number of mental illness that people develop. The causes behind this are unknown, but it could have much to do with environmental factors such as diet, pollutants, as well as lifestyle choices which can be popular, but mentally and spiritually unhealthy.
We would do well to remember that Pope Francis warned, "there are those that belong to him" (referring to Satan).
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