This might make your head spin — officials of the Roman Catholic Church are offering a week-long course in exorcism, and dozens of Catholic priests have flocked to Rome to partake of the Holy See’s demon-banishing tips and strategies.
Titled Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation, the course is now in its 13th year, and is presented at The Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, a Catholic educational institution in Rome, in collaboration with the Group for Socio-religious Research and Information (GRIS), according to the course’s website. An estimated 200 people — lay Catholics as well as priests — attended, Reuters reported.
From April 16 to 21, the would-be exorcists learn about issues they might encounter, including recognizing the devil, differentiating between possession and mental disorders, and legal protections for exorcists, according to a course outline.
Alongside the traditional exorcism techniques that you might already expect, such as sprinkling holy water or chanting Bible passages in Latin, this year’s course offered a nod to the modern age by introducing a technical element for the exorcist’s tool kit: a cellphone. Reuters noted that in one of the course’s first sessions, Cardinal Ernest Simoni of Albania described assisting in exorcisms by reciting the Latin prayers over a cellphone.