The world desperately needs more exorcists
In presenting the case of “Julia” in the New Oxford Review, board certified psychiatrist Dr. Richard Gallagher cautioned that religious practitioners should be on alert for what he called a “rapidly growing worldwide phenomenon.”
Mr Gallagher’s warning was on point, say exorcists, who claim there are now so many devils out there, the Vatican can’t recruit enough exorcists to chase them away.
Father Vincent Lampert, the head priest at St. Malachy’s in Indianapolis, Indiana, reports he was one of about 400 Catholic leaders who met in Rome in October to strategise on how to recruit and train more exorcists in the dark arts, which uses holy water and prayer to combat evil.
The situation is dire, he said, because rampant pornography, illegal narcotic use and the occult has made it easier for Satan to cast his net.
“Exorcism is like triage. We’re the emergency crew — but there aren’t enough of us,” Mr Lampert told the New York Post.
Mr Lampert — who says he recently chased a demon out of a parishioner who was cursed by his girlfriend’s mother — said he was one of about a dozen priests representing the US at the International Association of Exorcists conference, a Vatican-sanctioned retreat.
“We’re in a fight with drugs, the occult, pornography,” he explained. “This is an entry point for evil and we need to take these souls back.”
Valter Cascioli, the psychologist and scientific consultant for the exorcists’ association, agreed demons across the world have multiplied and there aren’t enough priests to fight them back.
“The lack of exorcists is a real emergency,” Mr Cascioli told the Italian La Stampa newspaper.
An article in Catholic Online published in October declared: “WORLD UNDER ATTACK — Army of demons has led to spike in exorcism.”
The article explained that Catholics believe demons jump into a body through various vices or a spell.
“A demon’s purpose is to drag your soul to hell upon death. By disturbing your body and behaviour, they turn you from God, keep you away from church, and will encourage you to harm yourself. They encourage suicide,” it read.
Father Vincenzo Taraborelli is a 79-year-old priest who says he is too afraid to retire.
“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,” the Italian priest, who says he treats up to 30 people a day in the back of his church in Rome, told the BBC.
Meanwhile, another exorcist on the ground in New York City told The Post he believes there is an increase in demonic activity throughout the five boroughs because of the voodoo that drug dealers and other criminals practice.
Marcos Quinones, a New York State chaplain who claims he works as an occult investigator, says the new generation of drug dealers spray their illicit products with incantations and evil spells before putting it on the street.
“Many drug traffickers practice forms of the occult. They incorporate voodoo or black magic that gives them the power to succeed. It makes the product more powerful and creates a stronger addict. In essence, they’re doubling the curse the drugs cause anyway,” he said.
Mr Quinones pointed to a strain of synthetic marijuana that hit New York this summer known as K-2 which turned users into walking zombies who passed out cold along sidewalks in Brooklyn and vomited through the streets.
“With the zombie drugs, you can see how dangerous this is getting,” he said. “The original word ‘pharmacy’ is derived from the Greek ‘pharma’ which literally means sorcery.”
He said some dealers practice Santa Meurte as they prepare drugs for delivery. Santa Meurte is a Mexican folk saint of death and is depicted as an intimidating skeletal figure holding a scythe.
“They say incantations over their product as they pray to La Santa Meurte,” he claimed. “I’ve seen cases where the drug dealer initiates all the members into whatever he’s practising and teach them how to bless this very dangerous poison before putting it on the street.”
Mr Quinones said there is a difference between mental illness such as schizophrenia — known medically to be exacerbated by drug use — and demonic possession.
“If demons exist and you take a drug that changes your thinking pattern, that opens itself up to the entities of these Demons. Demons cause many things, but it’s a spiritual problem. How do we help them?”
Tainted drugs aside, Mr Quinones said he’s tries to warn young people against keeping talisman or other objects with a spiritual entity.
“I lecture in church about the dangers of the occult, especially with teenagers. Often times a teenager will tell me he’s having problems and when I ask about it, it turns out he’s bought an object while travelling to Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic and I say, ‘you have to get rid of it’.”
Mr Quniones said occult members do animal sacrifices in the woods of Long Island. “I saw one a couple of months ago. It was a Santeria ritual that was left with red candles and candy. They had sacrificed a couple of chickens.”
Joe Zwilling, the spokesman for the New York Archdiocese, confirmed city priests are conducting exorcisms — but refused to go into specifics.
“Due to the sensitive nature of their work, they do not do interviews,” he said. “And we do not release their names publicly.”
Mr Lampert, however, urges all archdiocese to speak publicly about exorcism.
“Some people don’t want the attention, but I always felt those in need don’t know who to turn to if we’re not vocal about it,” he said.
Mr Lampert is so adamant about fighting the Devil, he tweets about it under the handle @FrVinceLampert.
Meeting with other exorcists, sharing success stories and spreading the word is crucial, he said.
“We’re looking at resources that people can turn to. Mothers, youth pastors, youth ministers, how to train them,” he said.
Mr Lampert cautioned that while prayers may initially keep demons at bay, long term treatment is needed.
“In praying with them, we give them a sense of hope and knowing that they’re not alone — but they have to do the work, too.
“It’s about reintegrating people into a life of faith. If they don’t want skin in the game, they don’t want to pray or follow up, then we can’t help them.”
The internet is an essential tool for modern communication, but several Catholic priests are saying it’s also helping lead to an unprecedented epidemic in demonic possession — which is why they are trying to recruit a global exorcist army.
Father Vincent Lampert, the head priest at St. Malachy’s in Indianapolis, tells the New York Post that he and 400 other Catholic leaders recently gathered in Rome “to strategize on how to recruit and train more exorcists in the dark arts, which uses holy water and prayer to combat evil.”
Why does the church suddenly need more exorcists? According to Lampert, the proliferation of pornography on the web — along with the widespread availability of illegal narcotics and information about the occult — has led to a surge in demons taking possession of unsuspecting people all over the world.
“Exorcism is like triage,” the priest told the Post. “We’re the emergency crew — but there aren’t enough of us.”
Marcos Quinones, a New York State chaplain, tells the Post that he believes drug dealers are casting magical spells on the narcotics they sell to make their users more open to demonic possession.
“Many drug traffickers practice forms of the occult,” he explains. “They incorporate voodoo or black magic that gives them the power to succeed. It makes the product more powerful and creates a stronger addict. In essence, they’re doubling the curse the drugs cause anyway… If demons exist and you take a drug that changes your thinking pattern, that opens itself up to the entities of these Demons.”