Hate demons? Want to do something about them? Well, now you can, and you don’t need to enter the priesthood to do it.
The Roman Catholic Church in Rome offers a yearly course called “Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation.” It’s organized by the Sacerdos Institute in collaboration with the Group for Socio-religious Research and Information (GRIS) and the International Association of Exorcists (IEA).
According to Thomas D. Williams, PH.D., who interviewed organizers last year for the Breitbart website, the training is “a series of meetings aimed at giving priests, doctors, psychologists, teachers, and pastoral workers the instruments they need to recognize and deal with cases of demonic possession and distinguish them from disturbances of a psychological or medical nature.” In 2015, 170 students attended the course, with three quarters being priests and the other 25% being lay people.
Now in its 11th year, the 2016 event was held April 4-9 — which, sadly, means you missed it if you were interested in attending.
Father Pedro Barrajon, director of the course, notes that the curriculum endeavors to separate sensationalism from sound theology, and works with sciences such as psychology, law and medicine. Students take part in lectures and panel discussions, which include Q&A sessions with actual exorcists. The idea is to help religious and lay people recognize demonic activity and deal with it properly.
This year’s Catholic Church exorcism training course featured speakers that included Vatican officials, bishops and even Riccardo Di Segni, the Chief Rabbi of Rome’s Jewish Community.