File this one under “Probably Fake Trend Stories That Are Funny Enough Regardless,” because the Telegraph is reporting that a six-day conference on exorcism blames the internet for a rise in Satanism. “The internet makes it much easier than in the past to find information about Satanism,” said an expert at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome. “In just a few minutes you can contact Satanist groups and research occultism. …There is a particular risk for young people who are in difficulties or who are emotionally fragile.” The Satanism “revival” attracted “more than 60 Catholic clergy as well as doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers and youth workers to discuss how to combat the dangers of Devil-worship.” Wait until they discover YouTube.
If Satanism is up, that means so is the need for exorcisms:
In theory, any priest can perform an exorcism – a rite involving prayers to drive the Devil out of the person said to be possessed.
But Vatican officials said three years ago that parish priests should call in professional exorcists if they suspect one of their parishioners needs purging of evil.
An exorcist should be called when “the moral certainty has been reached that the person is possessed”, said Father Nanni, a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Anyone infected by the Devil might just “vomit shards of glass and pieces of iron, scream, dribble and slobber, utter blasphemies and have to be physically restrained.” Try throwing those symptoms into WebMD.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 4, 2011