The Pope has once again proved that he’s a Catholic, this time in a way that’s sure to scandalize the modern mind: Today the Vatican officially approved the International Association of Exorcists. The IAE is a collection of around 250 priests located in thirty different countries who preform exorcisms, the Catholic ritual to de-demonize possessed individuals. Thanks to Francis’s Vatican, they now have official status and are acknowledged under canon law, the Church’s internal legal system. The Belfast Telegraph has more:
More than his predecessors, Pope Francis speaks frequently about the devil, and last year was seen placing his hands on the head of a man purportedly possessed by four demons in what exorcists said was a prayer of liberation from Satan.The head of the association, the Rev Francesco Bamonte, said the Vatican approval was cause for joy.“Exorcism is a form of charity that benefits those who suffer,” he told the paper.
Outside the narrow world of the Western elite, full-blooded, traditional religion isn’t fading in the 21st century; rather, it’s resurgent. For many people worldwide, the devil is not just a movie character but a very real presence, and exorcists a very real protection against him. Love it or hate it, the Catholic Church, beliefs in demons and all, isn’t going anywhere.