Exorcism – defeating the devil

The official exorcist for Sin City sits in a comfortable chair with his legs crossed, under a framed picture of Saint Mary MacKillop.

He has bushy white eyebrows, a severe side part and eyes the colour of a cloudy day. He offers me a biscuit with my tea.

We are seated in a small, chilly room next to his Sydney suburban church, by a table covered in books on yoga and t’ai chi, and prayers sledging Satan as the bringer of death, root of all evil, accursed dragon, seducer of man and father of lies.

“We have a little chapel a few suburbs away we can use for exorcisms,” the exorcist says, touching the tips of his fingers together as if in prayer.

“I have holy water. I have a crucifix. I have a Bible.

“And I go through a variety of prayers, some to the Almighty himself, some to Satan or the satanic entity, demanding the demons leave.

“By the time you do all that, the best part of an hour has gone by.”

So you have talked to the Devil, I say.

“Yes,” he says. “But I have never heard a reply.”

The exorcist is my entry point into the dark world of demon- chasing.

It’s where I’ll meet an office assistant who was delivered of 43 devils and a young man who screams and spews into a bin while being freed of foul spirits.

Some exorcists say they’ve never been busier combating modern-day evils; one recently met a 20-something who claimed to have sold his soul to Satan for fame.

Pope Francis’s fixation with expunging the Devil – whom he believes is a real person – has helped raise the prominence of the practice.

Last June, the Vatican formally recognised the International Association of Exorcists, a group of 250 priests in 30 countries co-founded by Italian priest Gabriele Amorth, who claims to have personally rid the world of 160,000 demons. Continue reading


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