Catholic priests told not to perform exorcisms on Covid patients

Catholic priests are receiving an “overwhelming” number of requests from Covid patients for exorcisms to eradicate the infection.

“During the pandemic, priests around the world have had more requests for psychiatric help from parishioners,” said Father Luis Ramirez, one of the 15th exorcists’ convention in Rome organisers says.

“There is more awareness of exorcists and exorcisms among Catholics in general.”

That awareness has grown in part because of the annual exorcism course, which is now in its 15th year and in part because Pope Francis regularly refers to Satan – not as a vague metaphor for evil but as a concrete concept.

However, the Church is urging priests attending the exorcists’ convention to not perform the supernatural act on Covid patients, according to Spanish exorcist Father Miguel Martin.

One of the exorcists attending the convention, Father Gian Matteo Roggio says during the pandemic people have fallen into poverty and found themselves suffering from anxiety and depression.

“They feel that their lives are no longer in their own hands but in the hands of a malign force. It’s a big crisis,” he says.

Priests are able to evaluate whether people are suffering from commonplace psychiatric disorders or whether they really are possessed by the forces of evil, he says.

The effects of so-called possession are said to be dramatic.

“People speak languages they have never spoken before, even ancient tongues like Aramaic, Latin, Greek and Hebrew,” Roggio says.

“They’re able to levitate off the ground or they vomit objects like nails and pieces of glass. There are people whose voices change completely – a woman might start speaking like a man. Some develop superhuman strength and it takes four or five people to restrain them,” he continued.


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