The Vatican is launching a new international exorcism training course in response to a growing demand for priests skilled in tackling demonic possession.
A week-long course on exorcism will be held in April at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, a Catholic educational institute in Rome.
In 2011, the Catholic Church warned that a surge in Satanism, facilitated by the internet, had led to a sharp rise in the demand for exorcism, and a six-day conference on the subject took place at the institute.
The announcement of the training course is likely to be welcomed by Fr Pat Collins, a Irish leading exorcist who said recently he is “baffled” why Church leaders are not taking action as more people claim to be victims of demonic activity.
The focus of the course is “to offer a rich reflection and articulation on a topic that is sometimes unspoken and controversial”, Italian priest and exorcist Benigno Palilla told Vatican Radio.