Feeling a possession coming on? Perhaps your mother or one of your roommates is acting a bit demonly lately. If so, and you happen to live in Milan, the Diocese has established a toll free hotline for exorcists. This service has been established in response to a doubling of demonic possessions over the past 15 years, so claims Monsignor Angelo Mascheroni, the diocese’s chief exorcist since 1995.
“People in need can call and will be able to find a priest in the same area who doesn’t have to travel too far.” And to that end, the number of demon-busting priests on call has increased from six to 12.
Possession is common business in Milan, with some priests being too busy to cast a proper exorcism spell.
The Monsignor said he knew of one exorcist who had been seeing up to 120 people a day. “But with so little time per client he was only able to offer a quick blessing. That’s not enough,” he said. ”There should be two to four appointments a day, no more, otherwise it’s too much.”
With six priests working 6 days a week, that’s over 200,000 possessions a year. Wikipedia gives us the Catholic population of the Archdiocese of Milan at 4.8 million, or a possession ratio of 1 in 24. Look around at your co-workers, friends, and family and think how many will be possessed by the end of the year. Mascheroni admits that most of the calls are from parents of unruly teenagers, and are not demons at all.
“Usually the parents call [because they are] concerned about a child who won’t go to school or who’s taking drugs or rebelling. In reality it’s not a demon, but when they’re 18 years old young people don’t want to be told what to do.”…
“The real diabolical phenomena, at least in my experience, are very rare.” He said that “mental phenomena, mental and psychiatric disorders” were often to blame for unusual behaviour.
How rare, he doesn’t say. At one percent, we’re still talking about 2,000 demons a year. But hey, you can trust the church because they don’t send you a bill at the end of the day.
“Magicians demand money; we … give our time, give benediction … all for free.
Believe it or not, but Mascheroni is actually relatively conservative when compared with his predecessor.
Father Gabriele Amorth, who was the Vatican’s chief exorcist for 25 years, claims to have dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession.
Father Amorth said that sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church were proof that “the Devil is at work inside the Vatican”. He also claimed that satanic behaviour lay behind Vatican attempts to “cover up” the deaths of Alois Estermann, then commander of the Swiss Guard, his wife and another Swiss Guard, Corporal Cedric Tornay, in 1998.
There is nothing good to say about this type of foolishness. If you accept demonic possession as fact, it removes any personal responsibility from reprehensible actions. The people in the Church did no wrong, it was all the demons.
If you are dealing with a troubled person and treat them with holy water and prayers, you are feeding into a delusion, yours and or theirs, and avoiding proper diagnosis and treatment for a physical or psychiatric ailment.