September 16, 2005
Vade retro satana
Remind me: which century is this again?
Pope Benedict XVI, who often greets religious groups visiting Rome, made a surprising welcome in his general audience: He offered best wishes to a convention of exorcists, whom he encouraged to “carry on their important work in the service of the church.” Details of the convention were not released publicly, but exorcism has gained a more prominent role in the Catholic church in recent years. Pope John Paul II, who died in April, oversaw the rewriting of the ritual for exorcisms and reportedly took part in at least one himself, in 2000. Regina Apostolorum, a top Vatican university, is planning this year to offer another course in exorcism to priests; a course last year proved popular with students.
Brought to you by the most enlightened church on the planet.
Oh, and you can find a list of approved exorcists here.
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