Devil, beware: Vatican green-lights exorcist association

Exorcist

According to the Vatican's own newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, exorcists now have an extra weapon in their fight against evil – the official backing of the Church.

No surprise, really - the Pope frequently cites Satan, and began his Pontificate with bluntly quoting French author and Catholic convert Léon Bloy: 'Anyone who does not pray to the Lord prays to the Devil.'

And now, the Vatican has formally recognised the International Association of Exorcists, a group of 250 priests in 30 countries who liberate the faithful from demons.

L'Osservatore Romano reported this week that the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy had approved the organisation's statutes and recognised the group under canon law.

More than his predecessors, Pope Francis speaks frequently about the Devil, and last year was seen placing his hands on the head of a man supposedly possessed by four demons in what exorcists said was a prayer of liberation from Satan.

The head of the association, the Rev Francesco Bamonte, said the Vatican approval was cause for joy. 'Exorcism is a form of charity that benefits those who suffer,' he told L'Osservatore.

Story: Vatican gives official backing to exorcists (The Guardian)

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