Exorcists feel isolated but a course aims to change that

Exorcism prayer books (CNS)

For the first time, researchers are collecting data on the ministry of exorcism with initial interviews showing that many exorcists feel isolated. Source: CNA.

But a long-running course in Rome is trying to change that.

Fr Luis Ramirez, an organiser of the course being held this year on May 16-20, said: “Let’s say that until 30 years ago the exorcist usually worked almost alone, that is, he worked with two or three people.”

Now, the priest said, “there is much greater knowledge that the exorcist must have a team, he must also have support. He has to have a team that can help.”

Fr Ramirez is one of the organisers of an annual week-long course on the ministry of exorcism and prayers of liberation for exorcists and those who assist them, put on by the Sacerdos Institute and the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, a Catholic university run by the Legionaries of Christ.

The exorcism course’s 16th edition is taking place in Rome this week, with the participation of around 120 people, most of whom come from countries outside Italy.

Researchers from GRIS, an Italian socio-religious research group, have been studying the ministry of exorcists in the Church.

On Monday, they presented some of their early findings, while highlighting that “exorcism is a sensitive topic which creates difficulties” for research.

Initial findings in interviews with exorcist priests, they said, showed “conditions of isolation.”

The presence of stable diocesan staff as support was missed, and there were additional challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The interviewed priests also identified a lack of an internal network of exorcists providing guidance and advice, something the Rome exorcism course is also trying to combat.


Exorcists feel isolated — but this course aims to change that (By Hannah Brockhaus, CNA

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