The devil exists and is among us but fortunately there are exorcists to tackle him. Obviously for those who believe in the existence of evil and those who work to combat it. Despite theological doubts, the Catholic Church continues to consider the presence of Satan a certainty. This is why the 11th edition of the course “Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation” is being held. It runs from today until Saturday at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome. The course is organised by the Sacerdos Institute in collaboration with the Group of Socio-Religious Research and Information (GRIS) and the International Exorcists Association (AIE). A series of lectures aims to provide priests and lay people (pastoral workers, psychologists, doctors, teachers, jurists) alike with suitable training on a subject like exorcism and the prayer of liberation which is sometimes overlooked and controversial.
The director of the Sacerdos Institute, Fr. Pedro Barrajón, explains: “Living as we do in a highly secularised society in which there is a tendency – more so than in the past – to embrace occultism and esotericism, diabolical action is favoured by magical practices and by people’s recourse to fortune-tellers who can have a real influence stretching as far as possession.” But unlike in the past, exorcism is no longer understood as a medieval ritual: “The course, which due to the nature of the subject might lend itself to sensationalism, the course approaches the topic from a sound theology aimed at deepening the theological basis of nature and the action of angels and demons from a Biblical, liturgical, dogmatic and moral point of view, in an open dialogue with other sciences such as psychology, law and medicine,” a statement says. Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Penitentiary Major of the Apostolic Penitentiary at the Vatican, will introduce the six-day course with a lectio magistralis and there will also be an introductory lecture by the Archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio (Italy), Mgr. Luigi Negri.
Other experts who will speak during the study course include: the Bishop of the Diocese of Frascati, Mgr. Raffaello Martinelli, the Prelate Auditor of the Apostolic Tribunal of the Roman Rota, Davide Salvatori, the exegetical theologian and historian, Mgr. Helmut Moll, the writer and exorcist from the diocese of Coira (Italy), Fr. Cesare Truqui, the national coordinator of the Renewal in the Spirit movement, Mario Landi, Perugia magistrate, Luigi De Ficchy and the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni. At the end of the course there will be a round table with exorcists Fr. François Dermine, Mgr. Larry Hogan and Fr. Antonio Mattatelli.