As those of you who’ve seen The Exorcist in the 21st Century (stream it now!) know, there aren’t too many exorcists around these days, but Pope Francis is certainly keeping them busy, per the Telegraph:
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The “Pope Francis effect” has been credited with encouraging a resurgence in faith among rank-and-file Catholics but it has also had a more unexpected consequence – a boom in the demand for exorcisms.
The Argentinian pontiff’s fire-and-brimstone language and frequent references to the Devil have helped propel belief in Beelzebub back into the mainstream of the Catholic Church, where once it was an embarrassment.
Dioceses in the UK, Italy, Spain and elsewhere have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of people claiming to be possessed and have responded by training more priests in the dark arts of how to perform exorcisms.
A week-long exorcism conference, held this week at the Pontifical University of Regina Apostolorum in Rome and endorsed by the Vatican, is being attended by around 160 Catholic priests from around the world, who insist that demonic possession is very real.