THE EXORCISTS...Not The Movie This Time Around.

ROME - If you think some movies are just pure baloney, this bit of news would dispel that notion. We all know that the 1973 movie "The Exorcist" was based on a true to life account of certain Fr. Lankester Merrin, but have we really believed in such phenomenon as demons and satanic possession?

Another question is: Do we really believe in the power of exorcism?

Apparentlly, the Vatican had found itself with a dilemma recently when parishioners' demand for the service of exorcist had increased dramatically all over the world. Reports from the Los Angeles Times has shown that many people nowadays believe that they are being possessed by the devil and activities that glorifies satan such as drug addiction and cultism are on the rise.

To address the above predicament, more than 800 catholic priest trooped to Regina Apostolorum, a prestigious pontifical university in Rome, to study a course on exorcism. This is the first time that the Vatican had sanctioned such kind of study. Reportedly, one of the main technique to be learned there is how to distinguish a genuine demonic possession from various psychological affectation. This would mean that the priest must also learn a little of psychology.

Exorcism used to be prevalent in the early centuries after the death of Jesus Christ, but with the advance of science and knowldge as a whole, its relevance has waned tremendously until it had become relegated to a meaningless ritual that has no telling to any distress a patient or victim has. Whenever there is someone frothing in the mouth nowadays, medical people would just regard it as some form of mental malady. They say in science, everything could be explained by known scientific principles.

Yet, the demand and need for exorcist has in fact grown in most recent times while a growing number of people are worried that satanism is ever threatening in these modern world where some of our young are even adventurous enough to enter into satanistic cults. According to Reverend Christopher Barak, an attendee to the Vatican course on exorcism,"There are a lot more behaviors and lifestyles that are not of God. There's a lot of relativism. Whatever goes, goes. There's a big surge in New Age, pantheism, young people playing with satanism, a lot of drug use, black magic, psychics are so big, pornography, MTV. ... People are not searching for holiness."

I do not know if I can concur with Fr. Barak's words but to me, to believe in the existence of God is also to believe in the presence of Satan in this world.

I do not know also if I can fully believe in demonic possession and in exorcism for that matter, but when I was a child, I have witnessed some sort of unexplainable occurence when an old uncle of mine suddenly became frigid and sat in the middle of the living room and spoke in a voice that was not his---for it was the voice of a woman. I freaked out and run outdoors and did not know what happened next.

How about you? Do you believe in Satan?
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