VATICAN CITY (AP) — Exorcists now have a legal weapon at their disposal.
The Vatican has formally recognized the International Association of Exorcists, a group of 250 priests in 30 countries who liberate the faithful from demons.
The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano reported Tuesday that the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy had approved the organization’s statutes and recognized 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 purportedly possessed by four demons in what exorcists said was a prayer of liberation from Satan.
Editors Note: The organization mentioned in this article is exclusively for Priests and other clergy of the Roman Catholic Church; there are other similar groups in existence such as The Sacred Order of St Michael which this blog is affiliated. see http://www.orderofexorcists.com
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.