by ANDREA NOGUEIRA CALVAR for El Pais
Court case illustrates the number of Exorcisms in Spain
There are around 15 priests in Spain with Church authorization to conduct exorcisms. “There is oversight of how many get performed, but no register,” said sources at the Madrid Archdiocese, which received eight new exorcists last year.
These priests follow the guidelines set forth in the Roman Ritual for Exorcism, which does not make any specific recommendations for children. The ceremony is the same regardless of age.
“These days there is probably more demonic activity than at other times, because we are living in a paganized world”
The first step is to identify the possessed individual. “You have to be very careful about this,” says the Madrid exorcist. “There are illnesses than can have similar symptoms. Paul VI used to say that one of the devil’s victories is to make people believe he doesn’t exist.”
Father José Antonio Fortea, who is also an exorcist, admits that “possession shares some traits with schizophrenia,” and insists that possessions can only be concluded from cases with no medical explanation.
Symptoms that someone may be possessed include “a propensity for unjustified acts of evil, an aversion to holy things, speaking in arcane tongues …”