The Roman Catholic Church for the first time has opened up its annual exorcism class in Rome to practitioners from all major Christian faiths.
The week-long training course for exorcists began Monday, the Telegraph reported.
“The idea is to help each other, to establish best practices if you will,” Father Pedro Barrajon, 61, one of the organizers, told the Telegraph. “This is the first time that different denominations have come together to compare their experiences on exorcisms.”
“Expelling the devil goes back to the earliest origins of the Christian Church,” he added. “'The Catholic rite is very structured, whereas some of the other churches are more creative, they don't use a precise format.”
Pope Francis has made frequent references to the existence of the devil, and says priests shouldn’t hesitate to refer people to an exorcist.
Perth Now reported the Pontifical University of Regina Apostolorum — a Vatican-affiliated university in Rome that’s been holding annual exorcism conventions for Catholic priests for the past 14 years — opened the doors of the 14th Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation Course to some 250 Catholics, Lutherans, Greek Orthodox and Protestant priests.
The classes include “Angels and Demons in the Sacred Scripture,” “The Historical Origins of the Rite of Exorcism’” and “The Symbology of Occult and Satanic Rituals,” the Daily Mail reported.
The Catholic Church says demonic possession is on the rise, and in 2014, it formally recognized the ancient ritual of exorcism under Canon Law — and gave official approval to the formal creation of the International Association of Exorcists, Perth Now reported.
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