Thursday, April 19, 2018
Muslims ask Catholics for Exorcisms
Students learning to cast out demons were told to expect Muslims among their future clients at a week-long course on exorcism in Rome this week.
One of the speakers for the course, 89-year-old Cardinal Ernest Simoni of Albania, told the nearly 300 students that in his decades of experience as an exorcist he had performed the ritual on Muslims. “Jesus came for everyone,” he said.
“The grace of the Holy Spirit will redeem us all,” he said.
Father Andre Francisco Fernandes, an Indian priest currently serving in Dubai, said that “many Muslims,” even highly educated ones had approached him to request an exorcism.
“They say, ‘Father, someone has done black magic on me, can you pray over me and remove the devil?’” he said.
Giuseppe Ferrari, an expert on exorcisms and one of the organizers of the course, said: “I don’t see why we cannot do it for Muslims if they ask.”
While Islam already has a form of exorcism, this doesn’t prevent Muslims from seeking out Catholic priests to perform the rite. According to John L Allen, the editor of the religious website Crux, there is a “kind of pride” among Catholics who offer the service to Muslims. “It’s like saying our stuff works and theirs doesn’t,” he said.
Another of the lecturers for the course, Father César Truqui, a Catholic priest who has been performing exorcisms for 10 years, said in a recent interview that demand for exorcists is on the rise as more and more pastors become convinced that the devil is real and needs to be fought.
“Christ was the first exorcist,” said the Mexican priest based in Switzerland. “The power of casting out demons was one of the signs that Christianity was a true religion.”
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