DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Catholic priest is calling for more exorcists to be trained in response to a worldwide surge in demonic possession. Father Vincent Lampert, a priest from the archdiocese of Indianapolis, Indiana, was one of 400 priests who met in October 2016 in Rome to discuss how to recruit more priests to the ministry of exorcism.
Father Lampert, pastor of St. Malachy Catholic Church in Indianapolis, spoke on how widespread interest in the occult, easy availability of drugs, and pornography addiction are leading to unprecedented numbers of possessions.
"We're in a fight with drugs, the occult, pornography," he remarked. "This is an entry point for evil, and we need to take these souls back."
He went on "Exorcism is like triage. We're the emergency crew — but there aren't enough of us."
Richard Gallagher, professor of clinical psychiatry at New York Medical College, has also confirmed the rise of demonic possession cases.
The Vatican does not track global or countrywide exorcism, but in my experience and according to the priests I meet, the demand is rising. The United States is home to about 50 "stable" exorcists — those who have been designated by bishops to combat demonic activity on a semi-regular basis — up from just 12 a decade ago.
Marco Quinones, a chaplain based in New York, argues that modern-day drugs are more potent, and drug dealers are using occult spells and incantations on their products before selling them.
Quinones said, "Many drug traffickers practice forms of the occult. They incorporate voodoo or black magic that gives them the power to succeed. It makes the product more powerful and creates a stronger addict. In essence, they're doubling the curse the drugs cause anyway."
He further remarked, "They say incantations over their product as they pray to La Santa Muerte. I've seen cases where the drug dealer initiates all the members into whatever he's practicing and teaches them how to 'bless' this very dangerous poison before putting it on the street."
Father Lampert is advocating that archdioceses provide more public help for those dealing with demonic possession. "Some people don't want the attention, but I always felt those in need don't know who to turn to if we're not vocal about it. We're looking at resources that people can turn to. Mothers, youth pastors, youth ministers, how to train them."
On the topic of exorcism, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority, which Jesus entrusted to his Church."
Pope St. John Paul II said, "It cannot be excluded that in certain cases the Evil Spirit tries to exercise his influence not only on material things, but also on the human body, for which one speaks of diabolical possession."
And in recent years, Pope Francis has spoken on the existence of Satan:
The Prince of this world, Satan, doesn't want our holiness, he doesn't want us to follow Christ. Maybe some of you might say: "But Father, how old fashioned you are to speak about the devil in the 21st century!" But look out because the devil is present! The devil is here even in the 21st century! And we mustn't be naïve, right? We must learn from the Gospel how to fight against Satan.