Pope backs surge of exorcism squads 'to fight the Devil head on'
The Vatican has never given up belief in the reality of demonic possession, but the practice of actual exorcisms has waned over the last few centuries. Now, however, the Vatican's chief exorcist has revealed that Pope Benedict XVI takes the problem very seriously and is "setting up exorcism squads to deal with the rampant growth of Satanism."
Father Gabriele Amorth is both the senior exorcist of the diocese of Rome and the founder of the International Association of Exorcists. He has condemned the Harry Potter novels as containing "the signature of the Prince of Darkness" and recently warned that diabolical influences can reach even into the Vatican.
Amorth told IBN that "the action of the Devil is a lot more widespread than in the past, not because he has more strength, but because he is given more space." He went on to complain that these days "prists and bishops know nothing about the subject. ... They believe in the Devil, but they don't believe much in the actions of the Devil, so they prefer to send everyone to psychiatrists."
Pope Benedict, who "is said to be a firm believer in the existence of evil," has called for hundreds of priests to be trained as exorcists and made available to every Bishop. "Thank God there is a pope who wants to fight the devil head on," Amorth told IBN.
This video is from CNN/IBN, broadcast February 4, 2008.