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article imageVatican officially recognizes group of Catholic exorcists

By Eric Morales     Jul 2, 2014 in World
Rome - An international organization of Catholic priests that perform exorcisms worldwide have gotten the Vatican's stamp of approval.
The Vatican has officially recognized a group of 250 priests who operate in 30 countries to rid believers of demonic possession. The International Association of Exorcists or IAE was founded in 1991 by a religious priest of the Society of St. Paul Father Gabriele Amorth who was president of the organization until he retired in 2000, and now serves as an honorary president for life.
The Congregation for Clergy approved the IAE's status as well as recognizing it under canon law according to a report in Tuesday's L'Osservatore Romano. The IAE is currently recognized as a private international association of the faithful with legal status within the Catholic Church.
Father Gabriele Amorth was ordained a Catholic priest in 1954 and became an official exorcist 32-years later. Now 88-years-old Amorth states that he has performed 160,000 exorcisms in the course of his ministry, some of which were conducted on the same person more than once, with some of the rites lasting just a few minutes or up to several hours.
Father Francesco Bamonte head of the IAE since 2012 said that the Vatican's decision to officially recognize the group gave cause for joy.
“Exorcism is a form of charity that benefits those who suffer, " Rev. Bamonte told L’Osservatore.
Amorth has been quoted as saying that the movie The Exorcist was an accurate portrayal of the work a Catholic priest does in exorcising a demon, except for the special effects as well as stating that both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were possessed by Satan.
More often than many of his predecessors Pope Francis has been heard mentioning the devil in various homilies and speeches. Last year the Bishop of Rome went as far as pray over a boy presumably possessed by four demons.
More about Excorsism, Vatican, pope francis, Catholicism, The Exorcist
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