Exorcists are booming in popularity in Roman Catholic Poland as more priests are conducting the ritual, the conservative Gazeta Polska Codziennie reported Wednesday.
The number of priests who conduct exorcisms has grown from four to 120 in the last two decades, the daily said. The ritual aims to chase out demons or spirits from a person thought to be possessed, and must be conducted by an ordained priest.
The boom comes amid increasing secularization and the growth of phony spirituality and sects, said Father Aleksander Posacki, a leading exorcist and professor of theology.
Exorcist Andrzej Grefkowicz, who sees some 40 people a month, said that women were more interested in the service than men. That did not mean women were more likely to be possessed, he told the daily: Men were perhaps less willing to seek out a priest.
Exorcists were more often working together with psychologists to rule out mental illnesses among those seeking exorcisms, the daily said. Those who are ”really” possessed by bad spirits do not talk about being possessed, Grefkowicz said.
Earlier this month, Roman Catholic priests announced the launch of Egzorcysta, which they called the world’s first monthly magazine dedicated to exorcism.