THE Catholic archdiocese in Madrid says it needs more exorcists to help some of its faithful cope with the devil.
An archdiocese spokeswoman said on Friday Madrid only has one exorcist priest and that it is considering a plan to train more.
She spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with archdiocese policy.
“The devil exists. That’s a fact,” she told The Associated Press.
Only a priest authorised by a bishop can perform an exorcism and the brief rite involves blessings with holy water, prayers and an interrogation of the devil by the exorcist during which the demon is asked to leave the victim.
ReligionenLibertad, a Catholic website, blames the growing secularisation of Spanish society for what it calls an increase in people asking for help with their demons.
Exorcisms hit the headlines earlier this week when Pope Francis’s blessing of a disabled man was said to be an exorcism.
The Pope was filmed laying his hands on the head of a young disabled man after celebrating mass in St Peter’s Square on Sunday.
The young man heaved deeply a half-dozen times, shook, and he then slumped in his wheelchair as Francis prayed over him.
The Vatican television station, TV 2000, said it had surveyed exorcists, who agreed there was “no doubt” that Francis either performed an exorcism or a prayer to free the man from the devil.