Catholic Church Implements Exorcism Hotline

The Roman Catholic diocese in Milan, Italy, “has established an exorcist hotline…to cope with demand,” of an increase in the number of alleged accounts of demon possession according to “Monsignor Angelo Mascheroni, the diocese’s chief exorcist since 1995” (www.independent.co.uk, 11/30/12). “We get many requests for names, addresses and phone numbers; that’s why we’ve set up a switchboard in the curia from Monday to Friday from 2.30 pm to 5pm.” Up to 120 people in a single day are said to have been seen by one exorcist. Claiming that this number far exceeds an exorcist’s capacity, Mascheroni asserts such a workload leaves only time for “a quick blessing,” which he believes to be inadequate for the situation. The Catholic Encyclopaedia defines exorcism as “the act of driving out, or warding off, demons, or evil spirits, from persons, places, or things which are believe to be possessed or infested by them, or are liable to become victims or instruments of their malice.” As Christians today, we must ask, “What biblical evidence is available that determines for us what constitutes demon possession today?” Even Mascheroni admits that what is claimed to be demon possession may likely be nothing more than a rebellious heart of a teenager. We must also ask, “What mandate and subsequent instruction are we given in Scripture concerning the casting out of demons or evil spirits?” Clearly, the Gospel records and the book of Acts describe some in the early first century who were so possessed and many were cast out by Jesus and the Apostles in those records of God’s Revelation. However, no instruction exists in the New Testament concerning how to cast out demons or whether this is even to be a role of the Christian. We are told to steadfastly “resist,” and even to “flee” from the devil and his demons, but never are we instructed as part of a New Testament ministry to exorcise demonic beings from mortal humans. Once again, Romanism is weighed in the balances of truth and found seriously wanting! —Gary Freel