Rome (AP): Exorcism II.
A Vatican-recognized university in Rome is offering a follow-up course to an introductory one on exorcism given earlier this year, as part of church efforts to help combat young peoples interest in Satanism.
Pontifical Academy Regina Apostolorum said Thursday that its first course had succeeded in «wresting such a difficult and delicate subject away from a superficial and sensationalist vision.»
The new course, which begins in October, will explore the Biblical, theological, historical and legal aspects of Satanism.
The university said fascination with Satanism was on the upswing, and priests needed «solid preparation» to take on the phenomenon. The course is open to priests and theology students preparing for the priesthood.
Exorcists will give the last lesson, in February, and those wanting to earn two credits can take an exam.
The course is aimed at «offering priests useful tools for the pastoral work,» including in helping families, the university said in its announcement.
«Some recent crime episodes must represent the alarm bell to take seriously a problem thats still too underestimated – the increase of interest toward Satanism,» said the university, which is run by Legionaries of Christ, a conservative religious order.
When the first course had its opening lesson in February, Italy was gripped by a gruesome case of Satanism. Satanic sect members who belonged to a heavy metal band called «Beasts of Satan» were being investigated in the ritual Satanic deaths of three people, including that of a 19-year-old stabbed to death allegedly because her killers believed she personified the Virgin Mary.
Two band members were later convicted of the murders, which occurred in woods near Milan.
In recent years, police have discovered sites in the Castelli hill towns outside Rome where they say Satanic cult followers hold Black Masses.
The new courses curriculum will look into demonology in ancient to modern cultures, as well as the figure of the devil in literature, music, cinema and theater.
Satanism and occultism in rock music, comic books, video games and the Internet will also come under scrutiny.
Among those teaching the course will be a Dominican priest, from the order which helped lead the Inquisition centuries ago, and two Italian bishops.
The first course featured a police criminologist, psychologists and exorcists, and drew 127 students. Most came from Italy, with 10 from Africa, five apiece from Mexico and Brazil and three from the United States. Students were taught how to distinguish between someone who is possessed and someone who has psychological problems.
The offering this fall and winter can be attended in person in Rome or followed by video conference from several Italian cities, including Assisi, the Umbrian hill town of mystical fame.
On the Net: Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum
I find this story especially amusing since I just sent a major order to Italy. Ordered: Satan's Ouija, The Satanic Runes, The Devil's Cord, Dracomeroth. HS!