At Vatican Conference, Experts Debate Exorcism, Satanism And The Internet : The Two-Way At a conference at the Vatican, experts on exorcism said that the Internet has made it easier for people to find Satan.
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At Vatican Conference, Experts Debate Exorcism, Satanism And The Internet

June 1956: A man being restrained while an Italian priest performs an exorcism. The ring in the priest's hand is the penitent-ring of Saint Vicinius, which will be placed around his neck. Keystone Features/Getty Images hide caption

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June 1956: A man being restrained while an Italian priest performs an exorcism. The ring in the priest's hand is the penitent-ring of Saint Vicinius, which will be placed around his neck.

Keystone Features/Getty Images

A six-day exorcism conference in Rome attracted 60 Catholic clergy as well as doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers and youth workers to talk about how to deal with devil worship.

The Telegraph reports that Carlo Climati, a writer and employee of the Vatican's Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, which hosted the conference, thinks that satanism is on the rise thanks to the Internet. The Telegraph adds:

"The internet makes it much easier than in the past to find information about Satanism," said ... Climati, a member of the university who specialises in the dangers posed to young people by Satanism.

"In just a few minutes you can contact Satanist groups and research occultism. The conference is not about how to become an exorcist. It's to share information about exorcism, Satanism and sects. It's to give help to families and priests. There is a particular risk for young people who are in difficulties or who are emotionally fragile," said Mr Climati.

The paper also quotes Gabriele Nanni, a former exorcist and a member of the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints, as saying that while the numbers of actual possession by the devil are few, "we must be on guard because occult and Satanist practices are spreading a great deal, in part with the help of the internet and new technologies that make it easier to access these rituals."

The conference is not the first of its kind. Last November, in response to higher demand, United States bishops met in Baltimore for a two-day conference to educate priests on exorcism.

The New York Times reported at the time:

The purpose is not necessarily to revive the practice, the organizers say, but to help Catholic clergy members learn how to distinguish who really needs an exorcism from who really needs a psychiatrist, or perhaps some pastoral care.

The Times reported that the conference was consistent with Pope Benedict XVI's call to return to traditional rituals.