During a week-long course about exorcism at Pontifical Regina Apostolorum University in Rome, concern arose over whether priests performing exorcisms on their mobile phones would be able to deal with the violent physical reactions that can be caused by casting out demons. In this technologically advanced age, people can call a priest, who then will pray with them, and if needed, rid them of demonic possession.
The advance in telecommunications, which makes this possible, is thanks to Jesus, Cardinal Ernest Simoni, an Albanian priest who was imprisoned and tortured for decades for refusing to denounce his faith, stated at the Vatican conference. Simoni said he has performed exorcisms for years since his release from prison, and he does it over the phone. He stated the exorcism prayers are read in Latin, just as they would be if they were being performed in person.
The priest’s ability to deal with violence during, and subsequent to the deliverance from demonic possession is of vital concern. People are prayed with, and are calmed down; but if a priest is not actually present, there are serious questions about being able to control the possible physical aspects. There have been reports that some possessed by demons have superhuman strength, and during the exorcism ritual, have vomited nails and shards of glass. Exorcists have said their use of a phone for the exorcism may not be orthodox, but they report success, and that has been, and will continue to be the ultimate goal.
Convenience is not a sole reason for deliverance by phone. There has been an increasing demand for this spiritual help. In Italy, in the past ten years, half a million people have requested exorcisms. A British priest, Anthony Barratt, who is based in New York, sees the web as a large part of the problem. He believes access to the internet, plus experiences with viewing satanic based television programs and movies are not giving people good outcomes. Their fascination with satanism has been resulting in demonic possession, from which they desire and need immediate exorcism.
As long as there are positive results, priests performing exorcisms over the phone will continue. They hold hope the need will diminish, but until it does, the work will go on.