Catholic Diocese Creates Exorcism Hotline: Who You Gonna Call?

Not long after Catholic priests in Poland created an exorcism magazine, the Catholic Diocese in Milan has set up a hotline for people needing immediate exorcisms. (Even more surprising? It’s not a 1-900 number.)

Stand back! I’m gonna exorcise!

“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 2.30pm to 5pm,” [Diocese of Milan's chief exorcist Monsignor Angelo Mascheroni] told the chiesadimilano website.

“People in need can call and will be able to find a priest in the same area who doesn’t have to travel too far.”

This is the equivalent of setting up a phone number for Santa Claus: It might make you feel better, but nothing substantial will come of it. The “trained” exorcists aren’t going to fix your problems with a few blessings and magic words, but the whole purpose of the hotline suggests that people aren’t getting enough of that:

The Monsignor said he knew of one exorcist who had been seeing up to 120 people a day. “But with so little time per client he was only able to offer a quick blessing. That’s not enough,” he said. ”There should be two to four appointments a day, no more, otherwise it’s too much.”

Yeah… as if the problem with exorcisms right now is that the priests weren’t making shit up long enough. If only they had uttered their nonsense for an extra 20 minutes, all the demons would have gone away!

I love how the Exorcist-in-Chief admits a lot of the calls are unnecessary:

… Monsignor Mascheroni said that part of the increase might be explained by the rising numbers of parents having difficulty controlling disobedient teenagers.

“Usually the parents call [because they are] concerned about a child who won’t go to school or who’s taking drugs or rebelling. In reality it’s not a demon, but when they’re 18 years old young people don’t want to be told what to do.

I’d love to know how he discerns between someone acting out and someone with a demon inside him…

At least it’s a free service, so the Catholics are only making you waste your time. But the whole idea of responding immediately to someone in need of help makes you wonder if their efforts would have been better spent creating a hotline to respond to accusations of sexual abuse.

Nah. It’s much easier to just pretend to help people without actually providing anything of value to them.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • C Peterson

    Seriously, a phone service? The Church is so 20th century (except when they’re 12th century, of course). It’s obvious that there should be phone or tablet exorcism apps, capable of removing demons. And everybody’s happier when it’s the phone that goes flying out the window with the demon in it, rather than the priest!

    • Russian Alex

      Demon Uninstaller™! It’s cool! It’s hip! All the Good Christian Kids are doing it, so what are you waiting for?! Install now! Only $19.95! Terms and conditions apply.

      • Guesty Guest

        Watch out for the spyware!

      • C Peterson

        I was thinking eXorcist. You could pay with iNdulgences. (I’m pretty sure there’s already a confession app, though.)

    • The Other Weirdo

       People who require exorcisms don’t generally know how to use computers, and usually think the Interwebz is the tool of the devil.

  • Russian Alex

    (never mind, I suck at reading)

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      Pea-soup-like vomit is another giveaway.

      • Antinomian

        Not to mention the novel use of a crucifix and telling the priest about his mothers sexual habits

  • Guest

    I was singing “ghost busters” after reading the headline. I can’t believe this is true. I would love to hear from a sociologist or whoever is good at it where this renewed tendency for crazy is coming from…December 21st anyone?

    • A3Kr0n

       LOL, I’m still singing it!

      • pagansister

         Me too!  Now is it “haunting me” Does this mean a Demon is entering or has entered my BRAIN!  YIKES!

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          Not singing it, not gonna do it, but it’s stuck in my head, now.

  • A3Kr0n

    So what if the devil infects you on Saturday, or Sunday? Will you get a recorded blessing, and instructions to call back during business hours?

  • jose

    If you believe prayers work, I don’t see why you wouldn’t believe the devil may possess you. Does either idea have more merit than the other?

  • Annie

    Someone needs to build the pope a time machine for Christmas… and please preset it to the present.

  • Carmelita Spats

    This is funny but keep an eye out for some of the wacky shows that claim “scientific” proof of the paranormal, including demons. I’ve seen a huge rise in the number of television shows (“Ghost Hunters, Psychic Kids, A Haunting In…, etc.) where you have a group of “experts” with “high tech equipment” running around claiming to have captured disembodied voices or photographed “spirits”. Some of the “experts” claim to be “demonologists”.  These types of shows fuel the fantasy. The sad part is that they exploit gullible people and have parents convinced that their kid is “psychic” instead of mentally ill.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    They tried to get this toll-free number: 1-800-Bull-Shit

    • JohnnieCanuck

      I can tell you why they didn’t get it. That’s 8 letters to be converted into 7 numbers. However, they could just ask for the first 7 characters and advertise 8, which would work because the telco equipment just ignores extra digits.
      :)

  • Sven2547

    The Ghostbusters theme song is now required listening
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9We2XsVZfc

  • http://aboutkitty.blogspot.com/ Cat’s Staff

    At least it’s a free service

    You mean I’m not supposed to tip my exorcist?

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    *SMFH*

    This is so idiotic that I can’t even snark at it.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    The Monsignor said he knew of one exorcist who had been seeing up to 120 people a day. “But with so little time per client he was only able to offer a quick blessing. That’s not enough,” he said.

    Individual house calls are an inefficient way of delivering a high volume service. They should provide large group exorcisms of up to 1000 demonically possessed clients at a time, several days a week. “Okay, everybody, listen up! Stop with the floating, head spinning and projectile vomiting for a moment, and pay attention up here. The power of Christ compels you! The power of Christ…”

    For high volume areas that are too far from big venues, drive-through exorcism windows at fast faith Catholic churches could handle more traffic. “Thank you sir, would you also like a McEucharist with your Exorshake? Is your order correct on the screen? Please drive forward to the first window to receive your order.”

  • Stev84

    Sprinkling holy water on a suspected demon will tell you whether it’s really one

  • http://twitter.com/scotankhamen scotankhamen

    of course it’s not a 1-900 number… it’s a 1-666 number   ;-)

  • judith sanders

    Well, they can’t let the evangelicals get all the trade.

  • Aspieguy

    Oh, dear. Perhaps the first callers should be all those priests with the “demon of pedophilia”. 

  • Aspieguy

    Is there an app for that?
     

  • http://www.facebook.com/cburschka Christoph Burschka

    Unless the service hotline is equipped to connect callers with a trained and professional Slayer, this seems pretty useless. A few muttered benedictions aren’t going to help anyone when the head-swiveling and projectile vomiting starts. ;-)


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