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.


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