German Archbishopric Grabs the Devil by the Horns

Deutche Welle 20 May 2008

The archidocese of Paderborn has had its hands full in recent years fighting Beelzebub and Co. A church spokesman says three people got treated for personal demons — William Friedkin-style.

Friedkin, of course, was the Hollywood director who in 1973 brought modern-day fame to an obscure bit of Catholic ritual with a very scary film called The Exorcist.

A spokesperson for the archdiocese in central Germany confirmed earlier in the week that priests had performed three exorcisms between 1999 and 2003.

“Liberation from evil has been part of the church for 2000 years,” spokesman Aegidius Engel told the dpa news agency.


Engel, whose name — appropriately enough — is German for angel, declined to give specifics, but he did say that the archdiocese had received 18 requests for exorcism from people the church deemed credibly possessed.


On the surface, then, that would mean 15 people are still at large in the Paderborn area with a serious case of Mephistopheles.



Engel, displaying a talent for stating the obvious, added that the three exorcism recipients had been “people with very deep spiritual suffering.”


Engel said physicians had been in attendance during the ceremonies, which is good since a number of people have died over the years from exorcists and the purportedly possessed getting carried away fighting the Evil One.


“It’s a normal, if rare procedure,” Engel said.


With that in mind, demons, goblins, spooks and people who listen to lots of heavy metal might want to give the archdiocese of Paderborn a wide berth.


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