• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Exorcist squad hired to fight Satan in Madrid

Steve Tallantyre · 24 May 2013, 11:40

Published: 24 May 2013 11:40 GMT+02:00

The Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, Antonio María Rouco Varela, has taken the unprecedented step of selecting eight priests to lock horns with Satan as expert exorcists.

Press agency EFE reports that the exorcists' specialist ghostbuster training will be led by Cesar Franco, one of the Spanish capital's three auxiliary bishops.

According to online website 'Religious Freedom', the decision was taken personally by Archbishop Rouco Valera to meet an avalanche of requests for help from the faithful to fight their otherworldly foe.

Many alleged victims of demonic possession and evil influence claim to have opened the gateway to hell with occult practices such as black magic, palmistry, Ouija boards and fortune telling.

Sources close to the Archbishop would confirm only that the issue is "being studied".

No priests are currently licensed to perform exorcisms in the Madrid area, and all would-be banishers of evil must be personally approved by the Archbishop himself.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that : "When the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion, it is called exorcism."

Church rules say that a "Major Exorcism" can only be performed by a priest authorized by the bishop.

Seasoned exorcists are said to begin with the textbook Rituale Romanum but improvise somewhat once the tête-à-tête with Satan is underway.

Story continues below…

Author José María Zavala, whose book, 'This is how you beat the Devil', will be used to train the rookie damned-busters, said that only 18 active exorcists are currently registered in Spain.

Zavala named Father Salvador Hernández Ramón of Cartagena in Murcia, as the Spanish priest generally considered most fit to battle Beelzebub after years of doing regular exorcise routines around the country .

He noted: "Father Salvador spent a year in Rome exorcising with Father Gabriele Amorth. Father Salvador is the top exorcist in Spain, very famous within the church but barely known outside it."

Steve Tallantyre (news@thelocal.es)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
It's a dog's life: Madrid Metro to let muzzled mutts ride free
A very happy dog. Photo: final_end / Flickr

It's a dog's life: Madrid Metro to let muzzled mutts ride free
1 hour ago

Dogs will be now allowed to travel on Madrid's underground rail network but only if they are muzzled and on a leash.

Hapless man has FOUR steel rings cut off penis by firemen
Stock photo: Evaingesl / Flickr

Hapless man has FOUR steel rings cut off penis by firemen
2 hours ago

Firefighters on the Costa Blanca were called to an unusual rescue last week after a kinky sex game went disastrously wrong.

One dead and dozens ill after falling foul of dodgy tortilla
A tortilla sandwich Photo: Ron Dollete / Flickr

One dead and dozens ill after falling foul of dodgy tortilla
3 hours ago

Officials suspect that a dodgy tortilla is to blame for a salmonella outbreak in Spain's southern city of Cadiz.

Gallery
Ten essential tips you need to know to date Spanish women
Photo: Carlos ZGZ/Flickr

Ten essential tips you need to know to date Spanish women
3 hours ago

As Valentine's Day fast approaches we collected some tips for anyone hoping to date a Spanish woman.

Princess Cristina stands by her man as fraud trial resumes
Princess Cristina arriving in court on Tuesday. Photo: Jaime Reina/AFP

Princess Cristina stands by her man as fraud trial resumes
5 hours ago

The King of Spain's sister arrived at court with her husband for a trial into a corruption scandal that has embarrassed the royal family.

Toddler swept off beach by giant wave in northern Spain
A huge wave on Spain's northern coast. Photo: AFP

Toddler swept off beach by giant wave in northern Spain
5 hours ago

The search for a 20-month-old child who was washed out to sea in northern Spain entered its second day on Tuesday.

Barcelona metro fire causes rush-hour commuter ordeal
Photo: Hector Milla/Flickr

Barcelona metro fire causes rush-hour commuter ordeal
7 hours ago

All trains running through the centre of Barcelona have been stopped because of smoke in the tunnels.

Calls to free puppeteers held over staging satire in Madrid
A file photo of puppets. Photo: Leon Neal/AFP

Calls to free puppeteers held over staging satire in Madrid
8 hours ago

Some are calling the arrest of two puppeteers for "inciting terrorism" in a children's play an outrageous infringement of freedom of expression.

Danger: Early toxic caterpillar plague sweeps across Spain
Photo: Rabiem22 / Flickr

Danger: Early toxic caterpillar plague sweeps across Spain
1 day ago

Spain is braced for a plague of hairy caterpillars which can be harmful to small children and fatal to dogs.

The Local list
Seven essential tips you need to know to date Spanish men
Photo: Photo: TechNopal/Flickr

Seven essential tips you need to know to date Spanish men
1 day ago

As Valentine's Day fast approaches, The Local takes a look at the top tips for dating Spanish men.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
National
Ten of Spain's most romantic getaways for Valentine's Day
Culture
Wacky and whimsical: Spain goes carnival crazy
National
Danger: Early toxic caterpillar plague sweeps across Spain
National
Like father like son: Napkin proves matador paternity suit
National
UK rallies expats in Spain ahead of referendum on Brexit
National
Secret to long life? Spaniard lived to 107 on 'red wine diet'
National
Ten Spanish corruption scandals that will take your breath away
National
Watch: Gravity-defying stunts at Spain's Wind Tunnel Games
National
10 English words you'd never guess were really Spanish
National
Madrid to rename Francoist streets after terrorism victims
National
Olé? Bullfighter takes five-month-old baby into the ring
National
Watch: Moment south Spain struck by 6.3 magnitude quake
Travel
9 charming Spanish towns to visit before the tourists come
National
Heartbroken parents publish suicide note from bullied son
National
Spain launches new reality TV show: 'I want to be a nun'
National
Eleven very good reasons to be happy you live in Spain
National
Loyal dog waits two months at hospital door for dead owner
Younger, scruffier, and with a babe in arms: This is Spain's new elite
National
Ten adrenaline-fuelled adventures for thrill-seekers in Spain
National
Ten things you need to know about the new president of Catalonia
National
Spain's Princess Cristina: From fairy tale life to national 'baddie'
Politics
Seven reasons why forming a new government is mission impossible
National
Eight essential ways to tackle the winter months like a true Spaniard
2,937
jobs available