V1 Church Senior Pastor Mike Signorelli of New York City highlighted in a recent podcast the notable increase in exorcisms, which he said are due to New Age practices encouraged by businesses.
Faithwire said Pastor Mike Signorelli made the revelation in Billy Hallowell's recent "Playing With Fire" podcast, which tackles issues on the devil in the modern world. The episode, which aired on June 11, was entitled "What Are Demons? Do Christians Need Deliverance? Mike Signorelli Breaks Down Evil, Exorcisms, and More."
"New Age practices are becoming a normal phenomenon. Even secular companies are provoking people to step into the spiritual realm or to believe in the supernatural in a way that, it's like we're moving past atheism," Signorelli said.
Signorelli cited the obsessive reading of Horoscopes and the burning of sage to drive away demons as New age practices that can breed evil and are dangerous spiritually. The pastor pointed out that the best way to drive away demons is to truly receive Christ--to repent from one's sins and from what holds one in the demonic realm.
New Age Practices Boost Exorcism Cases
Signorelli explained that, like what he does personally, allowing and ensuring that the Holy Spirit permeates all the "atmospheres" of his life is most important. This entails leading a Christian life shown by living out the fruits of the Holy Spirit and forgiving those that one needs to. He revealed building on Christian values in his own life is the reason his ministry on deliverance flourishes.
The senior pastor, who regularly live streams talks on the matter, explained the difference between deliverance and exorcism. He said is an action where Jesus "expels an unclean spirit" from a person and that it is interchangeable with exorcism. He pointed out that it is one of Jesus' ministries in the Bible and the reason why it is "extended through the lives of his followers."
Debunking skepticism on the existence of demonic possessions in present times, Signorelli cited the Catholic Church, which reportedly has been experiencing a large volume of exorcism requests. Signorelli stressed that Catholic leaders can't keep up with the increased demand and are already "reporting a system failure within Catholicism now."
According to a May 28 report of the Insider, Catholic exorcists are already complaining about being overworked from long queues of possessed people. The report came in line with the Vatican's recently concluded 16th Annual Exorcism Conference, which was attended by 120 participants from across the globe.
Participants during the conference shared experiences on exorcism, such as Fr. Giuseppe Bernardi who conducted an exorcism on a woman for nine hours. Part of the struggles exorcists encountered was performing the rite on people even with the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing. This is despite the fact requiring a ritual where the exorcist needs to affix the Sign of the Cross on the victim--not to mention be required to pin him or her down through the aid of assistants when the demonic presents itself or tries to run away with the victim.
The long queues for exorcism are said to be the result of the Catholic Church having very few exorcists in the world. In particular, there are 290 exorcists in Italy, 37 in Spain, 28 in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and a "dedicated office and team" in Manila, Philippines. A 2018 report showed that there are roughly 100 Catholic exorcists in the United States, where cases have increased in the last seven years.
A Failed Exorcism
Last May, a 3-year-old girl, Arely Naomi Proctor, died of homicide caused by asphyxiation when relatives "exorcised" her. NPR reported that the incident took place at Northern California's small Pentecostal church in San Jose, Santa Clara County--the Iglesia Apostoles y Profetas--in September and the relatives were arrested on May 13.
Iglesia Apostoles y Profetas Pastor Rene Trigueros-Hernandez believed Proctor, his granddaughter, was "possessed by an evil spirit." Trigueros-Hernandez was arrested with Proctor's uncle, Rene Hernandez-Santos, for child abuse that resulted in death.
Before their arrests, Claudia Hernandez-Santos, Proctor's mother, was arrested in January for assault on a child resulting in death. Claudia and Rene brought the child to their father on September 24 to be exorcised because she would periodically "wake up and scream or cry."
Claudia attempted to induce her daughter to vomit by sticker her finger in the child's throat several times. This she did while holding the child's neck with her other hand. Court records show that this took place while the uncle and grandfather held the child down. The child eventually became unresponsive and they waited for two hours before calling the police.
Trigueros-Hernandez defended that what they did was based on the Bible. The pastor highlighted that Jesus cast demons away and made healthy those who are sick. He said it was not something he wanted to do but only acted as an instrument of God. He stressed that what they did "is what God says."
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