Covid is blamed for surge in ‘demonic possessions’ as Catholic Church opens centre dedicated to exorcisms in the Philippines
- The St Michael Centre for Spiritual Liberation and Exorcism is opening in Manila
- The centre will train priests and be a dedicated site to perform exorcisms
- Father Jose Francisco Syquia said he receives 10 reports a day of demons
The Catholic Church is building a centre dedicated to exorcisms in the Philippines after an apparent surge since the pandemic.
The St Michael Centre for Spiritual Liberation and Exorcism in Manila will be the first of its kind in Asia and will train priests in the art of expelling demons and provide a dedicated site to perform the rituals.
Father Jose Francisco Syquia, director of the archdiocese and chief exorcist, said he receives around 10 reports a day of spiritual disturbances.
Father Jose Francisco Syquia (pictured), director of the archdiocese and chief exorcist, said he receives around 10 reports a day of spiritual disturbances
The St Michael Centre for Spiritual Liberation and Exorcism in Manila will be the first of its kind in Manila (pictured in design plans)
The church said that mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical stress caused by the pandemic made for a perfect storm for possessions and demonic intervention.
The archdiocese said: ‘A product of more than seven years of prayers, planning and fundraising, this will be the first of its kind in Asia, if not the world.’
Father Syquia added: ‘This centre will minister to those in bondage to the devil who are therefore the poorest of the poor and are usually overlooked.’
The centre has a chapel as well as rooms for counselling, exorcisms and interviews.
Father Syquia says ‘full possession’ only accounts for 20 per cent of all exorcisms, with the majority being performed on people who are being ‘harassed physically’ by the evil spirits.
He believes witchcraft and unhealthy home lives can be contributing factors, and there has been a ‘sharp increase’ in the past three to five years.
Only Catholic priests who have undergone intensive training and received approval from a bishop are allowed to perform exorcisms.
The centre has a chapel as well as rooms for counselling, exorcisms and interviews
The Philippines has the third largest population of Catholics in the world, behind Brazil and Mexico.
The Vatican first offered a course on exorcisms in 2005 and it is expected the new centre will train priests from all around the world.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held last month and it is not yet known when construction will be completed.
It will serve as the headquarters of the Philippine Association of Catholic Exorcists (PACE), which falls under the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
Father Syquia previously said he has received text messages from demons after performing exorcisms.
He said a woman who he had seen levitate after becoming possessed sent threatening messages to his office phone.
The priest was talking to the woman and her companion and the phone was in a different room.
The messages claimed he was a sinner and a liar and he would not be able to purge the evil spirits from her body.
Father Syquia said: ‘The devil has power over anything electrical. If this place is infested, for example, and they want their presence known, usually the lights would flicker. If I give a talk and use a certain gadget, the devil would easily shut it down because he is an expert in anything electrical.’