Hundreds of Germans, tortured by inner voices, are searching for priests who can free them from what they believe to be the grip of the Devil, according to an extraordinary radio documentary that has stirred an awkward debate about exorcism in the Catholic Church.
“Over the past year alone I have received requests from around 350 people who think they are possessed by an evil spirit,” said Father Joerg Mueller, who heads a group of priests, doctors and therapists to deal with the problem. “Therapy hasn't worked for them; they want exorcism — a prayer that can free them.”
Mueller, who lives in a Bavarian monastery, was talking to a team from WDR, the state radio network, which was allowed to record extracts from eight exorcisms.
A Polish exorcist, identified only as Father Wiktor, suggested that this was only a fraction of the actual number seeking help
“I would say that every day at least one person is undergoing a full-scale exorcism,” he told WDR.