A veteran Italian exorcist has blamed secularisation for a rise in what he has called “aggressive Satanism”.

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“There are many groups of satanism”, priest Francois Dermine told Crux, pointing the finger especially at demonic influences coming from the internet, videogames and new school pastimes.

“Satanism is getting much more aggressive and also diffused”, denounced the Dominican, an exorcist in the Archdiocese of Ancona-Osimo with a quarter of a century of experience in the diabolic on his shoulders.

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As for the causes of the mutation he notices in demonianism, Dermine pointed to secularisation, which he explained “leaves a void… [a] sort of spiritual, ideological and also cultural void”.

“Young people do not have anything to satisfy their spiritual and profound needs. They are thirsting for something, and the Church is not attractive anymore”, the priest lamented.

Church scandals and the Catholic demographic decline are leaving young people bereft, Dermine explained, “so they try to find something elsewhere”.

“This something is, many times, the demonic world”, the Dominican warned.

“Satanism is not always so explicit, but it is becoming more and more so”, he continued, giving as an example the recent publication of a book on the occult, A Children’s Book of Demons.

Another cause for the rise in diabolism, Dermine said, is the deterioration of school and family structures.

“Education of young people is poorer and poorer. […] Couples are collapsing. Children are left alone; they are destabilised, and they don’t have any defenses”, he warned.

This generalised collapse of the family is especially dangerous in terms of the penetration of the occult, Dermine said, because “if [children] have received love in their own families, it would be much more difficult to follow these kinds of ideologies. It would be much more difficult to penetrate their minds”.

He warned that “if the adult world does not offer alternatives, it is more difficult for younger generations to adopt a stable way of life. It’s very difficult, it’s almost a miracle”.

Why it matters

The exorcist said the effects of satanic possession are felt most of all in increased levels of violence, starting from bullying at school and intensifying in brutality from there.

“It’s not only a vague fear, it’s a very concrete risk”, Dermine said, of the increased exposure of society today to the diabolic.

“We must not underestimate this, because violence among young people is becoming more and more diffused”, he cautioned.

“A violent mentality is very dangerous for our society, very, very dangerous”, the exorcist warned.

“Our society risks collapse if it continues like this”.

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