A long-time Catholic exorcist has sounded an alarm about what he called an increase in “violent satanism,” especially among young people, partially due to the rapid growth of cultural secularism and the lack of strong role models.
Dominican Father Francois Dermine said, among other things, that exposure to the young demon encourages violence, from bullying to more extreme manifestations.
“There are many sects of satanism,” Dermine said, adding that internet visibility has also risen, and references to the occult are increasingly prevalent in videogames and school games such as the “Charlie Charlie Challenge,” where players cross two pencils on a grid with sectors marking ‘ yes ‘ or ‘ no’ and ask a supernatural entity, “Charlie,” to answer the questions they pose.
“Satanism is becoming more violent and diffused as well,” said Dermine. Talking to Crux, he failed to grow in secularism, which he said was one of the main causes of retired Pope Benedict XVI’s commitment to fighting for much of his papacy.
An exorcist for the Italian Archdiocese of Ancona-Osimo, Dermine says that since 1994 he has been dealing with the demonic for a quarter of a century.
“Secularization leaves a void,” he said, explaining that there is “a kind of spiritual, ideological and cultural void alongside it. Young people have nothing to fulfill their emotional and spiritual needs. They hunger for something, and the Church is no longer attractive.
With an ever-aging population of the Church in Western society and a growing list of scandals, the Church is no longer seen as a legitimate outlet for youth seeking answers, Dermine said, “so they’re trying to find something else. Another indication of Satanism’s normalization, he said, is the recent book, A Children’s Book of Demons, which was published in May and is aimed at children aged 5-10 years. The book, created by Aaron Leighton, an award-winning illustrator and a well-known fan of occult practices, features vivid illustrations of some 20 different demons and teaches children the sign or magic symbol for the demons and how to summon them.
“Satanism is not always so overt, but it is becoming more and more explicit, and the release of this book is a sign of this,” Dermine said, adding that just a few years ago a book like this would have been inconceivable, “but now it’s not.” Pointing to the risks of getting involved with the devil at a young age, Dermine said that the risk is to develop a “Satanist mindset” in which young people are slowly becoming active. And when they do, “they risk going from community to practice. We can very quickly become evil themselves.