At the end of his weekly general audience on Wednesday Pope Benedict greeted Italian exorcists who, he disclosed, are currently having their national convention, presumably in Rome.
The Pope encouraged them to "carry on their important work in the service of the Church."
Problem was, that until the Pope spoke, few people outside the inner circle knew that a convention of Beelzebub busters was going on, presumably in Rome.
And where are they holding it? A church, a hotel, a graveyard?
"They try to keep these things quiet," said a Catholic professor who has dealings with exorcists.
Read the complete article Pssst. Where the devil is the exorcists convention? from Reuters.
The article recounts as well the course at the Regina Apostolorum. It also explains a bit why there is so much interest in exorcisms in Italy these days:
According to some estimates, as many as 5,000 people are thought to be members of Satanic cults in Italy with 17-to 25-year-olds making up three quarters of them.
Interest in the devil and the occult has been boosted by films such as "The Exorcist" in 1973 and last year's "Exorcist: The Beginning".
Last year, Italy was gripped by the story of two teenage members of a heavy metal rock band called the "Beasts of Satan" who were killed by other band members in a human sacrifice.
The deaths horrified Catholic Italy, with pages of newspapers given over to descriptions of the black candles and goats' skulls decorating one victim's bedroom and witness statements of sexual violence.
That recalls the great wave of hysteria over Satanism in the United States during the 1980s. Hopefully, the Italians won't go so far as some Americans did in accusing their neighbors of sick perverse stuff that led to the removal of children, etc., when the neighbors were in fact innocent.