Exorcist Father Francois Dermine for the Archdiocese of Ancona-Osimo in Italy said the problems of society can be blamed on a rise in "aggressive Satanism" in an article in Crux.
Dermine said young people can be especially affected by demonic energies because of secularism, imagery in video games and a lack of role models.
"Secularization leaves a void," Dermine said. "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."
Dermine called the involvement of young people in a culture that celebrates the demonic a "Satanist mentality," saying that those who are engaged with that culture "can become evil themselves very easily."
Young people are in greater danger according to Dermine because of the instability of modern families.
"Education of young people is poorer and poorer," Dermine said. "Couples are collapsing. Children are left alone; they are destabilized, and they don't have any defenses."
"If [children] have received love in their own families, it would be much more difficult to follow these kinds of ideologies," Dermine continued. "It would be much more difficult to penetrate their minds. If the adult world does not offer alternatives, it is more difficult for younger generations to adopt a stable way of life."
Violence in the world can also be blamed on Satanism which Dermine sees as a "concrete risk."
"We must not underestimate this," Dermine said, "because violence among young people is becoming more and more diffused. A violent mentality is very dangerous for our society, very, very dangerous. Our society risks collapse if it continues like this."
Dermine has been an exorcist for the Catholic Church for over 25 years, even giving lectures on exorcism, a practice Lucien Greaves of The Satanic Temple has called "backward" and "harmful."
"Where Christianity is involved, even flagrantly and directly, it will be entirely ignored," wrote Greaves on Patheos in November. "This double-standard is so culturally-entrenched as to go often unnoticed even by those who recognize its injustice once pointed out."
"If any other religious identity in the West, outside of Christianity, openly practiced rituals of such simple-minded magical thinking with even half the rate of death attributed to exorcism," Greaves continued, "there would be a full-scale panic, with an outcry to ban the practice, as well as the religion that sanctioned it."
In an email to Newsweek, Greaves repudiated Father Dermine's statements.
"Even for a man who believes himself a type of wizard who combats invisible monsters, the exorcist's comments related to the alleged threat that Satanism poses to children shows a remarkable and unrepentant willful ignorance of the horrific recent history of child abuse accrued by the morally bankrupt Church he represents," Greaves wrote.
"Seemingly fully aware that the Modern Satanism he decries is non-theistic in nature, and characteristically divorced from reality, he suggests that superstitious tribalism is the cure, rather than the cause, of all contemporary woes. In reality, it seems apparent that our social problems will never be resolved by self-professed claimants to a divine and unquestionable Truth, but that we would all do better to cultivate social norms that celebrate pluralism, mutual respect, and accountability."
"If indeed such values be virtuous," Greaves concluded, "then The Satanic Temple is unquestionably more moral than the Catholic Church."
While the Catholic church allegedly does not keep records on how many exorcisms are performed, the Vatican has recently opened up its yearly training program, the Course on Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation, to practitioners of all Christian denominations.
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