Published: 25 Jan 2008 13:46 CET
A steady trickle of German visitors is providing plenty of work for priests in the Polish border town of Szczecin, which has fifty exorcist specialists.
“We have about 20 [German] cases a week,” Andrzej Trojanowski, the Szczecin-based Catholic priest behind the project, told Geisternews.de, a German website reporting about the supernatural.
“Germans especially have a great deal of interest in the centre, although the subject is not openly discussed in Germany.”
Exorcism has been taboo in Germany since 1976, when two Bavarian priests were convicted of manslaughter following the death of a young woman following exorcisms. The Catholic Church later withdrew its support for the exorcisms. The story was portrayed in the 2006 film “Requiem.”
Exorcisms are a relatively common practice in Poland. In July 2007, the southern city of Czêstochowa hosted the fourth International Exorcists' Congress, hosting around 330 practicing exorcists from 29 countries.
Observers have cited the ascendancy of a German pope, an influx of immigrants from cultures where the practice is common, as well as calamitous events such as the September 11 attacks and apocalyptical themes picked up by mass media for a renewed interest in exorcisms.