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The Pope has ordered his bishops to set up exorcism squads to tackle the rise of Satanism.
Vatican chiefs are concerned at what they see as an increased interest in the occult.
They have introduced courses for priests to combat what they call the most extreme form of "Godlessness."
Each bishop is to be told to have in his diocese a number of priests trained to fight demonic possession.
The Vatican is particularly concerned that young people are being exposed to the influence of Satanic sects through rock music and the Internet.
In theory, under the Catholic Church's Canon Law 1172, all priests can perform exorcisms. But in reality only a select few are assigned the task.
Under the law, practitioners must have "piety, knowledge, prudence, and integrity of life."