ROME – About 200 aspiring exorcists gathered on Monday for a week-long course in casting out demons – including by cellphone if necessary – amid increased demand for the service among Roman Catholics.
Participants, many of them priests, will attend lectures and talks on a range of topics including witchcraft in Africa, how to tell the difference between demonic possession and mental illness, and a step-by-step guide to casting out demons.
Cardinal Ernest Simoni of Albania drew strong interest in the first session by citing the use of cellphones in exorcisms.
“They call me and we speak and that’s how I do it,” the 89-year-old Simoni told Reuters after his address, explaining how he would read the prayers of exorcism in Latin over the phone just as he would if performing the lengthy rite in person.
Although no official figures are available, Catholic Church officials say the number of demonic possessions is on the rise.
Chinas Lisu Aim To Save Crossbow Culture
LUSHUI, China – Deep inside mountains along the China-Myanmar border, a 26-year-old ethnic Lisu villager, surnamed Zhang, sharpens his crossbow arrows to prepare for a hunt.
For Zhang and many other Lisu, a mostly Christian minority who inhabit the border region, the crossbow is an indispensable part of their culture dating back to 200 BC.
In a country that often bans the sale of kitchen knives during political summits, it’s still normal to see ethnic Lisu openly carrying the weapon in public.
Despite a decades-old hunting ban, law enforcement remains lax and Zhang and his friends still hunt birds and rodents for sport. Before the ban, Lisu hunters traditionally went for larger game such as bears and wild boar.
Modiglianis Largest Nude To Go Under Hammer Seen At 150 Million
HONG KONG – A painting of a reclining nude by Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani is set to go under the hammer in New York on May 14 with a record sale estimate of $150 million, auction house Sotheby’s announced on Tuesday.
“Nu couché (sur le côté gauche)”, or Reclining Nude (on the left side) shows the entire figure of a woman lying on white sheets, looking casually behind her back and fixing her gaze directly at the viewer.
Painted in 1917, shortly before the artist’s death at the age of 35, the painting of the woman, believed to be a professional model, is the largest in his body of work and described as his “most ambitious.”
Gospel Choir To Sing At Wedding Of Uk Prince Harry And Meghan Markle
LONDON – A Christian gospel choir and a teenage cellist will provide some of the music at the wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry and his American fiancee Meghan Markle next month, Kensington Palace said on Tuesday.
Harry, 33, and Markle, 36, will tie the knot at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, with a reception at Queen Elizabeth’s home west of London afterwards.
“Both Prince Harry and Ms Markle have taken a great deal of interest and care in choosing the music for their service, which will include a number of well-known hymns and choral works,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.
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