Have you had your heart set of getting a wrestling scholarship but no schools offered you one? Do you think you can use your skills to wrestle demons instead? A new school in Argentina may be for you. Did you ever wish you could perform an exorcism but didn’t want to have to become a priest first? If you can afford $47 a month for three years, this same school in Buenos Aires may be the solution for you too.
The school at Good Shepherd church only offers one course: "Parapsychology, Angelology and Demonology” It’s taught by Manuel Acuna, a Lutheran bishop who claims he has performed over 1,200 exorcisms. Yes, he knows exorcisms are thought to be performed only by Catholic priests, but Protestants get possessed by demons too.
I have been called all kinds of names. But I didn't choose to be an exorcist. It is a calling from God.
Bishop Acuna says he got the calling in 2001 during a church service when a teenage girl in the congregation started thrashing about and speaking in tongues.
On that day, with my first exorcism, I introduced myself to the devil.
Since he’s self-taught and a seasoned veteran, Bishop Acuna feels that qualifies him to teach exorcism to others and, in the tradition of Martin Luther, he defies the Catholic Church requirement of exorcists being priests by training lay people to become “exorcism consultants.”
What do these exorcism trainees get for their $47 per month ($1692 total)?
They study the devil's character and how he works. The exorcism consultant will be able to determine where there is a case of a demonic presence, possession, oppression, obsession or a curse.
The monthly classes are held at the church and are said to be packed with hundreds of exorcist wannabes. The bishop is doing quite well and that offends other Lutheran churches in the area, whose pastors believe that it’s wrong to charge lay people for a class on exorcism that many of them don’t believe can be taught anyway.
Some attendees may be there just for the live exorcisms which appear to be part of at least some of the classes. There are reports of screaming people and one woman who spewed blood, which the bishop claimed was a sign she had "made a pact (with the devil), sealed with animal blood."
There’s not much information on the parapsychology and angelology parts of the course … if there’s no screaming or bloods-spitting, those classes are probably lightly attended. While the Vatican teaches exorcism classes in Rome that are open to psychologists, theologians and lawyers (insert your own “how do you tell the lawyer and the demon apart” joke here), they’re not taught to become exorcists – just to help evaluate or treat those who think they may be possessed.
Is Bishop Acuna’s discount school for exorcists having an effect on the demon population of Buenos Aires? That remains to be seen. If it works, he should considering opening his first franchise in Washington DC.