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Philippines: Work Begins On Asia’s First Exorcism Center

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By Joseph Peter Calleja

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(UCA News) — The Manila Archdiocese has begun construction of Asia’s first-ever exorcism center to address what it says is a growing number of possessions in the Philippines and to train budding exorcists in the region.

Building work on the Saint Michael Center for Spiritual Liberation and Exorcism began on June 6 in the capital’s business district of Makati.

“This religious structure will be the first of its kind in Asia, if not the world. The center will house the Archdiocese of Manila Commission on Extraordinary Phenomena, the Ministry of Exorcism Office, the Ministry on Visions and Phenomena Office, and will serve as the headquarters of the Philippine Association of Catholic Exorcists (PACE),” Manila Archdiocese said in a Facebook post.

PACE is a group of Catholic exorcist priests that falls under the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines and is affiliated with the International Association of Exorcists based in Rome, Italy.

Construction of the center is being headed by Father Jose Francisco Syquia, the archdiocese’s chief exorcist.

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“This center will minister to those in bondage to the devil who are therefore the poorest of the poor and are usually overlooked,” he said.

The Filipino exorcist said a rising number of demonic possession cases was the inspiration for the archdiocese to build the center.

“We’ve had a sharp increase in cases in the past three to five years,” Father Syquia wrote in a 2021 article without giving an estimated number.

The center will include a chapel dedicated to Mary, the Mother of Christ, named as the Our Lady of the Angels.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the center was led last month by Manila’s archbishop, Cardinal Jose Advincula, together with Father Syquia.

It is hoped the center will attract priests from across Asia to study and to train how to be exorcists.

“This is a first in Asia. This is not just a center for those who want to be exorcised but for those who want to experience God’s love and healing,” Sorsogon priest Father Joem Afable said.

UCA News

The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News, UCAN) is the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia. A network of journalists and editors that spans East, South and Southeast Asia, UCA News has for four decades aimed to provide the most accurate and up-to-date news, feature, commentary and analysis, and multimedia content on social, political and religious developments that relate or are of interest to the Catholic Church in Asia.

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