An eight-hour-long exorcism has reportedly been performed on a “screaming” woman in an Italian Catholic church.
The incident took place in the Church of St Mary of Mount Berico in the city of Vicenza in the province of the same name in the Italian region of Veneto on Sunday, 5th December.
According to reports, the 28-year-old woman was brought to the minor basilica by her family in the morning, apparently in a state of agitation and displaying violent behaviour.
The young woman, who was not named but who is said to reside in the province, reportedly started “screaming and cursing” once inside the confessional.
She then reportedly attacked the confessor, with the ruckus clearly heard by the churchgoers attending mass in the background.
The churchgoers then reportedly called the emergency services, with a Vicenza police spokesperson later confirming the incident had indeed taken place.
According to reports, the clergy cleared the chapel before four friars of the Order of Servants of Mary led by Father Giuseppe Bernardi performed a ‘rite of exorcism’ on the young woman.
According to Father Carlo Maria Rossato, the rite lasted from 11 AM to 8 PM, shortly after which the woman reportedly fainted and was taken home by her family to recover.
A police spokesperson told the news site Fanpage: “We were alerted by a frightened believer. Once the squad arrived, the agents conferred with the priest. It was said that there was an exorcism in progress and that the situation was under control.
“The officers spoke to some witnesses who reported this woman yelling from time to time, but when we arrived, the young woman was just talking to the priest and she never screamed or acted strangely. We arrived in the afternoon and we were told that the exorcism had been going on since the morning.”
Father Carlo Rossato of the Order of Servants of Mary told the local press that rite of exorcism was a “widespread practice” and that many had recently been requested.
The Bishop of Vicenza, Monsignor Beniamino Pizziol, on the other hand, has so far declined to comment on the incident.