Pordenone. The exorcist Monsignor Pietro Cesco: «From me even a 7

PORDENONE – His weapons are the priestly stole, the image of the Madonna and holy water. His enemy is the evil one. His customers are at least 4 a day, in 99% of cases in need more of a genuine willingness to listen and a fraternal, consoling pat on the back than a real ritual. But there is that 1% that displaces, because within itself it hides the mysterious and inexplicable tangle of evil. Monsignor Pietro Cesco, born in Savorgnano di San Vito al Tagliamento in 1942, is the bulwark of the Church of Concordia-Pordenone, which is not afraid to look into the Abyss, nor to tell what it feels like to do so. «First of all, let’s forget Hollywood films and horror books: being an exorcist is a very different mission – the former canon of the cathedral said -. Everything and everything comes from me, from the spiritually ill to the disoriented, from the frightened to the desperate. I often go with a psychologist or psychiatrist.”

How many cases have you already dealt with?
“Thousands. I receive on average 4 people a day in my Cordenons office, and I have been carrying out this ministry for 5 and a half years. The accounts are soon done ».

The most complex?
«I am accompanying a 7-year-old girl from Friuli in spirit. Some of her behaviors, from language to drawings, are disturbing. Family members brought it to me after trying other routes in vain. Then there was a young man who, in the grip of the deepest turmoil, had planned his suicide in detail. Luckily we got out of it: now he works and is more serene ».

The general framework in which it operates?
«I would mention a fact: in 2017 a survey reported that over 12,000 Italians had referred their problems to magicians, fortune tellers and occultists. Year after year, the growth of a wave is recorded in the Northeast: it ranges from generic forms of superstition to magical practices of different levels, from divination to real spiritism, up to satanic groups and sects that organize black masses on the territory. It happens here too, I stress it and I take responsibility for it. A twenty-year-old who came from a nucleus of Satanists came to me, with his mother: he was a rag ».

What is missing?
«In summary, as a priest, I would rely on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. To the extent that the values ​​of the transcendental and of widespread Christianity are diminishing, something else takes hold. Freely quoting Pope John: there is a silent apostasy due to the abundance of things and spiritual emptiness».

Should we find the time to talk to people more?
«Of course, a lot of upstream work would be needed to avoid the emergence of fixations and frustrations. You should be able to listen to others.”

How does the exorcist Don Cesco work?
«As a team, without establishing a rigid path in advance. I deal with episodes of harassment, possession and obsession. On my way, then, I have encountered 7-8 cases of extraordinary intervention by the Evil One: some have been under my care for more than 5 years. It takes patience to arrive at liberation. Two Muslims also came: the devil is not only an enemy of Christians”.

The pandemic?
«It has exacerbated and aggravated a path already underway, creating more frustration».

How do you judge the masses of mercy, consolation and healing hosted in the Pordenone Shrine of Grace every second Wednesday of the month, always at 20.30?
«Bishop Giuseppe Pellegrini wanted them and they are another very important vehicle. They are bearing fruit, both in spiritual terms and in inner serenity: each of us can find himself, re-establishing the right relationships with God and with others”.

What exactly do they consist of?
«In an experience that wants to educate to the faith and oppose all forms of superstition and magic. Evil is a mystery that does not come from God”.

Let’s go back to the basic phenomenon that led to occultism: how did it develop?
«A sort of magical-religious climate has always existed in our land, which I like to define for simplicity as having an agricultural matrix, deeply linked to the history, rhythms and culture of many families in the Northeast. But in this general framework in modern times dangerous and different forms of divination have overlapped, which are cloaked in mixed cultures of wild psychology and esoteric references. I’m thinking of Halloween, and the industry it created, for example. Magicians, mystifiers, false prophets, holy men, alleged seers and Satanists thus plagiarize the weakest and most in difficulty people, extorting their money in exchange for false securities that they will never be able to offer».

Its dark matter must be handled with care and is often overlooked. What do his confreres think?
«The ministry of exorcism is often not shared. I’m not saying this to denounce a lack of the Church, but only as a basic observation. It is very complex, it requires awareness, preparation and time for discernment”.

The old charm of evil survives even in the third millennium, in full technological boom. A contradiction?
“I would not say. St. Paul VI in the general audience of November 1972 said verbatim: The smoke of Satan has entered the Church. From there a gradual resumption of the study and contrast of the action of the evil one started, inside the pathologies and outside them. These are the times of the ideology of selfishness and individualism, of course. But today, as in the past, people ask to be freed from the pain, from the fear of death, from the anxiety that human existence often brings with it. So reassurances are sought to overcome the uncertainties about tomorrow’s prospects and, with secularization, one resorts to illusory shortcuts”.

Has false mysticism adapted and bent the New Age to the commercial needs of the consumer society?
“Unfortunately, the lack of evangelization does not allow many people to assume a critical attitude towards proposals that represent a banal substitute for faith. Seven o’clock and the so-called magicians know this very well.’

A final identikit of your customers?
“Sometimes they are people poor in faith and culture, other times men and women deeply touched by pain and physical and psychological suffering. There are those who are tormented by family abuse suffered as a child, never truly forgotten, which then resurfaces with all its load of pain. My task, dictated by Charity, is to welcome, listen, enlighten, support and help”.


Pordenone. The exorcist Monsignor Pietro Cesco: «From me even a 7-year-old girl. I receive 4 people a day»