It can take six or seven of Amorth's assistants to hold down someone possessed. Often, he said, they choke up nails or shards of glass.
"None of this scares me," he says, touching a small pouch where he holds the vomited artifacts. "I know that God is using me for this work."
In 1999, the Vatican revised its guidelines on the Rite of Exorcism, which explains exactly how Catholic priests should perform the ritual. But it also cautioned that "all must be done to avoid the perception that exorcism is magic or superstition."
Paprocki told Catholic News Service that this weekend's conference was needed because he knows of just five or six exorcists in the United States and they are overwhelmed with requests to perform the rite.
"Actually, each diocese should have its own resource [person]," he said.
But he told Harris that the training session wasn't called because of a surge in people being possessed.
"Contrary to some reports, this is not an emergency conference," he said. "There's no upsurge in people being possessed by devils."