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A careful distinction must be made between psychological problems and “true spiritual disturbances,” Pope Francis said Friday, but in the latter case, an exorcist should be called in. Speaking to participants in a course on the sacrament of confession, Pope Francis said that priests hearing confessions should exercise attentive discernment, because those confessing their sins “can come from the most varied situations.” The person going to confession “may have spiritual disturbances, whose nature must be subjected to careful discernment,” Francis told the priests taking the course, “while taking into account all the existential, ecclesial, natural and supernatural circumstances.” When a confessor is aware of “the presence of true spiritual disturbances,” Francis said, the priest “should not hesitate to have recourse to those in the diocese who carry out this delicate and necessary ministry, namely the exorcists.” At the same time, Francis recognized that many disturbances are “in large part psychological,” and their true nature “must be verified by a healthy collaboration with the human sciences.” Exorcists, the Pope continued, “must be chosen with great care and great caution,” because of the delicate nature of their particular mission. On numerous occasions, Pope Francis has insisted that the devil really exists and is not a myth or a mere personification of evil. Because he is real, “we have to fight him,” Francis said in a homily in 2014. In his address Friday, Francis also reflected aloud on the qualities needed by priests who hear confessions. What make for a “good confessor”? Francis asked.