Dublin, Ireland, Jan 24, 2018 / 11:08 pm (CNA).- An Irish priest and exorcist is asking the country's bishops for more support after noticing a dramatic increase in demonic activity in the country.
In a recent interview with The Irish Catholic, Fr. Pat Collins said he has been overwhelmed with the number of requests for exorcisms from the faithful in Ireland. In an open letter, he has urged the Irish bishops to train more priests to deal with the demand.
“(I)t’s only in recent years that the demand has risen exponentially,” Collins told The Irish Catholic.
Collins’ comments are on par with those of other exorcists throughout the world, including the International Association of Exorcists (IAE), a group of 400 Catholic leaders and priests, which has reported a dramatic increase in demonic activity in recent years.
In 2014, the IAE said the levels of demonic activity throughout the world had reached what they considered a “pastoral emergency.”
Collins said that he was “baffled” that the bishops haven’t trained more exorcists for Ireland, and added that anyone who doesn’t see the need for more exorcists is “out of touch with reality.”
“What I’m finding out desperately, is people who in their own minds believe – rightly or wrongly – that they’re afflicted by an evil spirit,” Collins said.
“I think in many cases they wrongly think it, but when they turn to the Church, the Church doesn’t know what to do with them and they refer them on either to a psychologist or to somebody that they’ve heard of that is interested in this form of ministry, and they do fall between the cracks and often are not helped,” he added.
A spokesperson for the bishops' conference at Maynooth told The Irish Catholic that each diocese is required to have a trained exorcist, who is able to discern the difference between signs of true demonic possession and signs of mental or psychological illness.
“Exorcisms are very rare and this office has not been made aware of any cases of ‘exorcism’ in Ireland in recent years,” the spokesperson said.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between demonic activity and mental illness. From paragraph 1673: “Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church. Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science. Therefore, before an exorcism is performed, it is important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness.”
In April 2015, the Congregation for the Clergy and the Sacerdos Institute hosted a seminar at Rome's Regina Apostolorum University, specifically aimed at training priests and lay people in spotting the differences between psychological problems and demonic possession.
The conference included interventions from a wide range of experts in the field of exorcism, including practicing exorcists, medical professionals, psychologists, lawyers, and theologians.
Recently updated rules of the Catholic rite of exorcism also state that a person who believes they are possessed must first rule out mental illness before seeking an exorcism. If the rite of exorcism is still needed, they may seek out a priest who has been trained and appointed as exorcist for his diocese by his bishop.
Collins noted that it often takes multiple meetings with a person seeking an exorcism to determine precisely what is afflicting them, but noted that whether it is true demonic activity or other problems, the requests have gone up dramatically in recent years.
Father Vincent Lampert, a Vatican-trained exorcist and a parish priest of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, has previously told CNA that the best defense against demonic possession is staying close to the sacraments.
In his open letter to the Irish bishops, Collins wrote: “...there has been increasing evidence of the malicious activity of the evil one.”
“I can’t judge from my own subjective experience because people see on the internet that I’m supposed to be an exorcist so I get an inordinate number of calls from people, and emails, all I can say is I have that reputation, but it’s only in recent years that the demand has risen exponentially,” he wrote.
This picture was taken in Rome's Regina Apostolorum University where I trained with Exorcist from all around the World.
Bishop Miguel Bustillos (Born-Again Christian) is currently the Archbishop of Christonian Church headquartered in Surprise, Arizona. He is a graduate of The International School of Exorcism, The Advance Academy of Deliverance and Life Christian University, with an Advanced Degree in Theology. Furthermore, He has studied Demonology from many other institutions, including the International School of the Word (ISOW). In addition, he is also a graduate of the Regina Apostolorum in Rome, where he studied "The Rite of Exorcism and Deliverance". He trained with some of the world's top exorcists. He has freed hundreds of God's Children from demonic attacks and torment, in Jesus' name. Jesus gets all the glory. The Bishop is a well known and highly sought after Exorcist and Deliverance Minister in the Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. He is featured to speak at this year's International School of Exorcist convention (2019).
Before getting into ministry, he worked in the healthcare field for 18 years. He became a professor of healthcare at a university in Arlington Virginia and climbed through the ranks to become Program Director and finally Academic Dean. He left his position as Academic Dean to become a full-time Deliverance Minister at the Lord's request.
He holds terminal advance degrees in Business and Cardiopulmonary Sciences.
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