Source: Irish priest asks for back-up as demand for exorcisms rises ‘exponentially’ Dublin, Ireland, Jan 24, 2018 Catholic News Agency
An Irish priest and exorcist is asking the country’s bishops for more support after noticing a dramatic increase in demonic activity in the
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.
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.
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.