Father Pat Collins, one of Ireland’s most renowned exorcists, says an increase in demonic manifestations and even possessions in that country is creating a need for Church leaders to appoint a team of exorcists to handle the demand.
According to The Irish Catholic, Father Pat, who is also a trained psychologist, has been inundated on an almost daily basis with desperate people looking for help to deal with demonic manifestations of all kinds as well as what could be possessions. Some of the manifestations he described are people having ghostly encounters and being pulled from their beds.
“It’s only in recent years that the demand has risen exponentially,” Father Pat said.
“What I’m finding out is desperate people who in their own minds believe – rightly or wrongly – that they’re afflicted by an evil spirit. 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 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 said.
He claims to be “baffled” by bishops who don’t take more action to appoint priests to deal with these problems.
It’s not the first time Father Pat has spoken out about the need for more trained exorcists.
According to Dublin Live, Father Pat appeared in a two-part documentary on Irish television in November of 2017 where he commended the Church for the safeguards it has put in place to protect children from sexual abuse. But now it needs to do more to safeguard the flock from evil spirits.
“It appalls me that we have no safeguarding from the evil spirits. I say that in the sense that we don’t train anybody to deal with these cases. Priests – it’s not that they don’t care – but they don’t know enough about it.”
He is “deeply bothered" by the lack of priests with his training, he said.
“How many bishops in accordance with Canon 1172 have trained anybody or appointed anybody in the diocese of Ireland to help our poor unfortunate people who are oppressed and sometimes possessed by these awful spirits," he asked. “They have abandoned the sheep.”
Father Pat also spoke about the increased fascination with evil spirits in today’s world.
“There is a morbid interest in evil spirits in society. It’s interesting as people lose faith in God, they are increasing their interest in the devil and it’s purely morbid. I’d say to anyone who’s got that morbid interest, ‘If you had to deal with evil as some have to do, it is horrible, it is pure darkness.’ It is the essence of evil because it is totally opposed to God and totally opposed to love.'”
Personally, he’s not afraid of evil spirits because of his deep faith.
“I know who’s boss. When I say Jesus is Lord, I believe he has power and authority over all these things and the evil spirits, powerful as they be,” when we are acting in the name of the Lord, “we have authority over them,” he said.
“I believe there is nothing to be afraid of but priests and lay people need training in how to go about this and how to distinguish between psychological problems and spiritual problems and how they interconnect at times as they often do.”
The Catholic Communications office confirmed in a statement that the Church requires each diocese to appoint a trained exorcist which is someone who knows how to distinguish the signs of demonic possession from those of mental or physical illness.
“Exorcisms are very rare and this office has not been made aware of any cases of ‘exorcism’ in Ireland in recent years” said the statement.
Although they do get requests for help in this area, dioceses will refer these people to one or two priests with expertise in this area.
Father Pat has also written an open letter to the hierarchy in which he states that he has observed a growing apostasy within the Church.
And, not surprisingly, “As this has happened, there has been increasing evidence of the malicious activity of the evil one.”
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