Priest slams Catholic Church for lack of training in exorcisms
An Irish priest has criticised the Catholic Church for a lack of training for its cleric in delivering exorcisms.
Father Pat Collins says he doesn’t rule out rational explanations of evil, but believes it is naive to dismiss supernatural causes.
Fr Collins features in a special RTÉ documentary called Evil – Would You Believe?
The two-part series will investigate the concept of evil and whether it is something that people can change about themselves and others.
Fr Collins claims to have experience with dealing with demonic spirits and accuses the Church of abandoning its flock by failing to train priests in the practice of exorcisms.
Fr Collins, who is also a trained psychologist, said: “The Church is rightfully admitting its sinfulness in child sex abuse, that we did not defend children. Now it has all the safeguarding measures and that’s excellent.
“But it appals 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.”
FR Collins went on to explain that he believed the responsibility lies with the bishops.
“The buck has to land on the bishop’s desk. Who have you trained in your diocese?
“I would say to bishops, ‘Woe to you that neglect the spiritual care of the people’.”
“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. They have abandoned the sheep.”
In the open interview, Fr Collins revealed why he thinks there is a growing interest with evil spirits.
He added: “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.”
Fr Collins believes that his faith will protect him when dealing with evil spirits.
He said: “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 though be, are on a hiding to nothing when we who are acting in the name of Lord with the power of the Holy Spirit come against them.
“We have authority over them.
“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 first of two parts of Evil – Would You Believe? Will be broadcast this weekend on RTÉ. You can see the trailers for both parts below.