Wanted. More exorcists.
A Dublin priest has told the Irish Catholic newspaper (yes) that he has noticed a sharp increase in demonic activity.
…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.
To be fair, the problem is not restricted to Ireland.
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.
Interestingly, according to the way the Catholic church runs its operations, at least one priest per diocese will be trained to distinguish ‘true’ demonic possession from mental illness. The implication here is that such a priest will be trained in psychiatric diagnostics to the level of a fully qualified psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. As a psychologist myself, I find this absolutely astonishing.
Basically, the claim being made is that the relevant appointed priest will be able to specifically diagnose, say, drug-induced hallucinogenic disorder or chronic undifferentiated schizophrenia. Otherwise, the risk of a false-positive declaration of demonic possession must be pretty high (if not astronomical).
I wonder will these individuals be up to speed on all the many recent revisions to ICD-10-CM? These are a headache for the profession worldwide. Where do these priests get trained?
Ultimately, if exorcists have indeed perfected the ability to perform fine-grained differential diagnostics relating to hallucinogenesis, then I am sure the clinical psychology and psychiatry professions would really appreciate the opportunity to learn their methods.
Sometimes you wonder who in fact is doing the hallucinating here.
Brian Hughes is an academic psychologist and university professor in Galway, Ireland, specialising in stress, health, and the application of psychology to social issues. He writes widely on the psychology of empiricism and of empirically disputable claims, especially as they pertain to science, health, medicine, and politics.