Kieran Foley
BISHOP Alphonsus Cullinan is setting up a group to fight evil spirits across the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore. As part of a “delivery ministry”, the fledgling group will travel around the Diocese and will include a priest who is set to undergo specific training in the field. Bishop Cullinan explained that the group will be doing its work “in secret’’ as the names of those involved cannot be publicised. “We are finding our feet in this area,’’ he said, adding that more and more requests are being received for such a service.He made his comments towards the end of a conversation on abortion when speaking with presenter Eamon Keane on ‘Déise Today’ on WLR last week. The group will visit houses where people have been involved in “some sort of new age thing or séance”’. Bishop Cullinan explained that such people may have unfortunately “opened a door to an evil force”.

Bishop of Waterford & Lismore, Alphonsus Cullinan. 			| Photo: Mick

Bishop of Waterford & Lismore, Alphonsus Cullinan. | Photo: Mick

“Satan will destroy anywhere he can get in,” he explained.In the past couple of years, he says there have been requests from people with concerns about what they believe to be “evil forces’’.
Bishop Cullinan says he has had “several requests”’ from people including one lady involved in counselling who is coming across things in people which she can’t deal with’’ and which are “beyond psychological”. Through processes such as reiki, Bishop Cullinan said people may be opening themselves to “letting in a spirit which is not good”’. “One man, who was a reiki master, was working on somebody one day when he saw a vision of Satan,” he explained. “He dropped reiki and went back to church.” Bishop Cullinan acknowledged that many people are searching for “healing’’ but warned of the dangers of “channeling the wrong spirit’’.
However, he stressed that he was not telling people to stop attending their doctor, counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist.Bishop Cullinan said the process of exorcism is a “tricky area”’ and must “never be done on one’s own”. He explained: “There always has to be prayer involved.” He also outlined the example of one priest who had dealt with a troubling situation involving a “young professional girl”. Due to her strength, four men, described as “rugby types”, had to hold her down. The priest had warned that the four men attend confession prior to the exorcism.
One man had not and the girl proceeded to call out the sins of the man “with a voice that was not hers”, according to Bishop Cullinan. He added that he himself has felt the presence of evil.
He referred to two particular people he met which frightened him as there was “something about them which was not good”. Bishop Cullinan said there was a “coldness and a venom which was very personally against me even though I didn’t know them from Adam”. He warned that the devil is “not just a symbol for bad things” but a “personal force of destruction” which is seeking to “destroy the things we love”. However, he reiterated that trust in Jesus is “greater than any force”. He added: “We must cover ourselves with love and prayer and not be afraid.”