Exorcism and ministry

 

Sir, – After reading “Bishop to set up team of exorcists” (News, October 10th), I checked the calendar. It is not April 1st, nor is it Halloween, and it is still 2018.

Mental health is a serious issue and should be taken seriously. If people are not qualified to deal with mental health problems, they should advise others to seek professional help, not offer medieval solutions.

Attacking complementary health therapies and using words like “evil” and “Satanic” is hurtful and, dare I say it, un-Christian. – Yours, etc,

CLARA CLARK,

Blackrock,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – The establishment by Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan of a “delivery ministry” group of people who will attempt to rid people of “the devil” through exorcism hearkens back to primitive history when not alone mental illness and its symptoms, but all forms of psychosomatic illnesses and abnormal human behaviour, were attributed to the influence of evil spirits, and later in Judaism and Christianity to their personification in the form of “demonic possession”.

Surely Bishop Cullinan is aware that resurrecting such primitive beliefs may lead once again to an outbreak of irrationality, where science and medicine are discarded in favour of a false treatment of all forms of psychosomatic-based illness. – Yours, etc,

BRENDAN BUTLER,

Malahide,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – At the end of your report, the bishop is quoted as saying that he was sorry if he was scaring anybody. My feelings were much stronger than that. They ranged from incredulity, that a grown man could be so gullible in this day and age, to outrage when I considered that this individual has the patronage of the great majority of our taxpayer-funded schools within the borders of his diocese. – Yours, etc,

SEAMUS McKENNA,

Windy Arbour,

Dublin 14.