“Many people evangelized by Catholic Charismatic Renewal soon become aware of their inner resistance and of unresolved issues. They come to see that there are spiritual bonds holding them captive and experience the difficulty or even an inability to free themselves from this burden. Charity inspired by the Holy Spirit gave rise to a desire within the Charismatic Renewal, right from the outset, to pray for the release of these men and women from their spiritual bondage and to help them with the inner struggle that was oppressing them. The light that comes from prayer, prudent discernment and experience have shown that in some of these cases the spiritual bondage that plagues people is due to the direct influence of the devil. It is precisely here that the ministry of deliverance belongs. This is a gift of the Holy Spirit present since the time of the early Church.
Deliverance ministry, although it differs sharply from major (or public) exorcism reserved to a bishop and the priests appointed by him and based on the appropriate ritual brings about an understanding of the immense healing and liberating power that emanates from the person of Jesus, Son of God, in whose name the deliverance is invoked. It is also a comforting rediscovery of the richness of our Baptism as it makes each of the faithful a member of the body of Christ, a sharer, to some extent, in the divine prerogatives of Christ the Head. Deliverance ministry, in this respect, helps to highlight the important role that the lay faithful can and must play in evangelization, in the maternal mission of the Church to heal the wounds of humanity and in spreading God's Kingdom everywhere and in every social sphere. The mission of the seventy-two disciples who were made partakers in Christ's power to cast out demons (cf. Lk 10:17) prefigures the involvement of all the lay faithful in preaching the Gospel and delivering people from the spiritual interference by Satan that afflicts so many souls.”
Excerpt from Cardinal Kevin Farrell
Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life
Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”
2 Cor 2:11 ...so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.
The widespread abandonment of Christian faith and an and increasing aggressive secularism have created a spiritual vacuum, which many people have sought to fill through occult practices, spiritualism, freemasonry, neo-pagan and New Age spiritual-ities, or even overt Satanism.
At the same time these social changes have been occurring, there has been a marked silence among Catholics regarding demons and their real influence in human life. Many priests have been trained in forms of biblical criticism that interpreted the Gospel accounts of demon-possession as simply a primitive way of speaking of mental illness.
This silence has created a situation where many Catholics, including priests, lack an understanding of the devil and his strategies. (2 Corinthians 2:11)
Paradoxically, the silence has also led to an unhealthy fear of the demonic realm, especially among people not well educated in the faith. All these elements of the contemporary situation have led to a vast unmet need for deliverance from various kinds of spiritual bondage and oppression. It is tragic that Catholics in some areas seek out help from spiritualists or shamans for relief from demonic affliction because they do not believe the Church is able to help them – or in some cases, they seek help from the Church and do not find it, since they are in need of neither major exorcism norprofessional medical help, but simply deliverance. In some areas Catholics turn instead to Pentecostal and independent charismatic ministries for help. The lack of understanding of deliverance also hinders evangelization when native peoples are more keenly aware of the power of evil spirits than Catholic missionaries are in of the liberating power of the name of Jesus. There is an urgent need for the Church to wake up to this grave situation.
At the heart of this ecclesial renewal is the entry of the laity into their full role and dignity as baptized members of the body of Christ, called to the perfection of holiness and full participation in the mission of the Church. (Luke 10)
Over the years, as deliverance ministry has matured, many unsound ideas and practices have been abandoned. But there remains a need for guidelines, as well as prudent oversight and discernment on the part of the Church’s pastors.
Deliverance ministry in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is clearly meeting an immense spiritual need in the contemporary world. Through it, many people have experienced in a valid personal way, the truth that Jesus came to set captives free. Just as deliverance was an essential part of evangelism in the early Church, so it is an essential part of the new evangelization today. Despite the various problems and challenges, St. Paul’s advice remains ever valid: ‘”Do not quench the Spirit....but test everything; hold fast what is good, abstain from every form of evil” 1Thess. 5:19-22
A summary of the Introduction from the Book: Deliverance Ministry ICCRS
International Charismatic Renewal Services Doctrinal Commission