Father Pat Collins is urging the Catholic Church to assist with the rising number of “malicious activity of the evil one”.

Ireland’s most prominent exorcist has written an open letter calling for Irish bishops to train priests to deal with the upsurge. 

“It’s only in recent years that the demand has risen exponentially,” Father Collins told the Irish Catholic.

The Vincentian priest based in Dublin said he has experienced "an inordinate number" of calls and emails recently.

“What I’m finding out desperately, is people who in their own minds believe – rightly or wrongly – that they’re afflicted by an evil spirit,” he added.

“I think in many cases they wrongly think it, but when they turn to the Church, the Church doesn’t know what to do with them and they refer them on either to a psychologist or to somebody that they’ve heard of that is interested in this form of ministry, and they do fall between the cracks and often are not helped,” he said.

According to the outlet, each diocese in Ireland is required to have a trained exorcist who can recognize whether a suspected case of possession is real or the result of a mental illness.

If you’re skeptical as to whether this is a real news story or not, Father Collins has words for you.

Father Collins said that Church leaders who think there is no demand for priests well-versed in the ritual of exorcism are “out of touch with reality”.

A spokesperson for the Catholic Communications Office at Maynooth confirmed to the Irish Catholic that exorcisms are “very rare” and she had not “been made aware of any cases...in Ireland in recent years”.