A charismatic group of Catholics held a workshop in Kolkata from Jan. 27 to 28 to help pastors and lay leaders handle situations of satanic influences.
Organized by Calcutta Catholic Charismatic Renewal Service (CCCRS), over hundred people, including priests and nuns, attended the workshop for spiritual direction.
Such workshops are offered to help the archdiocesan clergy, especially those working in villages, said Salesian Fr Joseph Aymanathil, head of CCCRS, who had organized a similar workshop two years ago.
Fr Aymanathil has 14 years of experience in the "deliverance ministry" of praying over demon possessed people to free them from satanic influences.
He said many youngsters are being influenced by New Age cults such as yoga, Reiki, witchcraft, Ouija boards, black magic and even satanic worship such as black mass.
"These cripple them spiritually. Such people need healing and deliverance," he added.
Fr Christopher Correya, priest and lay leader, said recognizing evil spirits, curses and blessings and the modern tendency to deny the existence of the devil are the symptoms of different levels of satanic influences.
He said there are methods to identify them and ways to face them with prayers.
Only authorized people can effectively handle people with demon possession, he said.
However, all lower-level satanic influences can be cured by prayers, he added, according to ER.
Calcutta archdiocesan Fr Ananda Haldar, who did not know how to handle people with demon possession as his seminary training did not deal with such issues, said he found the workshop "very helpful for his pastoral work."