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3 - 6 April 2014
In recent years ICCRS has organized theological colloquiums on prayer for healing (2001), the charisms of the Holy Spirit (2008), and baptism in the Holy Spirit (2011). In April 2014 the fourth colloquium was held in Rome, on the topic of deliverance ministry.
The choice of this topic came from a number of questions that were being sent to ICCRS about deliverance ministry. These were both theological and pastoral in nature. We recognised that there are cultural factors that have to be taken into consideration and that in some parts of the world guidelines are already in place from the local Bishops’ conference. Therefore, it was decided to bring together a small international group of invited theologians and practitioners who are experienced in this ministry, to gain some insight together as to what should be the basic contents of a small ICCRS book on this topic.
So from 3rd-6th of April around 30 participants gathered in Rome. Dr Mary Healy, the chair of the ICCRS Doctrinal Commission, began by presenting a general overview. She looked at the context of where we find ourselves as a Church in a world that is witnessing a rapid de-Christianization. She presented a brief overview of deliverance in Scripture, in the early Church, and among later theologians.
Participants from each of the continents shared their perspectives on deliverance ministry. Whilst there were some obvious cultural variations, there were also marked similarities. It was noted that even among clergy, there are some who are reluctant to believe in the reality of the devil. Conversely, sometimes in CCR there are people who have a tendency to overemphasise the devil and his power. We highlighted the need for this ministry to grow and develop and for people to receive adequate training and supervision.
An exorcist from the diocese of Rome gave an overview of the history of the development of the Rite of Exorcism and the difference between exorcism and deliverance ministry. Damian Stayne shared from his own experience about the role of lay people in deliverance ministry. Neal Lozano, the founder of the 'unbound' model of deliverance ministry, spoke about the relationship between deliverance and inner healing. The final part of our colloquium was to agree together the main topics that should form the basis of a future publication.
ICCRS organized a colloquium to gather a small group of invited theologians, Church leaders, and individuals involved in deliverance ministry.
The colloquium was an opportunity to reflect together on this topic that is of increasing importance to the universal Church today. As fruit of this colloquium, ICCRS will publish a new doctrinal document as a sound reference for those who pray for deliverance in prayer groups and communities.
In keeping with the role of ICCRS as a service to worldwide Renewal, the aim will not be to endorse or ratify any one model for deliverance ministry, but rather to arrive at a basic unity-within-diversity regarding the theological grounding, principles and sound pastoral practices for this ministry. Our hope is that this unified vision will provide the Catholic Charismatic Renewal with a good foundation for communication with the wider Church regarding deliverance ministry.
In addition, the colloquium will provide the basis for a larger ICCRS conference in the future, in which teaching on the principles of deliverance can be given to CCR leaders from around the world.
The colloquium has been developed on brief meditations followed by sharing groups.