Church in Philippines assigns exorcist priest to post in prison ministry


Predecessor sees that it’s “very timely” to have a priest trained in exorcism taking the role, given the “evils” faced by ministry.

The bishops’ conference of the Philippines announced that on December 1, Father Nezelle Lirio, 44, will assume the post of executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission on Prison Pastoral Care. He will be assisting Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi, who has been heading the prison ministry since 2017.

He will succeed 70-year-old Rodolfo Diamante, who is retiring after more than four decades in prison ministry, and nearly 30 years in the role of executive secretary.

With his vast experience, Diamante says that it’s “very timely” that his successor is an exorcist, “with the evils that the prison ministry is facing.”

Father Lirio has already been working in prison ministry for nearly 20 years.

The Church has 86 units of volunteers serving the 182,000 inmates scattered throughout various prisons.

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