facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Vatican: Pope did not perform exorcism after Pentecost mass

May 21, 2013 at 3:17 PM   |   Comments

VATICAN CITY, May 21 (UPI) -- Pope Francis did not perform an exorcism on a young man in a wheelchair who attended mass at the Vatican on Pentecost, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi, in a statement on Vatican Radio, said the pope simply gave the man a blessing. Lombardi heads the Vatican press office.

Speculation about an exorcism arose after the pope, at the end of mass Sunday, laid his hands on the man's head and prayed. A panel of clergy specializing in exorcism, speaking on the Italian Bishops Conference's TV2000 satellite television channel's "Vade Retro" program Monday, said it appeared the pope recited a prayer to liberate the man from demons, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Sunday was Pentecost, the day celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles.

"The Holy Father did not intend to perform any exorcism," Lombardi said. "Rather, as he frequently does with the sick and the suffering who come his way, he intended [to] simply pray for a suffering person who had been brought before him."

The Rev. Bernd Hagenkord, head of Vatican Radio's German section, said exorcism is a precise ritual that is performed very rarely. He said most cases of apparent demonic possession are actually mental illness.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Pope Francis condemns 'hostile inflexibility' within the church Pope Francis condemns 'hostile inflexibility' within the church
2
Elizabeth Warren continues chanting: 'The game is rigged' Elizabeth Warren continues chanting: 'The game is rigged'
3
Eric Frein manhunt refocuses after possible sighting Eric Frein manhunt refocuses after possible sighting
4
Sweden continues search for suspected Russian submarine Sweden continues search for suspected Russian submarine
5
Early completion of refit of Italian aircraft carrier Early completion of refit of Italian aircraft carrier
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback