Vatican spokesman says Francis did not perform exorcism

Pope's blessing on Pentecost Sunday was for suffering man

Vatican spokesman says Francis did not perform exorcism

Rome, May 21 - A blessing by Pope Francis of an ill man on St Peter's Square following mass on Pentecost Sunday that experts said appeared to be an exorcism was "simple a prayer for a suffering person," Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. According to a panel of clergy specialized in exorcism speaking on the religious satellite channel TV2000's program Vade Retro broadcast Monday, images appeared to show the pontiff placing his hands on a man's head and reciting a prayer to liberate the him from demons. TV2000 is the television channel of the Italian Bishops Conference. Late Monday evening, Lombardi released a statement that the pope "did not intend to perform an exorcism".

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