Vatican denies video footage shows pope exorcism

The Vatican on Tuesday denied that Pope Francis had performed an exorcism after an Italian religious television channel said footage of the pontiff blessing a boy in a wheelchair showed he had.

"The Holy Father did not intend to perform any exorcism," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said in a statement, after the claims by TV 2000, which is owned by the Italian bishops' conference.

"As he often does with sick and suffering people who are presented to him, he simply intended to pray for the suffering person," Lombardi said.

The channel quoted exorcists saying there was "no doubt the pope was either reciting a prayer for freeing from the devil or performing an exorcism."

The footage recorded by Vatican television shows the pontiff briefly laying both hands on the boy's head on the sidelines of a Pentecost ceremony on Sunday.

The boy is seen shaking opening his mouth as if screaming for a few seconds.

TV 2000 director Dino Boffo issued an apology on Tuesday, saying "I unconsciously gave the go ahead for the publication of a piece of news that was true but only partly so, because the Pope denies having performed an exorcism."

The Vatican's former chief exorcist Gabriele Amorth said Sunday that Francis' act "was an exorcism alright and if Father Lombardi denies this, he clearly does not have a clue."

"That was a real exorcism and what is more, the boy the pope exorcised came to me today," Amorth said in a radio interview quoted in La Stampa daily's Vatican Insider insert.

"His name is Angelo and he is possessed by four demons. I performed a long exorcism on him," he added.

Amorth insisted that the pope's gesture "does qualify as an exorcism because an exorcism is also performed by placing one's hands on a person's head and praying, without resorting to written exorcisms."

TV2000, which has previously aired claims that the pope's predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI also exorcised the devil, is to broadcast a special programme on Friday devoted to "the pope's struggle against the devil and his seductions".

Exorcism is an ancient practice of driving out demons from a person or place, and exists in several religions including in Roman Catholicism, where it is treated with huge scepticism by many believers.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

  • China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral
    China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral

    China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top US Navy admiral told US lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of …

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts
    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. …

  • Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR
    Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR

    Malacañang is leaving it up to Congress and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to consider a proposed special tax exemption for boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in his much-awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday it will have to be discussed by Congress because lawmakers are the ones who enact tax exemptions, special or general. Pacquiao has been dogged by unsettled tax obligations with the BIR. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options