Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, denied reports that Pope Francis performed an exorcism after the Pentecost Mass celebrated in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday.
As customary after public celebrations or general audiences, Pope Francis greeted and blessed the sick. A priest presented a wheelchair bound man to the Holy Father, upon which the Holy Father laid his hands on the man’s head. The young man seemed to be shaking and making strange noise which prompted speculations that an exorcism was performed.
Local Italian religious news channel TV2000 broadcasted the video along with commentary from several exorcists who said that the Holy Father was undoubtedly performing either an exorcism or a prayer of liberation from demonic possession.
“The Holy Father did not intend to perform any exorcism,” Fr. Lombardi told journalists this morning. “As he often does with sick and suffering people who are presented to him, he simply intended to pray for the suffering person.”