Tags: Pope Francis | Religion | Pope Francis | encourages | exorcisms | devil | Satan

Report: Pope Francis Encourages Rise in Exorcisms

By    |   Monday, 13 Apr 2015 05:44 PM

A new report says Pope Francis is playing a role in an increased number of exorcisms being performed worldwide.

According to The Telegraph, Francis' repeated references to the devil have spurred a rebirth of the practice that removes demons from people's souls through intense prayer.

The Vatican has also endorsed an exorcism conference taking place in Rome this week, which is hosting about 160 Catholic priests, according to The Telegraph.

Pope Francis, whose papacy began two years ago, has made a habit of referencing the devil in his remarks. He linked Satan to Mexico's drug problem over the winter, and has said in the past that the devil is trying to destroy the family.

"Pope Francis talks about the devil all the time, and that has certainly raised awareness about exorcisms," the Rev. Cesare Truqui, a Mexican priest trained as an exorcist, told The Telegraph. "But all Latin Americans have this sensibility — for them, the existence of the devil is part of their faith."

In early 2014, it was reported that the Catholic Church was training more priests in how to perform exorcisms, particularly in Italy and Spain. The Telegraph report says there are now 12 priests trained in the practice in Milan, Italy, and 10 in Rome.

"Until a few years ago, a significant number of people in the church didn't believe in the devil, but people are now going back to the Scriptures," an unnamed British exorcist priest told The Telegraph.

"Pope Francis has given a certain amount of encouragement to that. A few years ago, at least half the dioceses in England and Wales did not have an exorcist. Now, pretty much all of them do."

Truqui told the British paper that one-third of telephone calls made to the Diocese of Rome are related to exorcisms.

Two years ago, after Francis became Pope, he was suspected of performing an exorcism in the middle of St. Peter's Square after saying Sunday Mass. He placed his hands on a young boy's head and said a prayer, to which the boy responded by heaving deeply several times and shaking before slumping back into his wheelchair.

The Vatican, however, played down the incident, saying Francis simply said a prayer for a boy "who was suffering."

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A new report says Pope Francis is playing a role in an increased number of exorcisms performed worldwide. According to The Telegraph, Francis' repeated references to the devil have spurred a rebirth of the practice that removes demons from people's souls through prayer.
Pope Francis, encourages, exorcisms, devil, Satan, priests, trained, exorcists, Vatican
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Monday, 13 Apr 2015 05:44 PM
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