Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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."