Pope Francis did not perform an exorcism when he prayed over a young disabled man in St. Peter‚Äôs Square on Pentecost Sunday, according to the Vatican‚Äôs spokesman.
‚ÄúThe Pope had no intention of doing an exorcism, so it is absolutely false that this has been done. He simply prayed for the sick person,‚ÄĚ Vatican press office director Father Federico Lombardi told CNA May 21.
The idea that Pope Francis performed an exorcism was fueled by a video posted online by channel TV2000, which is overseen by the Italian bishops‚Äô conference....
Newsmax wrote: .... In recent years, Rome's pontifical universities have hosted several courses for would-be exorcists on the rite, updated in 1998 and contained in a little red leather-bound booklet. The rite is relatively brief, consisting of blessings with holy water, prayers and an interrogation of the devil in which the exorcist demands to know the devil's name and when it will leave the possessed person.
Only a priest authorized by a bishop can perform an exorcism, and canon law specifies that the exorcist must be "endowed with piety, knowledge, prudence and integrity."
When there's no news, the media just makes up stories. This one follows the classic template of speculating that something happened, getting outside sources to comment that it could have happened, getting the people involved to deny that it happened, and running it as a story.