RELIGION

May 21, 2013 4:58 PM by AP(PHOTO COURTESY: MGN ONLINE)

The pope and the devil: Is Francis an exorcist?

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis' obsession with the devil has taken on remarkable new twists, with a well-known exorcist insisting Francis helped "liberate" a Mexican man from four different demons, despite the Vatican's insistence that no such papal exorcism took place.

The Rev. Gabriele Amorth, an exorcist for the diocese of Rome, said he performed an exorcism of his own on the man Tuesday. He said the demonic possession was related to the legalization of abortion in Mexico City.

Images of Francis laying his hands on the head of a young man in a wheelchair in St. Peter's Square on Sunday have raised speculation that he may have performed an exorcism. The man heaved deeply a half-dozen times, shook, then slumped in his wheelchair.

The Vatican insists the pope didn't intend to perform an exorcism.

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