Vatican officials recently acknowledged the involvement of Pope John Paul II in an attempted exorcism at St. Peter’s Basilica. On Sept. 6, during the pope’s weekly appearance, a 19-year-old girl began “screaming insults” toward the pontiff as he moved to bless her. Vatican guards struggled to restrain the girl but, according to witnesses, she possessed “superhuman strength” and violently pushed them away.

As the Secretary-General of Vatican City, Bishop Gianni Danzi, stepped in to subdue the girl with a crucifix, she began “insulting him, uttering disconnected phrases, and speaking in unknown tongues.”

Reluctant to discuss specific details of the episode, the Vatican stated that the pope spent time in prayer with the teenager. Other reports divulged that, “the Pope talked to the girl, exorcised her, and stayed with her for half an hour,” but further revealed “that the Pope’s intervention had only a temporary effect on the girl.”

The girl is said to have been possessed since she was 12 years old. It is said that her demonic affliction was the result of a curse placed on her by someone in vengeance against her parents. She was brought to the pope’s weekly audience by her parents in the hope that a blessing by the pontiff would cast out her demons.

The attempted exorcism is said to have been John Paul’s third in his 22-year papacy.

In the United States added emphasis among Roman Catholics is being employed against purported demon possession. “For the first time in its 160-year history, the Archdiocese of Chicago appointed a full-time exorcist,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported. In New York, the archdiocese claimed a total of 300 cases in the past decade. The Rev. Robert Barron, a Catholic theologian, stated, “I’ve heard that about 95 percent of those who present themselves for exorcisms are not really subjects,” the Chicago daily reported.



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