We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $24,045 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

That impromptu exorcism again

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | May 22, 2013

Yesterday I remarked on the apparent inability of some Vatican reporters to distinguish between an exorcism and a blessing. Only later did I come across this priceless headline in the English tabloid, The Sun:

Exorcism? Pope Francis caught on video performing strange ritual on fan

Exorcism might fairly be called a “strange” ritual, in the sense that it is unfamiliar to most people. But again, what the photos actually show is not a strange ritual but a simple blessing.

Maybe the Pope was praying that the afflicted young man might be freed from some sort of spiritual bondage. We don’t know. But look at the faces of the other people in the photos. Do they look as if they’re experiencing something extraordinary? No.

Pumping drama into the story, the Sun reports: “The Pontiff then grips the top of the subject’s head firmly and is seen pushing him down into his wheelchair.” Take another good look at the photo. Is that how you would stand, if you wanted leverage so that you could push down firmly? No.

One more thing. Notice that in that Sun headline, the young man in the wheelchair is identified as a “fan”—as if the Pope is a pop star, and a papal audience is a performance akin to a concert or a ballgame. But if a reporter or headline-writer turned in such a clueless description of a concert or a ballgame, even at the Sun the editor would laugh out loud.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($24,045 to go):
$25,400.00 $1,355.00
95% 5%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines 24 hours ago
A More Militant Church? 24 hours ago
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24
Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot April 24
With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice? April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21