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Pope Exorcises Girl

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Pope John Paul II performed an impromptu exorcism on a teenage girl who flew into a possessed rage at the end of an audience in St Peter’s Square on September 6, said the chief exorcist for the Diocese of Rome.

The Rome exorcist, Pauline Father Gabriele Amorth, told Catholic News Service on September 11 that the Pope spent more than half an hour praying over the girl and ordering a demon to leave her, but failed to fully cure her.

The girl, identified as a 19 year-old Italian with a history of possession, was in the front row at the Pope’s weekly general audience. As the Pope prepared to leave, she began screaming incomprehensibly and speaking in a “cavernous voice”, Fr Amorth said.

As security personnel struggled to restrain her “superhuman” efforts to break free, a top Vatican City official, Bishop Gianni Danzi, alerted the Pope. In an area away from the square, the Pope “hugged this poor little girl, tried to console her, and promised that the next day, Thursday morning, he would celebrate his Mass for her”, Fr Amorth said.

Fr Amorth was not present at the papal exorcism, but said he had performed an exorcism on the girl the previous day. He said that after the girl met with the Pope, Bishop Danzi and he performed another exorcism that lasted for two hours. During that exorcism, the priest said, the demon mocked the Pope, saying, “Not even your (Church) head can send me away”.

“From what can be foreseen by us exorcists, it will take years of exorcisms” for the girl to be fully cured, he said. Fr Amorth said the girl has been possessed since she was 12 years old and was sent to him for consultation by the exorcist of the Archdiocese of Milan, who had never dealt with such a severe case.

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