A video (below) has surfaced of Pope Francis appearing to perform an exorcism on an unidentified man in St Peter’s Square after a Pentecostal mass.
In the video, an unidentified priest appears to be telling Pope Francis about the man who is in a wheelchair.
Pope Francis places his hands on the man’s head and pushes down on him, while reciting a prayer. The man appears to be making strange sounds.
Seconds later, the man seems relaxed and Pope Francis moves onto the next person in line.
According to ABC News, the Vatican released a statement which said Pope Francis "didn't intend to perform any exorcism. But as he often does for the sick or suffering, he simply intended to pray for someone who was suffering who was presented to him."
Rev. Giulio Maspero, a Rome-based theologian, told ABC News that he's pretty sure that Pope Francis' prayer on Sunday was either an exorcism or a prayer to "liberate" the man from demonic possession.
Rev. Maspero based his opinion on the position of Pope Francis' hands on the man's head, which Rev. Maspero says is the "typical position" for an exorcism.
In 1999, the Vatican released a document in which Pope John Paul II recognized the existence of demons and the act of exorcism, reported CatholicCulture.org.
Sources: ABC News and CatholicCulture.org;