Cardinal Juan Sandoval ÃÃ±iguez and Archbishop Emeritus of Guadalajara presided over a mass exorcism held in Mexico, as Spanish Priest Father JosÃ© Antonio conducted the ritual himself.
The â€œPope Francis effectâ€ has been credited with a recent boom in the demand for exorcisms around the world. The Telegraph reported that the appearance of Pope Francis coincided with a surge in the number of people lining up to claim they were possessed by Lucifer or one of his many lieutenants.
â€œThe Argentinian pontiffâ€™s fire-and-brimstone language and frequent references to the Devil have helped propel belief in Beelzebub back into the mainstream of the Catholic Church, where once it was an embarrassment.â€
The Vatican insists demonic possession is very real and under Pope Francis, the Catholic Church has trained more and more priests in the ancient art of how to exorcise a demon.
Although in the past many priests have been called upon to exorcise difficult and challenging demons from possessed individuals, until now, no one in the Catholic Church has been called upon to exorcise an entire country.
The Daily Express reports that several other priests, including Archbishop of San Luis PotosÃ, JesÃºs Carlos Cabrero, and exorcists were involved in the ceremony at the Cathedral of San Luis PotosÃ, in the centre of the country.
The mass exorcism was held in Mexico following Pope Francisâ€™s announcement that the county was being punished â€œby the Devil for its criminal violence.â€
Due to the prevalence of drug gangs in the country, Mexico has one of the highest murder rates in the world.
Archbishop Cabrero said that although the mass exorcism was not a common practice, it was held to banish the great evils that resided in Mexico. [More]