This morning, over my third cup of coffee, I came across this report, in the Catholic Herald, about the alleged exorcism performed by Pope Benedict XVI in St Peter’s Square. According to Fr. Gabriele Amorth, “when the Pope blessed the men, they ‘flew three metres backwards’ and ‘howled no longer’.”
In response to the allegation by Fr. Amorth, “Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, denied that the Pope had performed an exorcism. ‘Even if the facts are true, it’s not correct to talk about an exorcism by the Pope, who was not warned or aware of their presence,’ he said.”
I really am not sure what to make of this. I do believe that, just as the women was healed when she reached out an touched our Lord’s cloak from amongst the crowd, that it is also possible that someone could be healed, by God, when they come into the presence of a holy person like the pope.
My gut feel however is that this claim, by Fr. Amorth, may be more about sensationalism and marketing, than about the truth. Why? Well it seems to me that all this claim has done is focus attention on Fr. Amorth and his new book. My common sense leads me to believe that the true test must always be to ask if the event points to and leads people to God? If not, it is probably of man and not of God.
I could be wrong. What do you think?