The Pope has been captured on film performing an apparent exorcism.

Footage taken in St Peter’s Square purports to show Pope Francis carrying out a ritual to liberate a young man from demons.

The disabled man went into a frenzy of convulsions and shook, then slumped as Francis prayed over him.

Watch the ‘exorcism’ below

 
A priest leans as he talks to Pope Francis following the mass in St Peter's Square

A priest leans as he talks to Pope Francis following the mass in St Peter’s Square

 

 
The Pontiff then places his hands on the boy's head and prays intensely

The Pontiff then places his hands on the boy’s head and prays intensely

 

The Pontiff was introduced to two men in wheelchairs after Pentecostal mass on Sunday. When a priest leaned across to tell Francis something, the Pope’s expression took on a serious tone.

Francis then took hold of the top of the man’s head firmly, pushing him down into his wheelchair. As he delivered an intense prayer, the man’s mouth dropped open and he heaved deeply half a dozen times, visibly shaking.

After the ritual Francis continued with his usual meetings with the sick who come to St Peter’s.

Experts said the footage broadcast on the religious satellite channel TV2000’s programme Vade Retro, shows the Pontiff reciting a prayer to drive evil spirits from the body.

Fuelling the speculation is Francis’ obsession with the devil, a frequent subject of his homilies.

The Vatican downplayed the incident. Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the Pope ‘did not intend to perform an exorcism’ but a ‘prayer for a suffering person’.

The former Pope, Benedict XVI, never officially performed an exorcism but John Paul II is known to have carried out at least three exorcisms during his tenure.

 
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