‘Pope Francis did not intend to perform an exorcism’

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Did the Pope perform an exorcism? Yes. No. Or…

Did Pope Francis Perform An Exorcism?

Yes, says a journalist for TV2000, a channel owned by the Italian Episcopal Conference.

No, says the Vatican.

Well, at least, “The Holy Father did not intend to perform any exorcism,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

The Way of St. James

The Way of St. James (Spanish: El Camino de Santiago, El Camino, Galician: O Camiño de Santiago, Ruta Xacobea) is one of the most important Christian pilgrimages, with Santiago de Compostela, Spain, as the final destination.

Last year alone the 1,200-year old route attracted some 200,000 trekkers. But now, NPR says, what was once a strictly religious affair has become a cultural and social phenomenon that attracts the nonreligious as well.


Last month NPR interviewed David Downie, author of Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James.

Unfortunately neither the interview nor the article provides much information regarding the number of nonreligious who take the long hike — or insight into what motivates them to do so.

Incidentally, comments from reviewers of Downie’s book at Amazon.com state that the author did not actually walk from Paris, but instead “walked from the Tour Saint Jacques to the Peripatique, took a train to Vezelay, walked from there to Macon, and gave us a short summary of his walk from Le-Puy-en-Velay to Roncesvalles.”

One reviewer notes, “He rushes through the most popular 440 miles in an epilogue, spending most of that talking about his climb over the Pyrenees. Very well-written but very disappointing.”

If you’re interested in walking the 800-kilometer (500-mile) journey, visit the Camino de Santiago Commmunity: Where past pilgrims share and future pilgrims learn. See also A Medieval Pilgrimage in Modern Times by travel writer Rick Steves.

Those who have walked the route praise the movie The Way (2011), with Emilio Estevez ad Martin Sheen.

Here’s one man’s documentary of his own journey along The Way of St James:

Lord’s Resistance Army

The Lord’s Resistance Army, an African terrorist group led by ‘mystic’ Joseph Kony has killed more than 100,000 people during a reign of terror in Central Africa over the past 25 years, UN leader Ban Ki-moon said Monday.

The groups “is also blamed for the abduction of between 60,000 and 100,000 children and the displacement of 2.5 million people.”

RNB’s Religion Links

  • Supreme Court Takes Case On Prayer At Government Meetings: A challenge to the way a western New York State town board has had prayers read before its public meetings has made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • How religions change their mind: Once upon a time, animal sacrifice was an important part of Hindu life, Catholic priests weren’t celibate and visual depictions of the Prophet Muhammad were part of Islamic art. And soon some churches in the UK may be marrying gay couples. How do religions manage to change their mind?

Religion News Briefs may be updated several times a day.

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This post was last updated: Aug. 27, 2013