Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 22nd 2013 Contents A43
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
SALE BY MORTGAGEE
1. The property is being sold "as is" without any
responsibility of the vendor to provide statutory
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for use for any purpose.
2. The property is being sold subject to any existing
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Pursuant to Regulation 49 of the Public Service
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the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the Public
Service Commission proposes to declare Mr. Lester
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The Public Service Commission is inviting Mr. Julien
to submit to the Service Commissions Department
within fourteen (14) days of publication of this notice,
any representations he wishes to make in the matter.
Director of Personnel Administration
VATICAN CITY---Is Pope Francis an exor-
The question has bubbled up ever since
Francis laid his hands on the head of a young
man in a wheelchair after celebrating Sunday
Mass in St Peter s Square. The young man
heaved deeply a half-dozen times, shook,
then slumped in his wheelchair as Francis
prayed over him.
The television station of the Italian bish-
ops conference reported Monday that it
had surveyed exorcists, who agreed there
was "no doubt" that Francis either per-
formed an exorcism or a prayer to free the
man from the devil.
The Vatican was more cautious. In a state-
ment yesterday, it said 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 suf-
fering who was presented to him."
Fuelling the speculation is Francis obses-
sion with Satan, a frequent subject of his
homilies, and an apparent surge in demand
for exorcisms among the faithful despite
the irreverent treatment the rite often
receives from Hollywood.
Who can forget the green vomit and the
spinning head of the possessed girl in the
1973 cult film classic The Exorcist?
In his very first homily as pope on March
14, Francis warned cardinals gathered in the
Sistine Chapel the day after he was elected
that "he who doesn t pray to the Lord prays
to the devil."
He has since mentioned the devil on a
handful of occasions, most recently in a
May 4 homily when in his morning Mass
in the Vatican hotel chapel he spoke of the
need for dialogue---except with Satan.
"With the prince of this world you can t
have dialogue: Let this be clear!" he warned.
Experts said Francis frequent invocation
of the devil is a reflection both of his Jesuit
spirituality and his Latin American roots,
as well as a reflection of a Catholic Church
weakened by secularisation.
"The devil s influence and presence in the world
seems to fluctuate in quantity inversely proportionate
to the presence of Christian faith," said the Rev
Robert Gahl, a moral theologian at Rome s Pontifical
Holy Cross University. "So, one would expect an
upswing in his malicious activity in the wake of de-
Christianisation and secularisation" in the world and
a surge in things like drug use, pornography and
In recent years, Rome s pontifical universities have
hosted several courses for would-be exorcists on the
rite, updated in 1998 and contained in a little red
leather-bound booklet. The rite is relatively brief,
consisting of blessings with holy water, prayers and
an interrogation of the devil in which the exorcist
demands to know the devil s name and when it will
leave the possessed person.
Only a priest authorised by a bishop can perform
an exorcism, and canon law specifies that the exorcist
must be "endowed with piety, knowledge, prudence
and integrity of life."
While belief in the devil is consistent with church
teaching, the Holy See does urge prudence, particularly
to ensure that the afflicted person isn t merely psy-
The Rev Giulio Maspero, a Rome-based systematic
theologian who has witnessed or participated in
more than a dozen exorcisms, says he s fairly certain
that Francis prayer on Sunday was either a full-
fledged exorcism or a more simple prayer to "liberate"
the young man from demonic possession.
He noted that the placement of the pope s hands
on the man s head was the "typical position" for an
exorcist to use.
"When you witness something like that---for me
it was shocking---I could feel the power of prayer,"
he said in a phone interview, speaking of his own
Sunday also happened to be the Pentacost, when
the faithful believe Jesus apostles received the fullness
of the Holy Spirit, and Maspero noted the symbol-
"The Holy Spirit is connected to the exorcism
because ... it is the manifestation of how God is
present among us and in our world," he said.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev Federico Lom-
bardi, sought to tamper speculation that what
occurred was a full-fledged exorcism. While he didn t
deny it outright---he said Francis hadn t "intended"
to perform one---he stressed that the intention of
the person praying is quite important.
Late Tuesday, the director of TV2000, the television
of the Italian bishops conference, went on the air
to apologise for the earlier report.
"I don t want to attribute to him a gesture that
he didn t intend to perform," said the director, Dino
That said, Francis actions and attitude toward
the devil are not new: As archbishop of Buenos Aires,
the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio frequently
spoke about the devil in our midst. In the book
"Heaven and Earth," Bergoglio devoted the second
chapter to The Devil and said in no uncertain terms
that he believes in the devil and that Satan s fruits
are "destruction, division, hatred and calumny."
"Perhaps its greatest success in these times has
been to make us think that it doesn t exist, that
everything can be traced to a purely human plan,"
Italian newspapers noted that the late Pope John
Paul II performed an exorcism in 1982---near the
same spot where Francis prayed over the young dis-
abled man Sunday.
The pope and the devil:
Is Francis an exorcist?
In this image made from video provided by APTN, Pope Francis lays his hands on the head
of a young man on Sunday after celebrating Mass in St. Peter's Square. AP PHOTO
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