Pope Francis praises exorcism as way ‘to fight against evil’

by WorldTribune Staff, April 26, 2018

Exorcism is an effective way to fight evil and baptism holds the key to being able to perform exorcisms, Pope Francis said on April 25.

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly address in St. Peter’s Square on April 25. / AP

During his weekly address at St. Peter’s Square in Rome, the pope said exorcism is a “way to fight against evil” and “escape from the power of sin.”

Francis noted that those who are baptized are given the power to fight against the devil via exorcism, or self-cleansing through prayer.

The sacrament of baptism “enables those who receive it to fight against the spirit of evil,” Francis said, adding that “all Christian life is a battle.”

“We know from experience that the Christian life is always prone to temptation, especially to the temptation to separate from God, from his will, from communion with him, to fall back into the webs of worldly seductions,” the pope said.

“And baptism prepares and strengthens us for this daily struggle, including the fight against the devil who, as St. Peter says, like a lion, tries to devour and destroy us.”

“It is hard to fight against evil, to escape from its deceits, to take strength again after an exhausting struggle,” Francis said, “but we must know that all Christian life is a combat.”

The pope stressed that adults preparing for baptism are subject to “repeated exorcisms pronounced by the priest. That is, prayers that call for liberation from all that separates from Christ and prevents intimate union with him.”

Baptism “is not a magic formula,” Francis said, “but a gift from the Holy Spirit that empowers those who receive it “to fight against the spirit of evil.”

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