Crime, violence and volatility are so rampant in Mexico that Catholic exorcists and priests reportedly took unprecedented spiritual action last month in an attempt to rid the nation of its purported demons.
Priests quietly held an exorcism ceremony for the entire country on May 20, at the Cathedral of San Luis Potosi in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, according to a Catholic News Agency report.
Known as "exorcismo magno," the rite was reportedly secretly performed in an effort to combat the demonic forces that faith leaders believe are spawning violence, murder and unthinkable acts at the hands of drug cartels.
It was the first time that such a ceremony had been held in Mexico, according to the outlet.
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The event, which was not made known to the public before it unfolded, was presided over by Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, with exorcist Father José Antonio Fortea and Archbishop Jesús Carlos Cabrero of San Luis Potosi also taking part; other faith leaders joined in as well.
Fortea told the Catholic News Agency why he believes that demonic activity can increase inside of a country like Mexico.
"To the extent sin increases more and more in a country, to that extent it becomes easier for the demons to tempt," he said. "To the extent there is more witchcraft and Satanism going on in a country, to that extent there will be more extraordinary manifestations of those powers of darkness."
Fortea, who said he's favorable of the exorcismo mango being performed in countries whenever a gathering of exorcists come together, said that people shouldn't expect the nation to immediately heal, though he believes that some of the evil forces were likely broken.
"We don’t drive out all the evil spirits from a country with just one ceremony," he said. "But even though all will not be expelled, those that were removed are not there anymore."
R. Andrew Chesnut, professor of religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, commented earlier this month on the ritual, calling it an "unprecedented rite" and adding some context to the reason why faith leaders held the secretive event.
"The cadre of exorcists working behind closed doors were not only expelling the demons of narco-violence but also of abortion," Chesbut wrote. "Though it doesn't receive extensive international media coverage, the Church in Mexico has felt besieged since abortion was legalized in Mexico City in 2007."
The professor said that the location for the exorcism might have something to do with the fact that the state of San Luis Potosi was an early opponent of abortion.
This comes after speculation ran rampant in 2013 that Pope Francis had performed an exorcism -- or, at the least, a prayer of deliverance -- on a man in a wheelchair who was brought to him by a priest back in 2013. Chesnut continued:
The exorcism of the demons of abortion was also done on cue from Pope Francis. The Latin America pope surprised many with his impromptu public exorcism of a Mexican parishioner who claimed to be possessed by four different demons of abortion. Catholic journalist Roberto O'Farrill reported the demons possessing the Mexican parishioner as saying "you are all stupid because she (the Virgin Mary) ran us out of Mexico and now you with your stupid laws have allowed sacrifice, human sacrifice, to return to Mexico. We don't want to say this, but she steps on our heads and forces us." O'Farrill, who was the sole journalist permitted to witness the Exorcismo Magno in San Luis Potosi, added that during the recent rite the demons said they had returned to Mexico with a new infestation centered in Mexico City.
Read more of his analysis here.
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