Exorcist group approved by Vatican

Pope Francis arrives to lead a mass in Sibari, southern Italy, June 21, 2014. REUTERS/Giampiero...

Pope Francis arrives to lead a mass in Sibari, southern Italy, June 21, 2014. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:25 PM ET

A group called the International Association of Exorcists has been formally recognized by the Vatican.

Consisting of 250 priests in 30 countries, the association's approval gives members legal authority to perform exorcisms, the Vatican's daily newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, reported Tuesday.

"Exorcism is a form of charity that benefits those who suffer," the head of the International Association of Exorcists, Rev. Frances Bamonte, told the paper.

Pope Francis, more than his recent predecessors, has not be shy about personifying Satan and evil.

Last year, video footage showed the Pope laying his hands on a boy and saying a prayer before the boy quickly slumped. At the time, experts said it appeared to be a prayer of liberation from the devil.


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