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Pope Francis, Accidental Exorcist

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Pope Francis apparently and accidentally just performed an exorcism. “Francis laid his hands Sunday on the head of a young man after celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Square. The young man heaved deeply a half-dozen times, shook, and he then slumped in his wheelchair as Francis prayed over him,” the AP, via Talking Points Memo, reports today, adding, “the late Pope John Paul II performed an exorcism in 1982 — near the same spot where Francis prayed over the young disabled man on Sunday.”

The television station of the Italian bishops’ conference said it had surveyed exorcists, who agreed there was “no doubt” that Francis either performed an exorcism or a prayer to free the man from the devil.

The Vatican was more cautious Tuesday. In a statement, 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 suffering who was presented to him.”

Fueling the speculation is Francis’ obsession 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.

The Rev. Giulio Maspero, a Rome-based systematic theologian who has witnessed or participated in more than a dozen exorcisms, says he’s certain that Francis’ prayer on Sunday was either a full-fledged exorcism or a prayer to “liberate” the young man from a 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 experiences.

Maspero said it was particularly symbolic that Francis’ purported exorcism occurred on Pentecost, an important feast day for the church when the faithful believe Jesus’ apostles received the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

“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.

While the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, sought to tamper suggestions that what occurred was a full-fledged exorcism, he didn’t deny it either, saying merely that Francis hadn’t “intended” to perform one.

 

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‘I Will Not Stand by Silently’: Sotomayor Blasts SCOTUS Conservatives Over Their Latest Attack on Abortion Rights

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“The Court may look the other way, but I cannot.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor expressed outrage at her conservative Supreme Court colleagues Thursday afternoon, after the six right wing jurists went one step further in attacking the constitutional guarantee of abortion.

Voting 6-3 against a women’s health care provider the Court denied a request by Texas Women’s Health, which provides abortion services, to change jurisdictions, which according to Justice Sotomayor the Court should have done.

“The lawsuit is now stalled with the Texas Supreme Court,” Rewire News reports.

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, a Supreme Court expert calls Sotomayor’s dissent “stunning.”

“This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies,” Sotomayor writes. “I will not stand by silently as a State continues to nullify this constitutional guarantee. I dissent.”

She begins her dissent by explaining the case:

“It has been over four months since Texas Senate Bill 8 (S. B. 8) took effect. The law immediately devastated access to abortion care in Texas through a complicated private-bounty-hunter scheme that violates nearly 50 years of this Court’s precedents.”

“Today, for the fourth time, this Court declines to protect pregnant Texans from egregious violations of their constitutional rights. One month after directing that the petitioners’ suit could proceed in part, the Court countenances yet another violation of its own commands. Instead of stopping a Fifth Circuit panel from indulging Texas’ newest delay tactics, the Court allows the State yet again to extend the deprivation of the federal constitutional rights of its citizens through procedural manipulation. The Court may look the other way, but I cannot.”

In response the Guttmacher Institute, an organization focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights, accused the Supreme Court of “once again putting ideology over the rule of law.”

 

Image via Shutterstock

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Ivanka Trump Responds to Committee’s Invite by Saying She Called for End to Violence – Leaves Out ‘Patriots’ Part

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Ivanka Trump is responding to her invitation from the January 6 Committee by issuing a statement that is being seen suggesting she has no intention of accepting. Earlier Thursday the Committee sent the former First Daughter and White House senior advisor a lengthy 11-page letter asking for her voluntary cooperation.

A statement from her spokesperson given to CNN White House Correspondent Kate Bennett references a tweet posted by Ivanka Trump the day of the attack on the Capitol – a tweet she was forced to delete after massive outrage.

“As the Committee already knows, Ivanka did not speak at the January 6 rally,” the statement reads. “As she publicly stated at 3:15pm, ‘any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable. The violence must stop immediately.”

But in the actual Ivanka Trump called the insurrectionists “American Patriots,” as CNN reported that day:

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Georgia Prosecutor Asks to Convene Special Grand Jury to Investigate Donald Trump’s Alleged Election Interference

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A Georgia county district attorney has requested to convene a special grand jury to assist in her investigation of Donald Trump‘s alleged election interference.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in a letter to the county’s Superior Court chief judge writes that her office “has received information indicating a reasonable probability that the State of Georgia’s administration of elections in 2020, including the State’s election of the President of the United States, was subject to possible criminal disruptions,” according to the Associated Press.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (photo) was forced to release audio of then-President Trump appearing to intimidate him into fixing the election in his favor.

Trump, in the audio, can be heard berating and threatening the Republican Secretary of State, demanding he “recalculate” the losing election results and “find 11,780 votes” for him, which would have enabled Trump to falsely be declared the winner. Raffensberger refused.

“So look. All I want to do is this,” Trump told Raffensberger. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”

“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” he added, falsely. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”

Willis told the AP the scope of her investigation “includes — but is not limited to — a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a November 2020 phone call between U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Raffensperger, the abrupt resignation of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta on Jan. 4, 2021, and comments made during December 2020 Georgia legislative committee hearings on the election.”

 

 

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