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Cover story

Priest arrested in alleged exorcism

By NCR Staff

A Roman Catholic priest in Mexico was arrested recently after allegedly presiding over an exorcism in which several participants were burned or beaten, according to news reports from Mexico.

Warrants were issued by a Mexican judge Aug. 14 for Fr. Francisco Fuentes for burning a participant with candle wax in an attempt to break demonic possession of her body, according to an Associated Press report.

In an unrelated incident, seven people died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning during an alleged exorcism ritual in the Mexican state of Tlaxcala. The deaths occurred after a local faith healer burned charcoal in an enclosed room in order to heal a young man said to be possessed.

According to the Mexico City newspaper Reforma, Fuentes said that in performing the exorcism he was merely carrying out his duties in the city of Cholula, 65 miles east of Mexico City.

National Catholic Reporter, September 1, 2000