Palermo, Italy

The Week Middle East - - News -

Ex­or­cists ac­cused of abuse: Po­lice in the Si­cil­ian cap­i­tal, Palermo, have ar­rested a Catholic priest on sus­pi­cion of us­ing ex­or­cism ses­sions as a cover for sex­u­ally abus­ing women and girls. Father Sal­va­tore Anello, 59, who was the chap­lain at the city’s Civic Hospi­tal, is ac­cused of abus­ing four women and a 12-year-old girl dur­ing “heal­ing ser­vices” aimed at lib­er­at­ing them from pos­ses­sion by the devil, or help­ing them re­cover from ill­ness. Anello, who was not au­tho­rised to per­form ex­or­cisms, was de­tained by po­lice in­ves­ti­gat­ing an army colonel, Sal­va­tore Mu­ra­tore, who has also been ar­rested for mo­lest­ing women dur­ing unau­tho­rised ex­or­cisms. When women protested at be­ing touched in­ti­mately, Mu­ra­tore, 52, is said to have re­sponded that he was “just sum­mon­ing the de­mon of lust in or­der to cast it out”. Both men are be­ing held in cus­tody while in­ves­ti­ga­tions con­tinue.

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