The archbishop of Portland, Oregon, performed the rite of exorcism last week over the city that has been roiled with continuous unrest since the death of George Floyd in May.
Archbishop Alexander Sample, who has served as the archbishop of Portland since 2013, held a Eucharistic procession through the city last weekend and also prayed over it the “Exorcism Against Satan and the Fallen Angels” from the Roman Ritual, according to the Catholic News Agency.
“I wasn’t trying to suggest that I think the city of Portland is possessed,” Sample later explained, according to local CBS affiliate KOIN. “It’s not that at all. It’s just a prayer of blessing prayed by the clergy, especially a bishop, over a community just asking that all the influences of the Evil One be driven away.”
Sample had earlier said in a July 24 message:
There is no better time than in the wake of civil unrest and the eve of the elections to come together in prayer, especially here in Portland. The Catholic Church takes the promotion of unity, and accordingly peace, as belonging to the innermost nature of the Church. For this reason, the Church fosters solidarity among peoples, and calls peoples and nations to sacrifices of advantages of power and wealth for the sake of solidarity of the human family.
This all began over the terrible, tragic killing of a man, and initially the outcry against injustice, against racism, was well-placed, and I have been very supportive of the peaceful demonstrations on behalf of justice and against racism.
But sadly, that’s not what this is about anymore.
Journalist Andy Ngo, who has covered the Portland riots extensively for The Post Millennial, disseminated the exorcism story on Friday, adding, “I’m not religious but many of the people I’ve seen engaging in violence in Portland can only be described as wicked[.]”
I'm not religious but many of the people I've seen engaging in violence in Portland can only be described as wicked:
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) October 24, 2020
Most recently, a “Day of Rage” erupted in Portland on Columbus Day, from which even former Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt were not spared.
Portland’s “Day of Rage” protests, which rampaged through the city, targeting statues of “controversial” historical figures like Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, began with a group looking to “decolonize society” and “abolish colonial systems” that promote racism, according to Oregon Live.
But despite the group’s clear call to action on social media, law enforcement — and Portland mayor Ted Wheeler — say those who perpetrated Sunday night’s violence and destruction may be hard to identify and arrest, even those who broke into the Oregon Historical Museum and stole a priceless artifact (the artifact, at least, has since been recovered, though it sustained considerable damage).
Part of the problem is that more than 100 days on from the start of the Portland unrest, law enforcement, and city government still do not have a handle on who is organizing the demonstrations that often turn into violent and destructive riots.
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