Believing that their predominantly Roman Catholic nation is at the mercy of demons, priests from all over Mexico gathered in the cathedral of San Luis Potosí last month to perform exorcism rites to expel the demons, the first time such ritual was done for an entire country.
"The exorcism performed in San Luís Potosí is the first ever carried out in Mexico in which the exorcists came from different parts of the country and gathered together to exorcise the powers of darkness, not from a person, but from the whole country," said Spanish demonologist and exorcist Father José Antonio Fortea, who participated in the exorcism, the Catholic News Agency reported.
"This rite of exorcism, beautiful and liturgical, had never before taken place in any part of the world, although it had taken place in a private manner as when Saint Francis (exorcised) the Italian city of Arezzo," he added.
Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, the archbishop emeritus of Guadalajara, led the closed-door ceremony.
The exorcism was performed amid soaring levels of violence in the country with deep Christian roots where drug cartels continue to hold sway and where abortion is widespread—conditions that the Mexican religious leaders believe were the handiwork of demons.
"To the extent there is more witchcraft and Satanism going on in a country, to that extent there will be more extraordinary manifestations of those powers of darkness," Fortea said. "To the extent sin increases more and more in a country, to that extent it becomes easier for the demons to tempt (people)."
The Spanish exorcist cautioned, however, that the demons could not be expected to be driven away with just a single ceremony.
"It would be a big mistake to think that by performing a full-scale exorcism of the country everything would automatically change right away," Fortea said.
He emphasized, however, that "if with the power we've received from Christ we expel the demons from a country, this will certainly have positive repercussions, because we'll make a great number of the tempters flee, even if this exorcism is partial."
"We don't drive out all the evil spirits from a country with just one ceremony. But even though all will not be expelled, those that were removed are not there anymore," he said.
The exorcism was performed just before Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice voted to legalise same-sex marriage throughout the country, according to Buzzfeed.
Before the Supreme Court issued the landmark ruling on June 3, some states in Mexico were able to stop same-sex marriage based on their own civil codes that establish the basic principle that marriage is aimed at procreation.
With the recent ruling made by the Supreme Court of Justice, states will no longer be able to resort to those codes to ban same-sex marriage.
"The direct effect of this ruling is that a single judge cannot put a ban on same-sex marriages," a court official said.