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Gabriele Amorth

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Gabriele Amorth (born May 1, 1925) is an Italian Roman Catholic priest and an exorcist of the Diocese of Rome.

Early life and work

Amorth was born in Modena, Emilia. He was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest in 1954 and became an official exorcist in June 1986 under the tutelage of Candido Amantini.[1] He is a member of the Society of St. Paul, the Congregation founded by James Alberione in 1914.[2]

In 1990, he founded the International Association of Exorcists and was president until he retired, at 75, in the year 2000. He is now honorary president for life of the association.[2]

Publication

Amorth authored two books specifically on exorcism. The two books An Exorcist Tells His Story and An Exorcist: More Stories are not official Roman Catholic documents, rather personal accounts of his office as Exorcist. The books use witness accounts and personal experience as evidence.

Views

The two books An Exorcist Tells His Story and An Exorcist: More Stories include references to official Roman Catholic teachings on Demonology,[3] however the main emphasis is on Amorth's experience as an exorcist[4]. Both include references to the diagnosis and treatment of spiritual problems. The books briefly cover the topics of demonic contraction and curses.[5] On curses he states that, "A curse can originate from such things as maledictions by close relatives, a habit of blaspheming, membership in Freemasonry, spiritic or magic practices, and so on."[6]

He is somewhat noted for his opinions including, his claim of having performed over 50,000 exorcisms (which range from "a few minutes" to "several hours"[7]) meaning he averaged close to ten exorcisms per day during his career up to the year 2000, that the senior officials of the Nazi Party were actively involved with Satanism and that both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were possessed.[8] He attributes the number of exorcisms performed to his opinion that "People have lost the Faith, and superstition, magic, Satanism, or Ouija boards have taken its place, which then open all the doors to the presence of demons."[9]

It was in an interview with the London Sunday Telegraph that Father Gabriele Amorth stressed that "People need to know what we do."[7] Father Amorth was also one of the voices that made public warnings to parents about J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels, noting that the books attempt to make a false distinction between black and white magic, when in fact, the distinction "does not exist, because magic is always a turn to the devil." [10]

He said that the new rite of exorcism is "a farce. An incredible obstacle that is likely to prevent us from acting against the demon." He observes that the new exorcism rite forbids exorcisms on people who have been reportedly subjected to evil spells. Fr. Amorth exclaimed, "Absurd. Evil spells are by far the most frequent causes of possessions and evil procured through the demon: at least 90% of cases. It is as good as telling exorcists they can no longer perform exorcisms." He also noted that it also "solemnly declares that one should not carry out exorcisms if one is not certain of the presence of the devil. He considers the new rite "a blunt weapon. Efficacious prayers, prayers that had been in existence for twelve centuries, were suppressed and replaced by new ineffective prayers."[11]

A recent announcement attributed to Gabriele Amorth to the online Catholic news service Petrus hailed the formation of adjuristine-exorcism squads by Pope Benedict XVI. The report, which was picked up by the UK newspaper the Daily Mail[12] on December 29, 2007, originally appeared on Petrus and claimed the squads were being dispatched worldwide to "tackle the rise of Satanism". Vatican officials immediately dismissed the reports but it was an unusual instance where the existence of adjurist and adjuristine activity was acknowledged in the press.

Amorth's favorite film is The Exorcist. He thinks that it is substantially exact and based on a true story, although the special effects are exaggerated. He thinks that people should see it so that they would "know what we do".[13]

Bibliography

References

  1. An Exorcist: More Stories, Gabriele Amorth, Ignatius Press, 2000, page 9
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Exorcist, Renzo Allegri, A Messenger of St. Anthony
  3. CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Demonology
  4. Catholic Encyclopedia: Exorcist
  5. An Exorcist: More Stories, Gabriele Amorth, Ignatius Press, 2000.
  6. An Exorcist: More Stories, Gabriele Amorth, Ignatius Press, 2000, page 115.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Brandreth, Gyles (2000-10-29). "An Interview With Fr Gabriele Amorth". The Sunday Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2004-11-06. http://web.archive.org/web/20041106024653/http://www.catholic-exorcism.org/pages/suntelegraph/suntelegraph.html. Retrieved 2006-09-13. 
  8. "Hitler and Stalin were possessed by Devil, says Vatican exorcist". Daily Mail. 2006-09-28. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=402602&in_page_id=1770&ct=5. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  9. National Catholic Register, Vatican exorcist: Hitler Knew the Devil, Edward Pentin, October 26, 2006.
  10. "Rome's chief exorcist warns parents against Harry Potter". Catholic Telecommunications. 2000-01-04. 
  11. These Last Days Ministries, "World's most famous exorcist says: New rite of exorcism a blunt weapon"
  12. Pope's exorcist squads will wage war on Satan | the Daily Mail
  13. Gyles Brandreth: An Interview With Father Gabriele Amorth. The Sunday Telegraph, 29.10.2000.

Further reading

fi:Gabriele Amorth

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