The world-renowned exorcist, Pauline Father Gabriele Amorth, who
died this past September, has left his wisdom and experience in dealing with
evil forces through this lucid and insightful compendium gleaned from
interviews published in Credere magazine over the
past few years.
Father Amorth founded the International Association of Exorcists
and performed tens of thousands of exorcisms in his life. He is refreshingly
direct throughout the book and doesn't mince words when it comes to the reality
of the demonic, evil spirits and Satan.
In addition, his writing conveys a sense of comfort and hope for
those suffering from physical and spiritual ailments such as possession,
vexation, obsession and infestation, all believed to stem from demonic forces.
Father Amorth attributes the rise on demonic activity to the
decline in faith in God. "When faith in God declines, idolatry and
irrationality increase; man must then look elsewhere for answers to his
meaningful questions," he writes. The principle of total and complete
liberty apart from God and the denial of truth itself are indeed seductive in
appearance but ultimately fail to satisfy the "desires of the human
Young people in particular, he states, "are easily deluded
and are attracted to these 'seductions' which has been the desire of Satan
since the beginning." Extreme danger arises when these demonic spirits are
invited into a person's life and Father Amorth goes into detail on specific
cases he has personally encountered.
While we are all victims of seductions or temptations, not
everyone is a victim of what the late priest calls an "extraordinary
action of Satan." Nor are extraordinary actions of Satan or evil spirits
the fault of those who are victim of these attacks, he affirms.
However, there are an incredible amount of people who declare
their allegiance to Satan, the "father of lies." The casting of
spells and "infestations of the demonic" are in fact a reality and
chronicled in this book.
In chapter three, "The Cult of Satan and Its
Manifestations," topics such as spiritism, Satanism, occultism, wizards,
fortunetellers, magic, piercings, tattoos and satanic music are addressed.
He states that the three rules of Satanism are: "You may do
all you wish, no one has the right to command you, and you are the god of
yourself." One doesn't need to be exposed to the satanic heavy metal band
Slayer to see those three elements alive and operating in our culture.
Although "An Exorcist Explains the Demonic" is
profoundly disquieting, Father Amorth reminds readers of God's victory over
Satan and the tools for growing in holiness and fighting evil provided by the
church in the sacraments, sacramentals and prayer. God loves us as a father and
desires to protect us.
The reader will perhaps be surprised by the amount of demonic
activity that Father Amorth records in a matter-of-fact manner and yet always
with the confidence that God is stronger. He recalls invoking with much success
Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Father Amorth also was the exorcist for the Diocese of Rome
during St. John Paul II's pontificate so he has firsthand knowledge of at least
three exorcisms that the pontiff performed in his private chapel. The demons
are recorded as having a special indignation when his memory is invoked because
St. John Paul "ruined their plans." Father Amorth believes the reason
for this is linked to Fatima and to the consecration of the world to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary by St. John Paul March 25, 1984.
The book also relies on Scripture and the Catechism of the
Catholic Church for insights into heaven, hell, purgatory and the rite of
exorcism itself. Father Amorth makes a solid case for the need for many more
exorcists and even suggests that every seminarian be exposed to the work of
exorcism as an essential course of study.
This compendium is a suitable witness to both the man and his
struggle with evil.
Wright is an author and academic dean of evangelization
for the Diocese of Paterson and resides in New Jersey.
Get the book
"An Exorcist Explains the Demonic: The Antics of Satan and His Army of Fallen Angels" by Father Gabriele Amorth with Stefano Stimamiglio. Sophia Institute Press (Manchester, New Hampshire, 2016). 145 pp., $14.95.