|Died||16 September 2016 (aged 91)|
|Occupation||Exorcist and writer|
Gabriele Amorth S.S.P. (1 May 1925 – 16 September 2016) was an Italian Catholic priest of the Paulines and an exorcist for the Diocese of Rome. Amorth, along with five other priests, founded the International Association of Exorcists. His work in demonology and exorcism gained him international recognition. Over the course of his career, Father Amorth claimed to have performed tens of thousands of exorcisms and became one of the most prominent and controversial figures in the Catholic Church in the modern era.
Life and work
Amorth was born in Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy on 1 May 1925. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1954 and was appointed an exorcist of the Diocese of Rome in June 1986, under the tutelage of Candido Amantini. He was a member of the Society of St. Paul, the congregation founded by Giacomo Alberione in 1914. In 1990, he founded the International Association of Exorcists and was president until his retirement in 2000.
Both Father Amorth's father and grandfather were lawyers. His contributions during World War II as a valiant fighter for the Italian resistance movement were followed by his pursuit of legal studies. Additionally, Father Amorth served as a deputy to Giulio Andreotti, a prominent figure in Italian politics who would later become Prime Minister, within the influential political organization of the Young Christian Democrats.
Amorth died at the age of 91 on 16 September 2016, a short time after he was hospitalised for pulmonary complications.
In October 2000, it was reported he had performed over 50,000 exorcisms (which ranged from "a few minutes" to "several hours" in length). In March 2010, he said that the number had increased to 70,000. By May 2013, he said he had performed 160,000 exorcisms in the course of his ministry. According to Amorth, each exorcism does not represent a victim of possession, but rather each exorcism is counted as a prayer or ritual alone, and some possessed victims required hundreds of exorcisms.
Edward Peters, a professor of canon law, finds Amorth's claim to have personally performed 30,000 exorcisms over 9 years "astounding". Even accepting Amorth's claim that only 94 of his 30,000 exorcisms represented full-blown possession, that would have required roughly one case a month to be thoroughly examined and processed over nine years with hardly a break. Amorth believed that a person may be possessed by more than one demon at once, sometimes numbering in the thousands, which is what accounts for the high number of reputed demons exorcised.
When asked whether the devil can strike inside the Vatican City, Amorth stated, "He has tried already. He did it in 1981 by attacking John Paul II by working with those who armed Ali Ağca."
He attributed 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."
Amorth offered the following guidelines to those exercising the charism of exorcism. Any such person must be highly regarded for his prayer life, faith, acts of charity and judgement. In addition he must rely solely on the "Word of God" and traditional prayer, be completely detached from monetary concerns, profoundly humble and treasure obscurity.
Amorth wrote two memoirs of his time as an exorcist - An Exorcist Tells His Story and An Exorcist: More Stories. The books include references to official Roman Catholic teachings on demonology while the main emphasis is on Amorth's experience as an exorcist. Both include references to the diagnosis and treatment of spiritual problems. The books briefly cover the topics of demonic contraction and curses. He states, "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."
Father Amorth wrote more than thirty books in Italian, many of which have been translated into other languages. The following are his books in English:
- An Exorcist Tells His Story - published on March 1, 1999 by Ignatius Press
- An Exorcist: More Stories - published on February 1, 2002 by Ignatius Press
- An Exorcist Explains the Demonic: The Antics of Satan and His Army of Fallen Angels - published on October 20, 2016 by Sophia Press
- Father Amorth: My Battle Against Satan - published on November 15, 2018 by Sophia Press
- The Devil is Afraid of Me: The Life and Work of the World's Most Popular Exorcist - published on January 19, 2020 by Sophia Press
Amorth was also interviewed for the second episode of True Horror with Anthony Head, presented by Anthony Head. He explained he would never perform an exorcism based solely on someone's claims of possession; always directs people to psychiatrists and doctors first, and that when he sees someone is not possessed but the person still insists, he replies: "You have no devil. If you have a problem, talk to a good vet."
The Devil and Father Amorth is a documentary film by William Friedkin focusing on one of Amorth's exorcisms.
The Pope's Exorcist is a film about Amorth's work launched in April 2023. It features Russell Crowe.
Views on yoga
At a film festival in Umbria (where he was invited to introduce the 2011 film about Exorcism called The Rite), he is quoted as saying that yoga is satanic because it leads to practice of Hinduism and "all eastern religions are based on a false belief in reincarnation" and "practicing yoga is satanic, it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter."
Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi
Amorth claimed that Emanuela Orlandi, a Vatican City schoolgirl who went missing in Rome in 1983, was kidnapped for a sex party by a gang involving Vatican police and foreign diplomats. He said that she was later murdered and her body disposed of. Amorth claimed that girls were recruited at the Vatican for parties, adding that her death "was a crime with a sexual motive."
- An Exorcist Tells his Story (translated by Nicoletta V. Mackenzie), 1999.
- Gospel of Mary: A Month With the Mother of God, 2000.
- An Exorcist: More Stories (translated by Nicoletta V. Mackenzie), 2002.
- Esorcisti e Psichiatri, 2002.
- Pater Pio: Lebensgeschichte eines Heiligen, 2003.
- Dietro un sorriso: Beata Alexandrina Maria da Costa, Elledici, 2006.
- Memorie di un esorcista, 2010.
- An Exorcist Explains the Demonic (with Stefano Stimamiglio, translated by Charlotte J. Fasi), 2016.
- ^ "Directory of Exorcists, Deliverance Counselors, and Investigators". Camelot Warfare Library. Oblates and Missioners of St. Michael. 1996–2017. Archived from the original on 30 June 2018. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
- ^ "Vatican formally recognizes international association of exorcists". www.ncronline.org. Retrieved 2023-02-03.
- ^ "How the Real Gabriele Amorth Waged War against Demons as the Pope's Exorcist". Biography. 2023-04-06. Retrieved 2023-04-13.
- ^ Friedkin, William (December 2016). "The Devil and Father Amorth: Witnessing "the Vatican Exorcist" at Work". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
- ^ Amorth 2000, p. 9.
- ^ Allegri, Renzo (10 August 2003). "The Exorcist". A Messenger of St. Anthony. PPFMC. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- ^ "World's top exorcist saw the Devil in Harry Potter, yoga, and thousands of middle-aged, middle-class women". National Post. Retrieved 2023-04-13.
- ^ "Father Gabriele Amorth, exorcist – obituary". The Telegraph. 2016-09-20. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2023-04-13.
- ^ Pentin, Edward (16 September 2016). "World Famous Exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth Dies at 91". National Catholic Register. EWTN News, Inc. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- ^ Brandreth, Gyles (29 October 2000). "An Interview With Fr Gabriele Amorth - The Church's Leading Exorcist". Catholic Exorcism. Telegraph Group Ltd. Archived from the original on 3 June 2001. Retrieved 13 September 2006.
- ^ Dicker, Ron (2013-05-31). "160,000 Exorcisms And Counting". HuffPost. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
- ^ "Gabriele Amorth 2012 interview"
- ^ "160,000 Exorcisms And Counting". HuffPost. 2013-05-31. Retrieved 2023-04-13.
- ^ "Review of Gabriel Amorth, An Exorcist Tells His Story (Ignatius, 1999) 205 pp". www.canonlaw.info. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
- ^ "Pope's Exorcist Says the Devil Is In the Vatican". ABC News. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
- ^ National Catholic Register, Vatican exorcist: Hitler Knew the Devil, Edward Pentin, October 26, 2006. Archived January 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- ^ a b Amorth 2000.
- ^ "How an exorcist priest came face-to-face with the devil". 2020-03-07. Retrieved 2023-04-13.
- ^ Amorth 2000, p. 115.
- ^ Friedkin, William (31 October 2016). "The Devil and Father Amorth: Witnessing "the Vatican Exorcist" at Work". Vanity Fair.
- ^ Grobar, Matt (August 9, 2022). "The Pope's Exorcist Finds Its Pope In Django 's Franco Nero; Laurel Marsden, Cornell S. John & Peter DeSouza-Feighoney Also Set For Screen Gems Thriller". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 19, 2022.
- ^ Squires, Nick (27 November 2011). "'Harry Potter and yoga are evil', says Catholic Church exorcist". The Telegraph. Rome: Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- ^ "World-famous exorcist who declared yoga was satanic dies". The Independent. 2016-09-17. Retrieved 2023-04-13.
- ^ Squires, Nick (22 May 2012). "Emanuela Orlandi 'was kidnapped for sex parties for Vatican police'". The Telegraph. Rome: Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- ^ Amorth, Gabriele (1999). An exorcist tells his story. San Francisco, Calif.: Ignatius Press. ISBN 0-89870-710-2. OCLC 41135836.
- ^ Amorth, Gabriele (2000). The Gospel of Mary : a month with the Mother of God. New York: Alba House. ISBN 0-8189-0871-8. OCLC 41439576.
- ^ Amorth, Gabriele (2002). An exorcist-- more stories. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. ISBN 0-89870-917-2. OCLC 51968861.
- ^ Amorth, Gabriele (2006). Exorcisté a psychiatři. Kostelní Vydří: Karmelitánské nakladatelství. ISBN 80-7192-981-6. OCLC 85548700.
- ^ Amorth, Gabriele (2003). Pater Pio Lebensgeschichte eines Heiligen (1. Aufl ed.). Stein am Rhein. ISBN 978-3-7171-1108-5. OCLC 76529978.
- ^ Amorth, Gabriele (2006). Dietro un sorriso : Beata Alexandrina Maria Da Costa. Leumann [Rivoli!]: [Elledici]. ISBN 88-01-03477-6. OCLC 955992744.
- ^ Amorth, Gabriele (2010). Memorie di un esorcista : la mia vita in lotta contro Satana. Marco Tosatti, Cles, tipografo trentino Mondadori. Milano: Piemme. ISBN 978-88-566-0942-4. OCLC 799745365.
- ^ Amorth, Gabriele (2016). An exorcist explains the demonic : the antics of Satan and his army of fallen angels. Stefano Stimamiglio, Charlotte J. Fasi. Manchester, New Hampshire. ISBN 978-1-62282-345-1. OCLC 945745738.
- Amorth, Fr. Gabriele (2000). Excerpt from An Exorcist Tells his Story. Ignatius Press. pp. 25–36. Archived from the original on 3 January 2018. Retrieved 13 September 2006.
- "The Reform of the Rite of Exorcism". 30 Days. June 2000. Archived from the original on 2006-08-14. Retrieved 2006-09-13.
- Interview at the Wayback Machine (archived June 3, 2001)
- "Demonology". The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IV. New Advent - Catholic Encyclopedia. January 1908. Retrieved 2007-03-03.
- "Exorcist". The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume V. New Advent - Catholic Encyclopedia. January 1909. Retrieved 2007-03-03.
- Pisa, Nick (December 2007). "Vatican to create more exorcists to tackle 'evil'". The Daily Telegraph, 2007-12-29. London: The Daily Telegraph, British newspaper. Retrieved 2007-12-29.