Father Gabriele Amorth died on September 16 in Rome at the age of 91.
"I have no doubt that the devil tempts especially the leaders of the Church, as he tempts all leaders..."
Father Gabriele Amorth was born in Modena, in northern Italy, on May 1, 1925. After several days in the hospital of Santa Luciae, he died yesterday in Rome at the age of 91.
He was ordained a priest in 1954 at the age of 29. An excellent writer, he published many articles in Famiglia Cristiana. He became the editor of the Catholic monthly magazine Madre di Dio. He was a member of the Pontifical International Marian Academy.
In 1986, the Pope's cardinal vicar for the diocese of Rome, Cardinal Ugo Poletti, named Fr. Amorth the exorcist for the diocese.
In various interviews, Fr. Amorth said he had carried out more than 50,000 exorcisms over the years, with only 100 cases of real demonic possession in all those tens of thousands of cases. Most of the cases, he said, were either "disturbances" caused by the devil, or simple mental illnesses.
In an interview with Stefano Maria Paci published in 30 Giorni in 2001, Fr. Amorth sharply criticized the post-Vatican II revision of the rite of exorcism. In this interview, he spoke about "the legions of demons that have taken up residence in the Vatican.
The smoke of Satan enters everywhere... I have no doubt that the devil tempts especially the leaders of the Church, as he tempts all leaders."
Paci: Are you saying that here, as in any war, Satan wants to conquer the opposing generals?
Amorth: "It is a winning strategy. One always tries to implement it. Especially when the defenses of one's opponents are weak. Satan also tries. But thankfully there is the Holy Spirit who governs the Church: 'The gates of hell shall not prevail.' Despite the defections. And despite the betrayals. Which should cause us no surprise. The first traitor was one of the apostles closest to Jesus, Judas Iscariot. But despite this, the Church continues on her way. She is held up by the Holy Spirit and therefore all the efforts of Satan can have only partial results. Of course, the devil can win some battles. Even important ones. But never the war."
In another interview, Fr. Amorth once said that he believed the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima, had not been done fully.
The Consecration has not yet been made... I was there on March 25 (1984) in St. Peter's Square, I was in the front row, practically within touching distance of the Holy Father. John Paul II wanted to consecrate Russia, but his entourage did not, fearing that the Orthodox would be antagonized, and they almost thwarted him. Therefore, when His Holiness consecrated the world on his knees, he added a sentence, not included in the distributed version, that instead said to consecrate 'especially those nations of which you yourself have asked for their consecration.' So, indirectly, this included Russia. However, a specific consecration has not yet been made. You can always do it. Indeed, it will certainly be done..."
Requiescat in pace!