Matt C. Abbott
'Father Amorth: My Battle Against Satan'
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By Matt C. Abbott
January 31, 2019

Below are excerpts from the recently-released book Father Amorth: My Battle Against Satan. From Sophia Institute Press:
    When Father Amorth died in 2016, he was the world's most famous exorcist, a legendary, miraculous chaser of demons. To the many he served, Father was a godsend, freeing them from years of demonic oppression; to others, he was just a crank – an extremist priest who saw the Devil everywhere. Now, in these never-before-published interviews, Father Amorth takes you into his private world, giving you a harrowing vision of his daily battles with the Devil. Here you won't meet a wizard or a crazy man. Instead, you'll encounter a solid Christian and a humble priest, one who jokes and takes life as God – or the Devil! – hands it to him.
Thanks to Sophia Institute Press for permitting me to publish these excerpts in my column. Click here to purchase the eBook directly from the publisher. Click here to purchase the paperback version from Spirit Daily.

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Foreword

Much has been written about Father Gabriele Amorth, and as much could be written about his complex and deep personality and the prolific action that derived from it. In this book, two fundamental aspects of his persona immediately emerge: his courage and his faith in God.

Indeed, what stands out in Father Amorth were his strength and perseverance in proclaiming the truth about God. His fearless spirit, enclosed inside the armor of the combatant against the forces of the Evil One, always led him lucidly to unmask the thought and logic and the hypocrisies and appearances of the world. He decisively brought to light the abuses and distortions of the Faith, such as the lack of priestly formation in the seminaries regarding angels and demons, and the struggle against evil. In this area he was a farsighted precursor.

In the discussion in this book, Father Gabriele points out the necessity of re-Christianizing Christians, verified by the ignorance of the Faith that brings so many under the demon's deceitful control.

The ministry of exorcism led the man, the Christian, and the priest to faith in God's mercy and power, and in the maternal action of Mary, the most holy Mother.

Indeed, the second aspect that emerges from Father Amorth's words is his unshakable devotion to Our Lady. This devotion guided his obedience to the Church and his love for his suffering brothers and sisters.

The long conversation in this book is a catechetical and spiritual help. Father Gabriele's manner of speaking, often with joyful and ironic phrases – because he was joyful at heart – is exemplary when he deals with topics of faith and spiritual guidance.

As an exorcist, I thank you, dear brother. You have helped us to understand that to remain with Jesus makes us conquer our fears: the fear of disorder, the fear of death, and the fear of the Evil One's presence in our life. You have shown us that the exorcist is not a wizard, or a crazy person, but a man, a Christian, a priest, and a servant of God and His Church.

Read the Gospel! Apply the Gospel; act with total humility, knowing that everything depends on God. I do not consider myself capable of anything! Rather, I am humble, humble, humble . . . and I boast of it! (Father Gabriele Amorth).

– Father Paolo Carlin, OFM Cap., Exorcist, Spokesman, and Press Secretary National Delegate for Italy International Association of Exorcists

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Jesus commands the apostles to preach the gospel, to cure the ill, and to expel demons. Is today's Church responding in practice to Jesus's instructions?

Father Amorth: No, no, the Church is not responding to Jesus' instructions. But I am also aware that the times are changing. For example, in the beginning, there was a need, a true need, for miracles; first Jesus needed them to make people understand who He was: "If you don't believe my words, believe my deeds!" (see John 10:37–38). When John the Baptist sent Him a messenger, Jesus responded: "Tell him the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up" (see Matt. 11:4–5). He sent back deeds to make people understand who He was.

And His first miracle, at Cana, ends with the words: "Jesus performed this first miracle so that his disciples would believe in him" (see John 2:11). Miracles served to stir up faith, because initially there was a need for them. Now the times have changed: we have had two thousand years of Christianity, and there is an endless number of saints, so there is no longer a compelling need for miracles.

Let's consider the Acts of the Apostles. There is Philip, who performs many miracles; Saint Paul also has his deeds. Today, in my view, this need is substituted by faith; today it is necessary to stir up faith, to believe through faith. Then no preacher will be able to say: "If you do not believe in my words, believe what I do" – no preacher, not even those who are saints and really do perform miracles!

In these changing times, we cannot fault the people of the Church for no longer obeying the norms that Jesus gave when sending out the apostles, precisely because the times in which we live are very different.

Anyhow, there have always been miracles, and there always will be! Each time a saint is nominated, there are miracles for the beatification and the canonization. Think of Lourdes, of Fatima . . . There will always be miracles in the Church, but not because they are within reach of all the priests or the preachers. No, not for that. Why? Because one must rely on faith! I have never seen a miracle, but I believe! And you have never seen miracles, but you believe. I think that the Lord will never cease to provide miracles. I, however, have never seen any.

Certainly I have seen the hand of God. I have seen it when I was exorcising; I have seen His power, but He did everything Himself, serving Himself by means of a good-for-nothing like me! He did it all Himself!

We have some pontiffs who are a wonder; we must simply follow their directives, their pastoral line; that is what the Church needs today.

There is need of a new evangelization, of re-Christianizing Christians. Let us think of Italy, a Catholic nation. But where are the Catholics? They are a slight minority! If there were a referendum, they could check off that they have been baptized, but they do not pray; they do not go to Mass; they do not approach the sacraments; they marry and divorce with no compunction; and then, there is abortion.

Let us consider the Catholic character in Italy: the referendum on divorce approved, the referendum on abortion approved. If one held a referendum on euthanasia, that also would be approved.

These are the Italian Catholics! Materialism and consumerism! It began with the French Revolution: the successive philosophical currents were all masonic and anticlerical. Italy was formed and unified by Masons, all Masons: the Royal House of Savoy, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Giuseppe Mazzini – all were Masons. If one was not with them, one did not have a career!

At Modena, if one did not have party membership, one did not work. There was a collapse of values that is still in action; true values have been substituted by a supercharged materialism. Undoubtedly, today something is lacking in the modern pastoral concept. If our priests were saints, our people would be saints! But one can also say that people get the clergy they deserve. Certainly, if every priest were like the Curé of Ars . . .

We thought that the Church would flourish after the [Second Vatican] Council. Instead the post-council era has been a disaster: 30 percent of the nuns, priests, and consecrated religious abandoned the Church! Who knows why? Then there are the sensational things, such as bishops who incriminate themselves with pedophilia!

You said that since many prelates don't believe in the Devil and the disturbances he creates, they don't believe in the Gospel.

Father Amorth
: No one knows how the bishops who do not believe in the action of the Devil can still be bishops, because if one does not totally believe in the Gospel, one is not even a Christian, understand? Not even a Christian!

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Matt. 28:19–20). It is a serious lack; it is a serious, serious lack!

Many have the madness of taking from Sacred Scripture and the Gospel whatever makes them comfortable and ignoring what makes them uncomfortable. Yet all of it is the Word of God; all of it must be accepted. Especially the Gospel! Well, a priest, and much more a bishop, who publicly says, "They are all stories!" needs to read the Gospel, needs to read when Jesus gave the power to expel demons to the apostles, needs to read when the disciples – the seventy-two – returned content because "even the demons are subject to us in your name" (Luke 10:17). Jesus says to them, "I know. I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven" (see Luke 10:18). Here Jesus is already directing them to look toward Heaven, toward an eternal reality. But they were content because they had achieved success on earth!

I wish to relate a fact that truly happened to a great charismatic, the late Father Tardif (1928–1999). He was in the hospital, dying, and did not yet know the Renewal. One day, some of its members entered his hospital room and asked him: "Father, would you like us to pray over you?" And he responded: "Well, I am dying; I am not against it."

They prayed over him, and he became well! Thus, he became enamored of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. At that time, when the Renewal hosted their gatherings in the spring, ordinarily forty thousand would show up, but when he was there, the crowd swelled to sixty thousand.

He had the gift of discernment. One day, before a crowd, he said: "Five of you in wheelchairs are feeling a tingling; the Lord is healing you. I ask these five to wave a handkerchief to be recognized." Four handkerchiefs were waved. But Father obstinately asked for the fifth: "No, there are five. Where is the fifth?"

Nothing.

The fifth did not appear.

Then he invited the four, a little wobbly on their legs, to come onto the stage, to share why and for how long they had been unable to walk. After a time, he said: "There are seven deaf persons that at this moment are feeling a tingling, because the Lord is healing them. I ask them to wave a handkerchief. One of those in a wheelchair immediately waved a handkerchief. He had not gone up onto the stage because he could not hear, but from that day forward he had the use of his legs and his hearing! So Father Tardif said: "Lord, give me a grace. First, heal the deaf and then the lame!" And he always announced healings and recoveries.

Once he was invited by a bishop to a day of preaching, and the people were arriving at a snail's pace. On the previous day, the bishop had said to him: "Tomorrow, celebrate the Mass with a beautiful homily, but do not offer any healing prayers!" And he responded: "Your Excellency, the Lord has said to preach, to cast out demons, and to cure the sick. Regarding the Gospel, I give everything, or I give nothing. Good night." He got up and went away. The people were very upset not seeing him at Mass, but they would have been even more upset if he had remained and did not say the prayers of healing and liberation.

Which is to say: some bishops do not observe the Gospel. I also said on television (on Porta a Porta of the Rai International) that many bishops do not believe in the Gospel and do not observe it.

Also, if what is said by priests or by a spiritual father is contrary to the Gospel or to ecclesiastical depositions, it is best not to follow it.

Some maintain that the old Eucharistic rite, pre – Vatican II, was more efficacious for liberation. For example, in the old Mass, at the end of the celebration, there was an exorcism.

Father Amorth
: I categorically deny that the old rite was more efficacious. The substance of the Mass is always there; it cannot be escaped. Rather, everything depends on faith, on commitment, on the fervor that one puts into it; it does not depend on the Latin rite or the Italian, or any other language; language has no influence on the rite. Well, there is also an exorcism at the end of the Lord's Prayer: "but deliver us from evil"! "Liberate us from the Evil One" is the true translation! Liberate us from Satan. This is also an exorcism, or a prayer of liberation; we may call it as we wish.

What do you think about Muslims?

Father Amorth
: Muslims who truly follow their religion are in good faith, and the Lord is aware of it. But one must keep in mind that one of their five fundamental principles is holy war, to make war on all infidels, and to kill all of them! Let us also look at how a woman is viewed by Islam! She is not worth a cigarette butt; she is an object, a simple object! Let us consider the private life of Muhammad: he fell in love with the wife of his son, took her for himself, and kept her. Then he claimed that the Lord informed him that he did well!

And where do the commandments of God end up? For us, it is difficult to understand, because it would be necessary to immerse ourselves in the mentality, the place, and the times; because one cannot judge a historical fact with the mentality of our own days.

Anyhow, there is no doubt that the mercy of God exists also for Muhammad and for the Muslims, and each one will respond according to his conscience and his deeds.

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Related link:

"Untold: famous Rome exorcist sent a statue that cured Padre Pio"

© Matt C. Abbott

 

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if those emails are marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in limited circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)

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