Father Amorth, You fight against the demon every day. What is
Satan's greatest success?
Fr. Amorth: To succeed in making people believe that he
doesn't exist. And in this he has almost succeeded. Even within
the Church. We have a clergy and an episcopate who no longer
believe in the devil, in exorcisms, in the extraordinary evil
that the devil can cause, nor in the power that Jesus has given
us to drive out demons.
For three centuries, the Latin Church in
contrast with the Orthodox Church and various Protestant
confessions – has almost entirely abandoned the ministry of
exorcism. As the clergy no longer practice exorcisms, as they no
longer study them and have never seen them, they no longer
believe in them. And nor do they believe in the devil either. We
have entire episcopates who are hostile to exorcisms. There are
countries in which there is not a single exorcist, as for
example Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal. A terrifying
You did not mention France. Is the situation any
Fr. Amorth: There is a book written by Isidore Froc, the
best known French exorcist, entitled: Exorcists, who are they
and what do they do? This work, translated into Italian, was
written at the request of the French Episcopal Conference.
Nowhere in this book is it stated that exorcists, in certain
cases, perform exorcisms. And the author has several times
stated on French television that he has never performed an
exorcism and that he would never do so. Out of a hundred French
exorcists, there are but five who believe in the devil and carry
out exorcisms. All the rest send those who contact them to the
psychiatrist. And the bishops are the main victims of
this situation of the Catholic Church in which belief in the
existence of the demon is in the process of disappearing.
Before this new manual appeared, the German episcopate
sent a letter to Cardinal Ratzinger in which they declared that
there was no need to create a new Ritual because exorcisms
should no longer be performed.
Is it down to the bishop to appoint exorcists?
Fr. Amorth: Yes. When a priest is appointed bishop, he
is faced with an article in the Code of Canon Law which gives
him absolute authority to appoint exorcists. The minimum one can
ask of a bishop is that he has taken part in at least one
exorcism, given that he has to make such an important decision.
Unfortunately, this is almost never the case. But if a bishop
finds himself before a serious request for an exorcism – that
is to say one that has not been made by someone deranged – and
he does nothing, he commits a mortal sin. And he is then
responsible for the terrible sufferings endured by this person.
Sufferings which sometimes last for years or even an entire
lifetime, and which he could have prevented.
Do you mean to say that the majority of the bishops
in the Catholic Church are in a state of mortal sin?
Fr. Amorth: When I was a child, my old parish priest
taught me that there are eight sacraments: the eighth is
ignorance. And the eighth saves more than all the others
together. To commit a mortal sin, there must exist grave matter,
but also full awareness and deliberate consent. To fail to give
one's aid is, for bishops, a grave matter. But these bishops are
ignorant: there is therefore no deliberate consent and full
But if one does not believe in the existence of Satan, does
one's faith remain intact, is it still the Catholic faith?
Fr. Amorth: No. I will tell you a story. When I met Don
Pellegrino Ernetti for the first time, a celebrated exorcist who
had practiced in Venice for forty years, I said to him, "If I
could speak to the Pope, I would tell him that I meet too many
bishops who do not believe in the devil." The following
afternoon, Father Ernetti came back to see me to tell me that
that same morning he had been received by John Paul II.
"Holiness," he had said to him, "there is an exorcist here in
Rome, Father Amorth who, if he met you, would tell you that he
knows too many bishops who do not believe in the devil." The
Pope answered him briefly: "He who does not believe in the
devil does not believe in the Gospel." That is the reply which
was given to him and which I repeat.
Explain to me if you would: does this mean that
there are many bishops and priests who are no longer Catholic?
Fr. Amorth: Let us say that they do not believe in a
Gospel truth. Therefore, I would possibly accuse them of
propagating a heresy. But let us understand: someone is only
formally heretical if he is accused of committing an error and
he persists in it. But because of the situation in the Church
today, no one would ever accuse a bishop of not believing in the
devil or in demonic possession and of not appointing exorcists
because he has no belief in these things. I could mention a
great number of bishops and cardinals who, as soon as they had
been appointed to a diocese, withdrew from all exorcists the
faculty of exercising their powers. Or of bishops who openly
maintain: "For myself, I do not believe in these things. They
are beliefs of the past." Why is this? Because unfortunately
there has been an extremely pernicious influence exerted by
certain biblical experts, and I could mention the names of some
very well-known people. We who every day come into close contact
with the world beyond, we know that this influence has had a
hand in many of the liturgical reforms.
Fr. Amorth: Vatican Council II had asked for certain
texts to be revised. But this order was disobeyed, as there
was a desire to rewrite them all from scratch. No thought was
given to the possibility of making things worse rather than
better. And many rites were spoiled by this mania for
jettisoning everything from the past and of rebuilding
everything from top to bottom, as though the Church had, until
today, hoodwinked and misled us, and as though there had now
finally arrived a time of great geniuses, of super-theologians,
of super-biblicists, of super-liturgists, who knew how to give
the Church what was sound. It is all a lie: the last Council
simply asked for these texts to be revised, not to be destroyed.
The Exorcism Ritual, for example, was to be revised, not
rewritten. There were prayers in it which had been in use for
twelve centuries. Before suppressing these ancient prayers which
had proved so efficacious, one should have thought long and
hard. But no! We exorcists have all tried out the new prayers in
the New Ritual ad interim and we have come to realize that they
are absolutely ineffectual.
But the rite of baptism for
children has also been spoiled. It has been so drastically
overhauled that the exorcism against Satan has virtually been
eliminated. This had always held a very great importance for the
Church, so much so that it is called the minor exorcism. Paul VI
himself publicly protested against this new rite.
We find the same degeneration of the rite in the new
benedictionary. I have read its 1200 pages minutely. Well! any
reference to the fact the Lord must protect us against Satan,
that the angels protect us from the attacks of the demon, has
been systematically suppressed. All the prayers for the blessing
of homes and schools have been suppressed. Everything should be
blessed and protected, but today there is no longer any
protection against the demon. There no longer exists any defense
or any prayers against him. This same Jesus had taught us a
prayer for liberation in the Our Father: "Deliver us from the
Evil One. Deliver us from the Person of Satan." This prayer has
been mistranslated and today people pray saying, "Deliver us
from evil." One speaks of a general evil whose origin is
essentially unknown. But the evil against which Our Lord Jesus
taught us to fight is, on the contrary, a concrete person: it is
You are in a privileged observation position: is it
your impression that Satanism is spreading?
Fr. Amorth: Yes. Enormously. When the faith retreats,
superstition makes progress. In biblical terms, I can say that
people are abandoning God to give themselves up to occultism.
The terrible retreat of the faith throughout the whole of
Catholic Europe makes people throw themselves into the arms of
magicians and fortunetellers, and satanic sects prosper. Devil
worship is the object of great publicity among the masses
through satanic rock and celebrities like Marilyn Manson.
Children are also under attack: there are magazines and comic
strips that teach magic and Satanism. Spiritualist
seances in which the dead are called up to answer certain
questions are very widespread. People are now being taught to
perform spiritualist séances through the computer, the
telephone, the television, the video recorder, but above all
through automatic writing. No longer is there a need for a
medium: this is a spiritualism that each can practice by
himself. According to polls, 37% of students have on at least
one occasion played the game with letters and a glass, which is
a veritable spiritualist séance. In a school where I had been
invited to speak, the students told me that they used to play
this game during the religion lesson, under the obliging eyes of
And does this work?
Fr. Amorth: There is no difference between white magic
and black magic. When magic works, it is always the work of the
demon. Every form of occultism, like this widespread resort to
the religions of the East with their esoteric suggestions, are
open gateways to the demon. And the devil enters. At once.
In the case of the Sister who was killed at Chiavenna
and in that of Erika and Omar, the two adolescents from Novi
Ligure who killed Erika’s mother and little brother, I had no
hesitation in stating immediately that diabolical intervention
was involved, because these children had given themselves up to
Satanism. The police inquiry subsequently showed that they were
following Satan, that they had satanic books.
How does the demon set about seducing people?
Fr. Amorth: His strategy is always along the same lines.
I have told him this and he admits it… He makes people believe
that hell does not exist, that sin does not exist, and that he
is nothing but one more experience to try out. Concupiscence,
success and power are the three great passions on which Satan
How many cases of demonic possession have you
Fr. Amorth: About a hundred. I have stopped counting.
A hundred? But that is an enormous number. In your
book you say that cases of possession are rare.
Fr. Amorth: And indeed they are. Many exorcists have
encountered nothing but cases of diabolical harm. But I have
inherited the “clientele” of a famous exorcist, Father
Candido, and therefore cases which he had not as yet resolved.
Moreover, exorcists send me their more resistant cases.
What is the most difficult case you have ever met?
Fr. Amorth: It is one I am “treating” at this
moment, and that for two years now. It is the young girl who was
blessed – it was not a true exorcism – by the Pope in
October, at the Vatican, and whose case caused a great stir in
the press. She is buffeted twenty-four hours a day and is the
victim of unspeakable torments. The doctors and psychiatrists
can make nothing of this. She is completely lucid and very
intelligent. A truly sad case.
How does one become a victim of the demon?
Fr. Amorth: One can be subjected to the attacks of the
demon in four cases. Either because it constitutes a blessing
for the person and such is the case with many of the saints, or
because of irreversible persistence in sin, or because one is
the victim of a curse uttered in the name of the demon, or else
when one gives oneself up to practices of occultism.
During the exorcism of possessed persons, what kind
of phenomena occur?
Fr. Amorth: I recall an illiterate peasant who, during
an exorcism, spoke to me only in English and I had to have an
interpreter. There are people who manifest a superhuman
strength, others who completely levitate from the ground and
whom it is impossible even for several men to keep seated in
their armchair. But it is only the context in which these
phenomena occur which makes us speak of demonic possession.
Has the devil ever harmed you personally?
Fr. Amorth: When Cardinal Poletti asked me to take on
this role of exorcist, I recommended myself to the Virgin:
"Envelope me in Thy mantle and I will be in total security."
The demon has often threatened me, but he has never harmed me.
Don’t you ever feel afraid of the demon?
Fr. Amorth: Me, for that animal? It is he who should be
afraid of me; I act in the name of the Lord of the world. But as
for him, he is nothing but God’s monkey.
Father Amorth, Satanism is spreading more and more
widely. The New Ritual, in practice, prevents the carrying out
of exorcisms. Exorcists are prevented from taking part in an
audience with the Pope in Saint Peter’s. Tell me frankly: what
is going on?
Fr. Amorth: The smoke of Satan has entered everywhere.
Everywhere! Perhaps we were excluded from the audience with the
Pope because they were afraid that such a large number of
exorcists might succeed in chasing out the legions of demons
that have installed themselves in the Vatican.
You are joking, aren't you?
Fr. Amorth: It may seem like a joke, but I do not
believe it is. I have no doubt about the fact that the demon
tempts the authorities of the Church especially, just as he
tempts every authority, those of politics and industry.
Are you saying then that here as well, as in all
wars, Satan wishes to conquer the enemy's stronghold in order to
take the enemy generals prisoner?
Fr. Amorth: It is a winning strategy. It is one that is
always applied. Especially when the adversary's defenses are
weak. Satan is also attempting it. But, thank Heaven, it is the
Holy Spirit Who directs the Church: "The gates of hell will
never prevail." Despite the defections. And despite the
betrayals, about which one should not be surprised. The first
betrayal was the work of one of the closest Apostles of Jesus:
Judas Iscariot. Yet, despite this, the Church continues
on her way. The Holy Spirit keeps her going and that is why
Satan’s attacks can only be partially successful. Admittedly,
the demon may win battles, and even important battles. But never
For the first part of this interview, see Part One of The smoke of satan in the house of the Lord
Note: [editor's bold, brackets and italicized for emphasis]