Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Are Exorcisms A Thing of the Past? Father Amorth Answers (Year 1998)

• In the Bible there are cases of demonic possession.
• The devil is the cause of temptations, that is why we ask not to fall into temptation in the Our Father, which is the prayer that Christ taught us.
• “Deliver us from evil” refers to the wicked one.
• We must doubt of whatever the devils says during an exorcism, because he is the Father of Lies.
• No exorcist is infallible when interpreting the veracity or falsehood of what the devil claims.
• Being an exorcist does not mean that he cannot be mistaken in his priestly ministry.

Father Gabriele Amorth, exorcist of the diocese of Rome, which is the diocese of the Pope, is the author of the book entitled “An Exorcist Tells His Story”. In this book, he talks about the existence of the devil, how we can detect him, how he behaves, how to fight him with exorcisms, and who can expel the devil. The book was translated to Spanish and was presented recently in Madrid. On that occasion, Father Amorth made the following statements:

Why is Satanism spreading everywhere and, instead, exorcisms are becoming a subject of taboo?

When faith diminishes, superstition increases. Occultism always attracts great attention, especially with all the things it promises: to satisfy the three great passions, which are ambition (success, power), wealth (to be able to own everything one wishes to) and pleasure (sex, gluttony).

Exorcisms have become a subject of taboo because the world has stopped believing on the existence of the devil, as it is presented in the Bible. It no longer believes in possessions and spells, thinking that they are nothing but psychological illnesses which need to be solved by medicine. This leads people to believe that exorcisms are a thing of the past, something impossible to accept in modern society. There are even many priests who are confused or ignorant about exorcisms or who simply do not believe in them.

If the Church is deprived of exorcisms, would it mean that she is being deprived of signs of salvation?

Without a doubt, the exorcisms that Jesus performed were a sign that the Kingdom of God had started and that Satan’s realm had been defeated. They are a sign of Christ’s divinity because the devils are forced to obey Him. They are also a sign of future happiness, because Christ has defeated Satan and all the consequences that were introduced by him: sin, suffering and death.

Is it necessary for a Christian to know the power of darkness?

Yes, so he can fight against it with the strength of Faith. We are all subjected to the temptations of the devil; Jesus Himself accepted this human condition. Saint Paul says that our fight is against the devils. The knowledge of the power of darkness is useful to be able to understand all the evil that there is in this world.

Where can one see the devil?

There is the risk of thinking that he does not exist, which is something that many people claim today, but there also the risk of seeing him everywhere, in every illness, no matter how mild it may be, or in any setback. But those who have a clear idea of the devil know how to distinguish what comes from him from what it does not.

Is it possible that talking about the devil, exorcisms and possessions might create false fears?

Magicians and sorcerers are phony substitutes of exorcists. (Editor’s note: magicians and sorcerers who act as healers. There are, as Father Amorth asserts, magicians and sorcerers who work with the devil). Most of the times they are nothing but liars, but when they work along with Satan they can cause serious evils. Certainly, they can never do good; those who seek their help to get rid of their afflictions, can only aggravate their situation and condition.

Does this mean that sorcerers and magicians are pseudo-substitutes of exorcists?

Yes, that is right. Christians have forgotten that there is another kingdom, besides the Kingdom of Christ. The center of the gospel message is the Person of Jesus, our only Savior and Teacher. It is only thanks to Him that we can defeat evil. A great number of Christians allow themselves to be guided by sects, gurus and oriental religions. And, thereby, they abandon the Kingdom of God, Church and, finally, they lose their faith.

Do you mean that they have forgotten that there is another kingdom that is in front of the Kingdom of God?

… Paul VI, in his famous speech about the devil, on September 15, 1972, listed some of the signs of satanic influence: when there is a radical and subtle denial of God, which leads to preach that “God is dead”; when love disappears to make room for cold and cruel selfishness; when the name of Jesus is attacked with conscious and cruel hatred; when the spirit of the Gospel is distorted and denied. Behind all of these things is the impulse of the devil.

Being the official exorcist of the diocese of Rome, have you ever had direct experiences with him? Does the devil really possess so much evil, as some people claim?

His malice is immense because he is a pure spirit, with an intelligence that is not conditioned by material ties. In my book I tell many examples of this.

Is mortal sin the greatest diabolical possession?

We must distinguish between moral evil done to ruin a soul and a corporal possession. In the first instance, it can only happen with one’s consent, and salvation can only come through conversion. When the devil takes possession of a body, or when he is the cause of an evil, the soul does not give its consent for that to happen. It follows, therefore, that we should be more afraid of sin, which depends on us and is a surrender of the soul to the devil, than to the evils that the devil may cause to our bodies.

How is being an exorcist like?

The ministry of exorcist is a compromising and fatiguing task. The priest on charge of it must be spiritually alert, he feels in touch with the invisible world and this helps the faith, besides the possibility of doing so much good. Most of the times it is enough to lead the affected people toward a Christian life. There are so many people who call themselves believers, but that are not practicing! In cases where there is a satanic influence, people who are being attacked by the devil are freed from terrible evils.

The Devil tempts us making us believe he is not the one who is tempting us.