Child sex abuse scandals rocking the Catholic Church are evidence of the Devil's presence in the Vatican, the Pope's chief exorcist said yesterday.
Father Gabriel Amorth, 84, who has carried out more than 70,000 exorcisms in a career spanning 24 years said Pope Benedict 'fully agreed' with him in 'casting out evil'.
The Vatican's head exorcist
The Catholic church has been rocked in recent months by a series of sex scandals in Ireland, Holland and most recently Germany, where even the Pope's brother Georg Ratzinger admitted hitting choir boys.
In his interview with La Repubblica newspaper Father Amorth, on who the Devil fighting priest in hit horror movie The Exorcist is based, said: 'His Holiness fully believes in casting out evil.
'The Devil lives in the Vatican. He has won over the confidences of people but naturally its difficult to find proof but the consequences are visible.
'We have cardinals who don't believe in Christ, bishops connected with demons. Then we have these stories of pedophilia. You can see the rot when we speak of Satan's smoke in the holy rooms (of the Vatican).'
Father Amorth gave his interview as part of a book launch for Italian religious affairs journalist Marco Tosatti who has written 'Memoirs of an Exorcist'.
Father Amorth said:' 'The Devil is invisible, he is a pure spirit. But in the people he possesses he can be seen through pain and blasphemies but he can also remain hidden.
'Sometimes he makes fun of me but I have to say I enjoy my work.
He added how he had 'six or seven assistants' to help him hold down possessed people when he carried out exorcism and that he kept ''nails and glass that they spit out in a little bag.
'From the mouths of the possessed people all sorts of things come out, bits of metal as long as a finger, rose petals.
'I have to have help holding them down and wiping up the saliva but seeing these people vomit doesn't upset me.'
Beleaguered: Pope Benedict has had to deal with a series of sex scandals in recent months
Father Amorth also said that the attempt on the life of the late Pope John Paul II in May 1981 and the recent attack on Pope Benedict XVI during Christmas Eve Mass last year were all work of the Devil.
So too, he added, was a Vatican 'cover-up' after the deaths of the commander of the Swiss Guard Alois Estermann, his wife and fellow Swiss guard Corporal Cedric Tornay. All three were shot dead.
'They covered up everything immediately,' Father Amorth said. 'Here one sees the rot.'
The official Vatican line was that Corporal Tornay shot the commander and his wife before killing himself. However, this verdict has been disputed by Tornay's family.
Father José Antonio Fortea Cucurull, a fellow exorcist, immediately accused Father Amorth of having gone too far.
'Cardinals might be better or worse, but all have upright intentions and seek the glory of God,' he said.
'... to affirm that some cardinals are members of satanic sects is an unacceptable distance.'
Father Amorth told La Repubblica that the devil was "pure spirit, invisible. But he manifests himself with blasphemies and afflictions in the person he possesses. He can remain hidden, or speak in different languages, transform himself or appear to be agreeable. At times he makes fun of me."
Father Amorth has frequently been a controversial figure.
In 2006, he gave an interview to Vatican Radio in which he said that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and Russian Josef Stalin had both been possessed.
According to secret Vatican documents recently released wartime Pope Pius XII attempted a 'long distance' exorcism of Hitler which failed to have any effect.
In the past Italian Father Amorth has also spoken out against Harry Potter claiming that reading the novels of the teen wizard open children’s minds in dabbling with the occult and black magic.
Father Amorth, who was ordained in 1954 and who is president of the International Association of Exorcists, said of the JK Rowling books: 'Behind Harry Potter hides the signature of the king of the darkness, the devil.'
He said Rowling's books contain innumerable positive references to magic, 'the satanic art' and added the books attempt to make a false distinction between black and white magic, when in fact, the distinction 'does not exist, because magic is always a turn to the devil'.
Source: Mail Oline.co.uk
, March 11 2010
By: Nick Pisa