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(LifeSiteNews) — So perhaps some of you have seen the new Russell Crowe movie “The Pope’s Exorcist,” which is billed as being based on the life of famous Rome exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth and his own memoirs and writings. I haven’t seen it, but the exorcist association that Father Amorth himself founded has condemned the movie, stating that Crowe’s portrayal of Father Amorth does not represent the priest’s actions or manners. They accused the film star and producers of having missed the “spirit of service” that characterized Amorth “in his ministry of consolation.”

The International Association of Exorcists (IAE) said: 

The Catholic Church is then represented by an equally unbelievable pope, played by Italian actor Franco Nero. Finally, the Vatican environments, painted with the usual tried-and-true range of chiaroscuro hues, give the film a ‘Da Vinci Code’-esque effect to instill in the audience the usual doubt: who is the real enemy? The devil or ecclesiastical ‘power’?

The IAE wrote that the film’s presentation of Amorth’s exorcisms, “besides being contrary to historical reality, distorts and falsifies what is really lived and experienced during the exorcism of truly possessed people that we, Catholic exorcists, celebrate according to the directives given by the Church.”

READ: Exorcist group denounces Russell Crowe’s new film ‘The Pope’s Exorcist’ about its founder

IAE accused the film of being a danger to viewers. The film’s depiction of exorcisms is “a spectacle aimed at arousing strong and unhealthy emotions, thanks to a gloomy set design, with sound effects such as to arouse only anxiety, disquiet and fear in the viewer,” they wrote. 

The end result is to instill the belief that exorcism is an abnormal, monstrous, and frightening phenomenon, whose only protagonist is the devil, whose violent reactions can be confronted with great difficulty — which is the exact opposite of what occurs in the context of exorcism celebrated in the Catholic Church, in obedience to the directives it issues. 

Boy, that is really too bad. I was very much looking forward to a film about the real Father Gabriele Amorth, who I was so grateful to for his clarity over the years. LifeSite was honored to get what may have been his final press interview while he was already in A hospital just prior to his death. 

Father Amorth was appointed the chief exorcist of the Diocese of Rome in 1985 by St. Pope John Paul II. He stated in 2013 that he had driven out 160,000 demons during his prolific career of many thousands of exorcisms. 

He died at 91 in 2016.

READ: Porn addiction is an ‘opening to the demonic’: exorcist

Instead of being misled by the falsehoods in the film warned about by the International Association of Exorcists, I wanted to provide you with an accurate portrait of Father Gabriele Amorth, the chief exorcist of Rome for so many decades.  

When his last book was published, LifeSite’s Claire Chretien covered it. In An Exorcist Explains the Demonic: The Antics of Satan and His Army of Fallen Angels, Amorth wrote that demonic disturbances that torment individuals, called diabolical obsession, “can lead to confusion about one’s gender,” “particularly in the young.”

Amorth warned that many of the devil’s “ordinary” temptations are passed off as “modern ideas” but really serve to “unhinge the principles of the faith.” These include abortion, same-sex “marriage,” euthanasia, divorce, and cohabitation.

“The loss of a sense of sin that characterizes our era helps Satan to act nearly undisturbed and, inducing man to sin, takes man progressively away from the love of God.” He added that suggestions like “everyone does it” applied to grave sins “weaken the consciences of men and women and lead them toward closing their hearts, egoism, lack of forgiveness, and doing everything for money, power, and sex.” 

Amorth said, “Everything that seduces and enslaves souls leads to their death, which is Satan’s objective.” Amorth explained that even though Satan’s promises of money, pleasure, and power seem alluring, they actually come at a terrible price and don’t allow those who choose them any peace. 

The principle of total personal liberty, the promise of no obligation to anyone, and the denial that all truth comes directly from God are “seductive” in appearance but ultimately unfulfilling, especially for young people, Amorth wrote. These notions “delude” people “into thinking that life is a beautiful holiday” where “everything is permitted and where your ‘I’ does not recognize any limits regarding pleasure or enjoyment.” This is all because Satan wishes to lead people away from God, Amorth wrote.

Other ways that Satan infects and attacks the modern culture are certain types of music, which can provoke “violence, suicide, sexual perversion, and acts destruction against the state, the civic order, and the Church of God.”  

“Today families are among the most targeted by the ordinary action of Satan,” according to Amorth. To counter this, he recommended all married couples pray together and extend the habit of prayer to their children. 

In a 2006 interview with Ed Pentin of the National Catholic Register, Amorth said, “It is very important today because there are so many requests for them … People have lost the faith, and superstition, magic, Satanism, or Ouija boards have taken its place, which then open all the doors to the presence of demons.” 

READ: Top Exorcist: Marian prophecies are coming True. Prepare for spiritual warfare NOW

He lamented that there are “too few” exorcists around today. 

“Many bishops and priests don’t practice the material, and they don’t believe in it, or they believe only a little, despite the fact that canon law is very clear, as clear as the Gospel where it says pray and cast out devils and evil spirits,” he said.

In an interview with Stefano Maria Paci, published in 30 Giorni in 2001, “the legions of demons that have taken up residence in the Vatican.”

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.”

This exclusive LifeSite interview with Vatican exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth was first published back on December 30, 2015:

It is only a year and a half [in 2015] to the anniversary of the first hundred years of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima. Our Lady here made explicit reference to the evils that would come from Russia, were it not to be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart. Since then, maybe with some delay, various consecrations have been actually carried out — of Russia and the world — several times and by different Popes. Solemn among them, that of 25 March 1984, led by John Paul II, with all the world’s bishops.

But Father Gabriele Amorth did not believe that what was requested by the Blessed Virgin had, in fact, been fulfilled. He asserts in fact that

the Consecration has not yet been made. I was there on March 25 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 …

LifeSite: Our Lady had foretold at Fatima the blood of martyrs, if penance were not done. The blood of the martyrs has begun to flow copiously: how long will it be before God sends His punishment? 

Fr. Amorth: “Look, today there are more martyrs than during the first centuries of Christianity. Just think of the Middle East, where so many Christians are killed simply because they are Christian. There is a huge amount of martyrs! But let us not forget what our Lady said: ‘In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, which will be converted and the world will be granted a period of peace’ … Soon we will have great happenings.” 

LifeSite: When? 

Fr. Amorth: “It is hard to give details of what you do not live. I’m not a prophet. At one time, Israel pulled away from God to embrace idolatry. Prophets were treated very badly. Finally, God punished. Today the world does not turn from God because it is idolatrous; rather it pursues pure atheism, so as to put science on the altar. But science does not create; it only discovers that which God has made. In turning away from the Lord, its breakthroughs are put to disastrous use. Without the Lord, progress too is misused.  We see it in laws that go totally against nature such as divorce, abortion, ‘gay marriage’ … we have forgotten God! Therefore, God will soon admonish humanity in a very powerful manner, He knows how to remind us of His presence.”

LifeSite: There are rumors that you had recently indicated a period of eight months, maybe less … But, as I understand it, there is not a precise time … 

Fr. Amorth: “I think it is early. I think we are close. More and more so. The Lord will make Himself heard, and the world will respond. I look at all this with optimism, because God always acts for us to obtain a greater good than the punishments inflicted, which are meant to open the eyes of humanity, which has forgotten and abandoned him. I always remember the rhyme of Metastasio: “Wherever I look, / immense God, I see: / in Your works I admire you, / I recognize You in myself.” We should always seek the Lord, we can not forget the origin, the First Cause, as unfortunately happens today … I was with Padre Pio for 26 years and remember how furious he was about the invention of television: ‘You will see what it will do!’ he said.  It has also allowed good things. But I’m very much in the midst of people and see how many people have been ruined by television and the Internet.” 

LifeSite: You spoke about the laws against nature, of divorce, of gay unions … These are the themes of the two Synods on the Family, the Extraordinary held last year [2014] and the next one, the Ordinary. Do you believe that these issues have been adequately addressed, or should they be addressed from another perspective at the next meeting in October [2016]?

Fr. Amorth: “Certainly it pleases me that the Pope has called the Synod on the Family. But you have to aim to the united family. Divorce has been a disaster; abortion has been a disaster. Each year 50 million children are murdered by abortion. And euthanasia, the broken family, cohabitation … It is all destruction! The Lord gave us sex for a purpose and He also declared: “May no man divide what God has joined.” One thing is sexual fun; another is love. Today there is much talk of love, but there truly is none! Precisely in Fatima did Our Lady say to the young, seven-year-old, Jacinta: ‘The sin that brings the most souls to hell is the impure sin,’ the sin of the flesh. She said this to a young girl, who did not even know what it was! We must listen to that which Our Lady says.” 

Words, that in any case indicate as reasonable a single stance: conversion, penance, prayer.

And that, my friends, is the real Father Gabriele Amorth. Go to to check out all of our coverage, and may God bless you.

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John-Henry is the co-founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne have eight children and they live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout the world. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum, an annual strategy meeting for life, faith and family leaders worldwide. He is a board member of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family. He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization. He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.