In a blistering, posthumous attack, Father Gabriele Amorth, the most well-known exorcist of the past century, pinned the blame for a rise in demonism not only on society but on modern bishops who he said have not followed Jesus and apparently don’t believe in the Gospel.
Interviewed by an author named Elisabeth Fezzi, Father Amorth lamented that at one point before his books gained popularity, there were literally a couple dozen exorcists for all of Europe, with most dioceses — and in fact some entire countries — without a priest who could conduct deliverance.
Many are the afflicted who call diocesan offices or rectories for help and are ignored, referred to psychologists, or turned away, the priest lamented.
“Still today there are so many nations in which there are no exorcists,” said Father Amorth, who died in 2016. “The few exorcists actively working were all exceptional cases. I would say that the Lord has availed Himself of me to renew to exorcistate in the world.”
Asked why the Roman Catholic Church largely abandoned the practice of exorcism — at the same time it dismissed the Prayer to the Archangel Michael, and at the same time evil flooded into seminaries — Father Amorth pinned it on the rationalism that swept in with the so-called Enlightenment. “We must begin from when the Inquisition began,” he said, “the mania of the so-called bone femmine, who were considered a little crazy and who then were called witches and sent to the stake.
“Then, with the world horrified by these excesses and this collective folly, everything was denied: there were no witches and no demons. Everything was swept away! Everything was abolished. As a result, there were no more exorcisms. One excess replaced the other.”
But that didn’t mean the devil suddenly ceased to exist, he points out. To the contrary, Father Amorth said he has seen cases in which demons were so powerful the afflicted person levitated despite the efforts of four men to keep him down.
If a bishop has a serious case before him, warned the exorcist, and he does not provide help, “he commits a mortal sin.”
The exorcist not only emphasized the need for more exorcists, but said every priest should be enabled to practice it and laity should be allowed — as in the Orthodox Church — to perform deliverances, in the same way Jesus’s disciples (upon His direct instruction) did.
[resources: Father Amorth: My Battle Against Satan]