The Catholic Church’s leading ‘exorcist’ is calling for all priests to be allowed to conduct the ritual after Pope Francisapparentlyperformed one in St Peter’s Square last week.
He told the Sunday Times: ‘I will ask the pope to give all priests the power to carry out exorcisms, and to ensure priests are properly trained for these starting with the seminary. There’s a huge demand for them.’His comments come after Pope Francis was captured on film performing an apparent exorcism on May 19.
The footage shows Pope Francis placing his hands on the head of a disabled man who appears to go into a frenzy of convulsions and shaking, before slumping as Francis prays over him.
Father Amorth, 88, told La Repubblica newspaper ‘The Pope is also the Bishop of Rome, and like any bishop he is also an exorcist.’
Those who dismiss exorcism as superstition were wrong he insisted. ‘There was now, more than ever, a need for exorcists to combat people possessed by “sorcerers” and “Satanists”.’
The Pontiff was introduced to two men in wheelchairs after Pentecostal mass on Sunday. When a priest leaned across to tell Francis something, the Pope’s expression took on a serious tone.
Francis then took hold of the top of the man’s head firmly, pushing him down into his wheelchair. As he delivered an intense prayer, the man’s mouth dropped open and he heaved deeply half a dozen times, visibly shaking.
After the ritual Francis continued with his usual meetings with the sick who come to St Peter’s.The Vatican downplayed the incident with spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the Pope ‘did not intend to perform an exorcism’ but a ‘prayer for a suffering person’.
But Father Amorth insists the ‘prayer’ was an exorcism ritual. He told the newspaper: ‘The priest told Francis: “Look, this is a young man who is possessed by the devil”. And the Pope blessed him and prayed over him, it was a real and proper exorcism.
The Pope’s exorcism is a splendid sign because one of the main causes of today’s atheism is that people don’t believe in the Devil any more. Jesus said: “Who is not with me is with Satan”.’
He added: ‘We live in an age in which God has been forgotten. And wherever God is not present, the Devil rules.
‘Today, unfortunately, bishops don’t appoint sufficient exorcists. We need many more. I hope that Rome will send out directives to bishops around the world calling on them to appoint more exorcists.’
The former Pope, Benedict XVI, never officially performed an exorcism but John Paul II is known to have carried out at least three exorcisms during his tenure.
Father Amorth claimed Pope John Paul II had been a powerful exorcist. He said: ‘John Paul II fought many times against Satan.
He said:’Practising yoga brings evil as does reading Harry Potter. They may both seem innocuous but they both deal with magic and that leads to evil.’He added:’Yoga is the Devil’s work. You think you are doing it for stretching your mind and body but it leads to Hinduism. All these oriental religions are based on the false belief of reincarnation.’Father Amorth, speaking on the subject of People And Religion at a fringe event at the Umbria Film Festival in Terni two years ago, went on to speak of his dislike for JK Rowling’s young wizard.
He said:’People think it is an innocuous book for children but it’s about magic and that leads to evil. In Harry Potter the Devil is at work in a cunning and crafty way, he is using his extraordinary powers of magic and evil.
‘Satan is always hidden and the thing he desires more than anything is for people to believe he does not exist. He studies each and everyone of us and our tendencies towards good and evil and then he tempts us.
‘My advice to young people would be to watch out for nightclubs because the path is always the same: alcohol, sex, drugs and Satanic sects.’
While in 2006, Father Amorth, who was ordained a priest in 1954, gave an interview to Vatican Radio in which he said that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and Russian dictator Josef Stalin were both possessed by the Devil.
Like what you see? Be sure to also visit Pissed Off Geek too for more news and reviews with a horrific edge. To stay up to date with the latest horror news and reviews from the site be sure to "like" Truly Disturbings's Facebook page and following us on Twitter!