An Exorcist Explains the Demonic

by Fr Gabriele Amorth, Sophia Institute Press, £12

Fr Amorth, famous as the late chief exorcist of Rome, wrote this book with a priest-confrère before he died this year. It sums up his experiences, recorded in earlier writings, about facing “the antics of Satan and his army of fallen angels”.

Of particular interest is his view of ghosts, or “wandering souls”. Their status is still “unresolved” by the Church, though he personally thinks they are evil spirits in disguise. Anyone who has ever wondered about the diabolic or dabbled in the occult should read this straightforward account of demonic activity. On the question “Do the sins of our ancestors affect our life?” Amorth writes simply: “It is always opportune to celebrate Mass for our dear deceased.”

He discusses spells, magic, spiritualism and the four forms of satanic involvement with humans: possession, vexation, obsession and infestation. There is no such thing as “white magic” and Christians should avoid horror films and mutilating the body by piercings and tattoos.

“The Devil is content,” Amorth observes, “when people consider him solely a medieval relic.” He champions the rosary as “an extremely powerful arm against the Devil” and warmly recommends it “to anyone suffering from spiritual evils”.

Catholics do not need to see Satan prowling behind every corner but it is prudent to recognise that he exists “for the ruin of souls” and to give him a wide berth through prayer and the Sacraments.

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