In this powerful book, the renowned exorcist of Rome tells of his many experiences in his ministry as an exorcist doing battle with Satan to relieve the great suffering of people in the grip of evil. The importance of the ministry to expel demons is clearly seen in the Gospels, from the actions of the Apostles, and from Church history. Fr. Amorth allows the reader to witness the activities of the exorcist, to experience what an exorcist sees and does. He also reveals how little modern science, psychology, and medicine can do to help those under Satan's influence, and that only the power of Christ can release them from this kind of mental, spiritual or physical suffering. An Exorcist Tells His Story has been a European best-seller that has gone through numerous printings and editions. No other book today so thoroughly and concisely discusses the topic of exorcism.
Italian Roman Catholic priest and the senior exorcist of the Diocese of Rome.
Amorth authored two books specifically on exorcism. The publications marked a defining moment in literary history, being the first public documents to treat this subject. The two books An Exorcist Tells His Story and An Exorcist: More Stories are not official Roman Catholic documents, rather personal accounts of his office as Exorcist. The books use witness accounts and personal experience as evidence.
Fr. Amorth is an extremely talented, holy and humble priest. He’s not a writer first, but this is still an unforgettable and important book, one that more people would do well to read and take seriously. It was first published in 1990—over 30 years ago—and things have not improved since.
An Exorcist Tells His Story was the perfect length for a seven-hour (approximately) car trip my husband and I took yesterday including pauses for discussion. We were held captive by the book from start to finish.
It is not meant to scare or titillate, but to inform from Father Amorth’s extensive experience as an exorcist. Fr. Amorth credits his great teacher and mentor, Father Candido Amantini, a Passionist priest, with bringing him into this ministry which he was totally unprepared for and learned as he went along.
It gave me many insights into the devil—satan—and his minions and the various ways they work to ensnare human beings, hang on to them once they have been trapped, continue to haunt them even after they have been exorcised and all the damage they can do if an exorcism is not done properly.
One thing I was surprised to learn was how much demons suffer during exorcisms and yet, not so much as they will in hell.
As it was an audio book, I am not sure I completely understood everything. I either need to listen to it again, read-read it or read another/more by Fr. Amorth.
Father Amorth stressed many times that bishops need to take this problem seriously and appoint and train more priests as exorcists. I could not agree with him more. I happen to know a young woman who has twice now dabbled in the occult, at 15 and 17 years of age. The first time, we thought she had left it behind, but it seems not. She comes from a good Catholic family too. If it can happen in a family like that, it can happen anywhere.
1) a collection of horror stories. If you want such stories, go see The Exorcist or The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Granted, this book presents an assortment of possession stories, but does not go into great gory details. And if present, the stories mainly serve as illustrations for the theological/pastoral descriptions. If you're expecting a freak show, you'll be disappointed;
2) a recollection of an exorcist's day-to-day life. It's not even a recollection of an exorcist's job!;
3) an anthology of exorcism ritual texts;
4) a detailed explanation on demonology or angelology;
5) a fairytale-natured book aiming to sow the seeds of false optimism and arrogance about human's power over the demons.
What the book IS:
1) Catholic and Christ-centered. Definitely!;
2) an honest (neither exaggerating nor underestimating) description about the nature of demons and demonic activities;
3) an "Exorcism 101".
What I mean by "Exorcism 101" is that Fr. Amorth's book does not place a special emphasis on just a single aspect of exorcism. Rather, it touches on many factors: the nature of Christ, the angels, and the demons; forms and characteristics of diabolic activities; and the basic theories of exorcism---what it is, who can do it, when should it be done, why it should it be done, and how it should be done.
Although not by any means extensive, readers will be pleasantly fulfilled, and believers especially, will likely to have their faith renewed. Fr. Amorth's book is powerful indeed; it serves as a reminder (or warning?) for us that the force of evil very much exists and is very active.
I find this book to be mostly fear mongering. It contains major contradictions and inconsistencies, so I'm baffled how it's popular even among believers. However, I was pleased to find out there are catholics who agree with me.
The author talks about signs to recognize demonic possession, yet says you cannot be certain until exorcism is attempted and you can't tell for sure even after one of two sessions. Some signs of demonic possession are simply ridiculous. I am in a period of long unemployment, which is apparently a symptom of potential demonic influence in my life. If one of your ex's has suddenly dumped you with no explanation it could have been due to a curse, yo. One of his clients suffered from 'all imaginable misfortunes' such as poor health, problems with his kids and a broken car. And here I thought this would be a serious book, yet I am reminded of a Jerome Jerome novel where the main character read a list of medical illnesses and concluded he suffers from them all.
At first the author talks how years are needed to exorcise a demon, yet later says possession is a gradual process, it can't immediately be made distinct from demonic oppression and other demonic influences. But you can also be instantly possessed via a spell/hex/etc. And you can't really tell for yourself if you are, because apparently losing control over your body and being trapped inside your head is one of the most extreme signs of possession, some sort of a final stage and not the norm or even the beginning.
To me the chapter from a viewpoint of a formerly possessed person was absolutely indistinguishable from a PoV of a mental health patient. To the credit of the author he does point out psychologists are needed and often work together with an exorcist. He simply states how a health problem caused by the supernatural cannot be healed by modern medicine. Newsflash - mental problems take years to heal and some never do despite having nothing supernatural about them.
He bashes psychologists for not considering spiritual problems after years of little success in patient treatment, however when he as an exorcist needs years to free a possessed person this criteria doesn't apply. But simultaneously the benefits of exorcism should be visible after a few days. R.I.P. logic.
I frankly think despite the author's claims the book contains many exaggerations. Here I include his claims of performing over 30 000 exorcisms during the course of nine years, which means over 9 per day every day without rest. Yet less than a 100 turned out to be cases of actual demonic possession.
The author states how important is to submit to the authority of the Church, yet admits to performing thousands of unauthorized exorcisms. Obviously as seen above most of those were completely unnecessary. And he performed them in spite of disobeying the Church and his own admission that people with mental health issues might suffer from the wrong belief they are possessed reinforced by needlessly receiving an exorcism. Great job, father.
With this review I do not want to deny a blatantly stated truth of the Gospel - that demons exists and sometimes influence and even posses people. Yet as the author himself shyly mentions on several occasions, this is extremely rare. The idea that every astrologist, spiritual healer, aura reader and so on can cast a demon at you is not something I subscribe to. It stinks of superstitious. Most of those people are frauds who take the money of naive people. If getting in touch and receiving power from demons was so easy, it would have been a recognized truth of the world, a commonly known fact like the shape of the earth (which some still deny). There's a fine line between careful and paranoid and the author has crossed it in my opinion.
There can be no doubt that Fr. Gabriele Amorth was completely sincere in this book. An exorcist in Rome, he claimed to have performed thousands of exorcisms, but this book is mostly laying out his theology. The reader gets a full treatment of the role of God as creator, Jesus and redeemer, and Mary as the mother of God. He talks about angels and demons, but doesn't give much of his own background. The book is an unapologetic appeal to get the Catholic Church to appoint more exorcists.
If you're looking to learn more about demons beyond the standard fallen angel story, you won't find it here. You also won't find accounts of spectacular exorcisms. It is a bit preachy (of course Amorth was a priest, so this could be expected). My main concern with the book is how unquestioningly judgmental it is of lifestyles of which Amorth didn't approve, and also of other religions. There's no question in his mind that African religions are false and open people to demonic possession. He also very clearly believes in curses and magic. Again, this may not be unexpected for a priest, but it would help his case to show just a touch more skepticism.
Clearly Amorth wanted to help people. He performed exorcisms to do so. The result, as he hopes, is for a better Catholic life. Although he admits some Protestants are more inclined to fight demons than Catholics, he's rigid in the way that it can be done. Only a bishop or the bishop's priestly appointee can do an exorcism. Or a Protestant. He doesn't seem bothered by his own inconsistency.
The book is well-enough written, and with good motives. Nevertheless, one would hope for a bit more nuance in a man who had seen so much. One could also hope for a little more of his actual story. We learn little about him, but a great deal about his theology. Since the book deals wholly with religion, I also discuss it on my blog. The post is here (Sects and Violence in the Ancient World) if interested.
It is not an organized thought. There are repetitions. But still, it makes an engaging read. Amorth has in fact tried to make the book more organized and thus arranges the chapters into various points. Amorth is upset with Rationalism and Materialism which has driven many bishops, theologians and ordinary people to think against the existence of devil and his influences. Negation of devil means negation of Gospel according to Amorth. It contained very interesting anecdotes, new information, and some of the Church positions on the existence of devil. As a priest I found the book much nourishing in the realms of my spiritual life.
Great book for Catholics. Provides insight into real exorcism and is true evidence of the works of the devil. It also provides direction on ways to live your life to stay free from the devil and his works. Once I started reading it, it kept my attention and couldn't put it down.
The new movie starring Russell Crowe, The Pope’s Exorcist, is based on this book and its sequel. The filming begins this fall in Ireland. I’m wondering how they will adapt the case histories in the two books. The books are honest but not sensationalist and I hope the movie takes the same approach.
“Confession is stronger than an exorcism” - Father Amorth. This book is truly great. It is great in that anyone could pick this book up, read it, and feel like you have learned all that there is to learn about the subject it pertains to (but you truly have not learned everything it just makes you feel that way). The part of the book that I felt really was the best was the middle to the end of the book. In those two parts of the book Father Amorth explains things about exorcisms that I did not now of until reading this book. The best thing that I got from reading that part of the book specifically is that even the smallest of things having to do with spirituality which goes against the teachings of the Catholic Church and God can lead to the demonic coming into your life and the life of the people around you, even those fortune telling things that you did as a child (which seem innocent) when you were a kid in school could lead to such things. This book opened my eyes to things around me that I had no idea or felt were no big deal, were actually bigger than I had thought and was actually not good for myself.
I found this to be an excellent book. It is not a book of drama and hype or sensationalism. It is instead a calm, prayerful and sincere warning against the devil and his evil influence in this world, and how it has grown in modern society. It is especially interesting that the forward to the American edition/translation is by Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel. For those unfamiliar with him, Fr. Groeschel is a Capuchin Friar, and is a celebrity in the world of Catholicism, known for his insights, intelligence and holiness. Fr. Groeschel is also a psychologist. His forward to the American Edition is not a wholehearted endorsement of the book, but instead begs the reader to exercise discernment whenever attempting to determine if a problem being faced is medical or diabolical.
The caution exercised by Fr. Groeschel in the forward is actually repeated in the text on many occasions. Fr. Amorth, the Exorcist of Rome, instructs in this work that the person who should be most skeptical of claims of possession or demonic interference and influence, is actually the Exorcist himself. This is, of course, solid advice. We do not need to give the devil greater power than he already possesses.
The purpose of the book, however, is to keep the problem of the devil in the discussion. Too many times there are people, including priests and bishops, who deny the actual existence of the devil. If people deny his existence, it is easier for him to do his work, because no one protects against him. This is consistent (as Fr. Amorth himself explains) with the vision granted to Pope Leo XIII. Only a few of the details are set forth in this book, and Fr. Amorth indicates how they were related to him. The vision actually took place on October 13, 1884, when the Pope had a vision of God speaking with Satan. The devil claimed he could destroy the church if given 75 to 100 years, and greater power over those who would surrender to the devil. God said that He would grant the devil such time and power. This vision, naturally parallels the book of Job, with the Church being in the place of Job.
Since that time, the battle with the devil has been fought on many levels. The devil has been granted enlarged power in the world by the manner in which he is ignored and God is denied. I have myself heard a priest preach a homily in which he reflected on the Gospel in which Jesus cast out the legion of demons by saying that "of course, demons don't really exist. We know today that this is just mental illness."
It is true that there are many cases of mental illness. Fr. Amorth cautions against misinterpreting these cases as being cases of possession. Many cases misdiagnosed as mental illness, however, are cured by the Rite of Exorcism, which is spiritual medicine. Most of his "cures" are, therefore, commenced with prayers of blessings.
Fr. Amorth treats his subject very rationally and dispassionately. Because of his many years of experience as the Exorcist of Rome, he has been able to study the issue of demonic influence in a very scientific manner. He breaks the problem down into understandable and manageable divisions, in a way not set forth in the literature previously. He gives the reader categories of demonic influence, which he labels as Possession, Obsession and Oppression. He also cautions against curses and hexes. Most people believe that these too are purely psychological. It is the common belief that a curse cannot be effective unless the person cursed is aware of it, and therefore it impairs him psychologically because of the victim's belief that it should. This is belied, however, by the experiences of Fr. Amorth.
Fr. Amorth's stated purpose in writing this book is to let people know that the devil is real, and the battle against him is ongoing. He hopes that bishops and other priests will again take seriously the difficult task of the exorcist and work to defeat the devil. He also reminds the general public of the reality of this problem, and how one may become subject to demonic influences. This includes even what most people think of as totally innocuous, such as the persistent use of foul language.
Finally, it most be noted that most people consider both exorcism and this book, because it discusses exorcism, as a Catholic matter. Obviously the book is written from a Catholic perspective since the author is a Catholic priest holding the office of Exorcist. Even he points out,however, that demonic influence is not limited to Catholics. Nor is the practice of exorcism. There are many protestants who also act as exorcists, and people around the globe have experienced demonic possession, oppression or obsession, without regard to their religion or culture. The devil is no respecter of persons and will use whatever power he has against all members of the human race. The Catholic Church may be a particular target of his, but he takes victims where he finds them.
Exorcism is one of the ministries which Church do. Jesus has given authority to his disciples to cast out demons and Church is carrying out. This is an interesting book where Fr. Gabriele Amoroth speaks about the importance of this ministry and the lack of minsters in the dioceses. There are many episodes where he narrates about the exorcism but to the end part of the book I felt little boring, I don't know the reason.
This is a terrifying book - not because it sets out any convincing evidence of demonic activity (it doesn't!), but because it so clearly demonstrates the horrifying logical contortions the human mind is capable of once it has discounted all possibility of its initial premise being wrong.
First of all, you are expected to take it as read that, sometimes, people have problems which are caused by demons. This is a given. You can tell straight away that demons are involved, except when you can't and have to work it out later. You have to be careful, though, because sometimes problems look like they're caused by demons and it turns out they aren't.
As an exorcist, your initial step is to ask the demon's name. He might tell you. He might refuse. He might pretend not to be there. He might lie. He might obfuscate to throw you off the scent. However, none of this indicates that asking him is a useless exercise.
Once you have identified your demon, then it's time to exorcise him. This might work immediately, or it might take years. It might only work a bit. It might not work at all. Sometimes it will work but you will still need a doctor to fix the damage the demon did in the meantime. Sometimes it will work but you won't be able to tell until later. Sometimes it will only work for a while. Whatever happens, exorcism will be assumed to have been an effective course of action.
What works for one exorcist won't necessarily work for another but this doesn't matter because "facts do not change and the efficacy of a method cannot be discounted because the facts differ from someone else's experience."
Should you start to worry about the notion that facts are subjective and wonder if maybe there are alternative explanations for these utterly diverse phenomena - beware! Those who don't believe in the devil only provide proof of his existence.
I mean... seriously?
I read this book out of a genuine wish to understand how - in this day and age - normal, intelligent people can still believe in demons and witchcraft. I am no further forward.
I would consider this as a life-changing book. Fr. Amorth, former exorcist of the diocese of Rome, explains clearly and in accordance with Catholic beliefs that demons are among us (different from mental illnesses: he also explains the differences in the book). This book, rather than scaring me, has strengthened my resolve to be a good Catholic. I now seek to be closer to God. There are a lot of anecdotes about exorcisms in this book that will make one realize that evil can approach and attack you from anywhere, especially if you are far from God. But armed with faith, participation in the sacraments, and proper use of sacramentals, one must not fear.
I will include a quote from "The Imitation of Christ" by Thomas Kempis: "He who follows me walketh not in darkness." With faith in God, one has His help and the strength to keep demons at bay.
First, although the title implies that this book is autobiographical, it is not. It is very Italian, somewhat rambling, and using inconsistent terminology (at least in translation). After having read Mr Adam Bai's Hauntings, Possessions, and Exorcisms, which was very technical and highly organized, this book was somewhat frustrating.
However, originally published in 1990 in Italian, it is apparently the first of its kind, and Fr. Amorth is largely responsible for a modest return to this sort of spiritual combat and the more mainstreaming of exorcisms and deliverance.
This book taught me the power of the sacraments. My eyes were also opened to the evil that is in the world and the importance of keeping your soul united with Christ. My love for Saint Michael the Archangel started when reading this book. Father Amorth does a great job of showing how Christ is far more powerful than any evil but at the same time that evil is real and not to be taken lightly.
Read it and live! Read it and learn about narcissism...its diabolical in nature! Read it and be FREE in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord! Learn the prayers and pray it over your household! Over your job, your kids, your life!
Look around people..narcissism is prevalent more TODAY than any other time in society, who do you think is the ochestrator of this?
This is not a horror story. This is not a how-to. It is a matter of fact presentation of the reality of the spiritual realm by a man who touched it without fear every day. The prayers at the end of the book were the best part.
This is an excellent overview of exorcisms and exorcists. Fr. Amorth very simply lays out all those things in life that the evil one uses to draw people in and then to make them suffer. Sadly, many of the obsessions and possessions are a result of the evil that men do to each other.
For all those (and I know many) who make light of Ouija Boards, Seances, Fortune telling, Tarot Cards, Channeling, Wicca etc., you have no idea that all of these things are opening you and those around you up to the devil. For those who do not believe in him, you already belong to him. Wake up!
There is only one path and one light and that is Jesus Christ. You either belong to Him or you belong to Satan. Read this book if you want an insight into who you may be following without even knowing it.
Although this was a relatively short book, I found the late Father Amorth's wealth of knowledge of demonic possession (and demonic obsession and hexes etc) astounding. I have gained much insight into the other world and how our worlds collide.
Avoid the occult, tarot cards, ouija boards like the plague. You have no idea what type of demonic influences you might be opening up for you and your family.
Church militant, pray your rosary daily, cooperate with the grace of God, receive the Sacraments devoutly, and above all, trust in his God's mercy.
While there is some interesting information contained within the book and it was worth taking the time to read, the author speaks largely in generalities. His main focus in the book is to bemoan the fact that exorcists are in short supply and bishops and priests are neglecting this duty (with the hopes of bringing about the revival of this once common position in the Church).
I'm not sure I have much more to say beyond what other reviewers have already said. I was expecting more war stories; the ones the author offers are intriguing, but I was surprised -- pleasantly so -- by two of his take-home points.
First, he established his credibility with me early on by stating very clearly that not all disturbed people have a spiritual problem; for many of them, the issue is strictly psychiatric, and as an exorcist, he cannot help them. In fact, he recommends having a psychiatrist present during exorcisms to determine whether the presenting condition should be treated as a medical illness instead. By embracing the role of medical science rather than spiritualizing all health problems, I found it easy to take him seriously as a sort of practitioner in his own right. (He also makes the important point that, likewise, people with spiritual problems will not be helped by psychiatry.)
Second, his major contention is not with those who willingly or recklessly engage with forces that later oppress them but with the Catholic Church itself. He is bitterly upset with the unwillingness of priests and (especially) bishops to acknowledge the reality of spiritual oppression and to encourage the practice of exorcism. Given the hierarchical nature of the Church, this seemed pretty brave, and I respect that.
The prose was not easy to read - it's translated from the Italian, and although the book was written fairly recently, maybe the older style is more common in European ecclesiastical contexts. It also assumes familiarity with and acceptance of some distinctive points of Catholic doctrine, which made it a bit harder as well. But it was worth reading.
All right, let me be honest here from the off (rather than the middle or the end). The late Fr Amorth was a bit mad.
But before you nod sagely, thinking that was only to be expected of a man who professed to have performed well over a hundred thousand exorcisms during his years of ministry, let me hasten to add that that wasn't the root of his madness. No, his madness is one I recognise, and it's one peculiar and particular to a certain class of Italian intellectual: it's the madness of unrecognition stoked by the frustration of years of unrecognised labour. Italy is a country and culture where intellectual and cultural achievement is admired: to be called 'Il Professore' or 'Il Dottore' is a great distinction. To be denied recognition for labours strikes at the core of such an Italian.
Fr Amorth was such an Italian. He laboured in a lonely and unappreciated ministry for decades, with virtually no support from bishops or brother priests, and there lies the root of the slight tinge of madness that runs through this book. I don't believe it has anything to do with the abyss he stared into in his vocation, pulling back people dangling over the pit. In fact, the repetitiveness of his work is strongly suggestive of its validity, for evil is, by its nature, uncreative, repeating the same patterns of fall over and over and over again. Only the good creates. Evil merely spoils.
Hopefully, in heaven, Fr Amorth can see that his work is now much more appreciated and even bishops (an old saying famously remarked that the paths of hell are paved with their skulls) have come to realise the necessity of taking the devil and all his works seriously.
Interesting read - but mainly aimed at the priestly audience. Amorth explains how Exorcists get the cold shoulder from other members of clergy and how he would like this to change plus how he would like there to be more exorcist appointments to be made (and for bishops to learn the Rites, as well).
There wasn't much about exorcising but that is to be expected as it is something only ordained priests with their bishop's or the Pope's blessing should be able to perform. I did find the account of a person who had been possessed to be enlightening (for my research purposed in my writing).
Most people will scoff when I tell them that there is such a thing as demonic possession. After having read this book, as well as several other books on the same topic, I am convinced that demonic possession is real and exists today and is not mere superstition. I encourage all who doubt me to read this book, as well as several other great books on this topic, and then let's talk.
"Należy także zaznaczyć, że kota uważa się za zwierzę, które "pochłania duchy", i dlatego niekiedy złe duchy pojawiają się w postaci kota".
Z doświadczenia wiem, że taki kot to potrafi pochłonąć wiele rzeczy, tony karmy suchej i mokrej, kurczaka, tuńczyka, ogórka... może i złe duchy również. Od wieków ciągnie się ten krzywdzący zabobon, nie wiem co się wszyscy tak czepili tych biednych stworzeń.
A tak już najzupełniej poważnie to najpierw przytoczę cytat ojca Candido Amantiniego: "Niewielu jest uczonych, którzy myślą poważnie o możliwości wpływania i działania sił obcych, inteligentnych i bezcielesnych, jako o przyczynie pewnych zjawisk. Niewielka jest również liczba lekarzy, którzy stając wobec przypadków chorób z zadziwiającymi objawami i niewytłumaczalnymi klinicznie skutkami, sądzą spokojnie, że mają do czynienia z pacjentami tego drugiego rodzaju"
Coś jest w tym, co powiedział Amantini, a przytoczyłam w w/w cytacie - chociaż jestem tylko dentystą to bliżej byłoby mi do poszukiwania racjonalnych wyjaśnień niż przypisywania objawów opętaniu przez demona.
W książkach o egzorcyzmach nie szukam prawd wiary, raczej czytam je z ciekawości. Ciężko jest mi bowiem bezwarunkowo akceptować głoszone przez np. Orygenesa teorie dotyczące demonów jeżeli wiem, że ten sam człowiek wysnuł świetny pomysł, żeby w każdym przypadku trudnego porodu bez zastanowienia poświęcać matkę, bo kobieta jest z natury grzeszna, a dziecko musi przyjść na świat, żeby mogło być ochrzczone.
Rzucanie uroku wzrokiem, gusła, czarna magia, złowieszcze napoje "z domieszką: krwi menstruacyjnej", mordercze kukiełki i lalki... to wszystko znajdziecie w tej książce, przez co jest z jednej strony podobna do Młota na czarownice, ale z drugiej dotyczy zjawisk nam współczesnych - egzorcyzmy nie są przecież przeżytkiem w stylu inkwizycji. Kto wie, co będzie za kilka wieków, może ta książka wyląduje na półce obok Malleus Maleficarum? Tego już się niestety nie dowiemy.
Ciężko jest ocenić książkę, która moim zdaniem skierowana jest raczej do ludzi głęboko wierzących. Inaczej jej czytanie jest dość specyficzne, gdyż nie przewiduje ona miejsca na wątpliwości, które oczywiście u mnie się pojawiły. Jeżeli chodzi o opis samych egzorcyzmów to sporo się z niej można dowiedzieć. Za to daję 5 gwiazdek.
Interesting perspective on the battle against evil from the experience of an exorcist.
The subject was interesting, but the writing was bland and repetitive- had an attempted academic feel to it, where the author was clearly tying to convince the reader that demonic influences are real, and the only defense is Christianity. Full of admonitions against the Church for failing to appoint and educate enough exorcists- and against priests for looking at exorcism skeptically.
Some of the admonitions were openly rude- he basically says anyone who disagrees with him is an idiot with a “failure to think”
But for all the strong admonitions against the skeptics- there were zero evidences supporting the author’s claim beyond anecdotal and biblical sources.
The author claims to have personally exorcised countless people- and further claims to witness all manner of unexplainable phenomenon. He says these happenings help strengthen his faith and the faith of all who witness them. Why then doesn’t he simply video tape these occurrences to offer the world the same benefits? At the very least, he could have asked a couple of those exorcised to go on record and testify their experiences. (There is apparently a documentary code of him performing a supposedly real exorcism. I haven’t watched it yet but from what I’ve read t fails to show anything close to “unexplainable phenomenon”)
The author claims to be entirely devoted to his service- i would like to know for sure whether he offers his exorcism purely on a basis of charity- because I agree with his statement that taking money for a service rendered by God would be dishonest and inherently corrupting.
And the strangest part of this book: the handful of open contradictions.
1. Anything is possible through God’s power and the invocation of Jesus name- demonic influences flee the sign of the cross, etc.... yet there are numerous exorcisms that fail to succeed. I suppose this could be explained by the victim not accepting the exorcism or the grace of God or some such, but I don’t think this is ever specifically addressed.
2. We have free will and neither God nor the Devil can interfere unless we invite their mastery of us and accept our own slavery.... yet numerous anecdotes are offered about somebody falling under demonic influence through no deliberate action or fault of their own (they unknowingly ate something tainted with evil, or fell under a curse that was merely uttered by somebody who hated them, etc)
3. The exorcism is purely serious and intended to deliver God’s grace and secure the freedom of the victim. Yet there is one clear instance where Amorth acts in a way that contradicts the mission of exorcisms: he asks a demon to reinfect a girl whom God previously liberated through exorcism.... That just sounds insane.
4. He says cursed objects must be destroyed under fire and prayer, but oddly keeps the vomited out tainted objects as mementos.
Their were a handful of interesting or helpful prayers at the back of the book.
This book was eye opening. I had no idea! The author, Fr. Gabriele Amorth, writes that was his motivation for writing this book: to bring more awareness about the importance of the ministry to "expel" demons. The first chapter "The Centrality of Christ" is brilliant and quite possibly the best chapter in the book, along with the second chapter "The Power of Satan". In these two chapters he explains a bit of the basic theology and how to applies to exorcism. The rest of the book was good. I was hoping for a flowing story of his experiences and life as a exorcist, but the rest of the book wasn't like that. No flow, more of a helpful guide for other priests to gain more information about exorcism and the how-tos. Which is, I am sure, the author's intent as I got the sense he wanted to pass on this information from all his years of experience as a exorcist. I think this book is a keeper, one I will read more than once. Great book to start with. It seemed to be written by a humble, honest, trustworthy servant of God.