Gabriele Amorth

Gabriele Amorth S.S.P. (1 May 1925 – 16 September 2016) was an Italian Catholic priest and exorcist of the Diocese of Rome who performed tens of thousands of exorcisms over his sixty plus years as a priest.[1] As the appointed exorcist for the diocese of Rome, Amorth was the Chief Exorcist of the Vatican.[2]

Gabriele Amorth

Chief Exorcist of the Vatican
Gabriele Amorth.jpg
Fr. Amorth in 2013
Personal details
Born(1925-05-01)1 May 1925
Modena, Emilia, Kingdom of Italy
Died16 September 2016(2016-09-16) (aged 91)
Rome, Italy
OccupationExorcist and writer

Life and workEdit

Amorth was born in Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy on 1 May 1925.[3] He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1954 and became an official exorcist in June 1986, under the tutelage of Candido Amantini.[4] He was a member of the Society of St. Paul, the congregation founded by James Alberione in 1914. In 1990, he founded the International Association of Exorcists and was president until he retired in 2000. He was Honorary President for life of the association until his death.[5]

Amorth's favorite film was The Exorcist. He thought it substantially correct and based on true events, although the special effects were exaggerated. In an interview with the London Sunday Telegraph, Amorth stressed that "People need to know what we do."[6]

Amorth died at the age of 91 on 16 September 2016, a short time after he was hospitalised for pulmonary complications.[7]


In October 2000, it was reported he had performed over 50,000 exorcisms (which ranged from "a few minutes" to "several hours" in length).[6] In March 2010, he said that the number had increased to 70,000. By May 2013, he said he had performed 160,000 exorcisms in the course of his ministry.[8] According to Amorth, each exorcism does not represent a victim of possession, but rather each exorcism is counted as a prayer or ritual alone, and some possession victims required hundreds of exorcisms.[9]

Edward Peters, a professor of canon law, finds Amorth's claim to have personally performed 30,000 exorcisms over 9 years "astounding". Even accepting Amorth's claim that only 94 of his 30,000 exorcisms represented full-blown possession, that would have required roughly one case a month to be thoroughly examined and processed over nine years with hardly a break.[10] Amorth believed that a person may be possessed by more than one demon at once, sometimes numbering in the thousands, which is what accounts for the high number of reputed demons exorcised.

When asked whether the devil can strike inside the Vatican City, Amorth stated, "He has tried already. He did it in 1981 by attacking John Paul II by working with those who armed Ali Ağca."[11]

He attributed the number of exorcisms performed to his opinion that "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."[12]

Amorth offered the following guidelines to those exercising the charism of exorcism. Any such person must be highly regarded for his prayer life, faith, acts of charity and judgement. In addition he must rely solely on the "Word of God" and traditional prayer, be completely detached from monetary concerns, profoundly humble and treasure obscurity.[13]

"Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give." Matthew 10:8

He said that the new rite of exorcism is "a farce. An incredible obstacle that is likely to prevent us from acting against the demon." He remarked that the new exorcism rite forbids exorcisms on people who have been reportedly subjected to evil spells. Amorth exclaimed, "Absurd! Evil spells are by far the most frequent causes of possessions and evil procured through the demon: at least 90% of cases. It is as good as telling exorcists they can no longer perform exorcisms."[citation needed] He also[clarification needed] noted that it "Solemnly declares that one should not carry out exorcisms if one is not certain of the presence of the devil", while "it is only through exorcism that the demons reveal themselves".[14] He considered the new rite "A blunt weapon...Efficacious prayers, prayers that had been in existence for twelve centuries, were suppressed and replaced by new ineffective prayers."[citation needed]


Amorth wrote two memoirs of his time as an exorcist - An Exorcist Tells His Story and An Exorcist: More Stories. The books include references to official Roman Catholic teachings on demonology while the main emphasis is on Amorth's experience as an exorcist. Both include references to the diagnosis and treatment of spiritual problems. The books briefly cover the topics of demonic contraction and curses.[13] He states, "A curse can originate from such things as maledictions by close relatives, a habit of blaspheming, membership in Freemasonry, spiritic or magic practices, and so on."[15]

Father Amorth wrote more than thirty books in Italian, many of which have been translated into other languages. The following are his books in English:

  • An Exorcist Tells His Story - published on March 1, 1999 by Ignatius Press
  • An Exorcist: More Stories - published on February 1, 2002 by Ignatius Press
  • An Exorcist Explains the Demonic: The Antics of Satan and His Army of Fallen Angels - published on October 20, 2016 by Sophia Press
  • Father Amorth: My Battle Against Satan - published on November 15, 2018 by Sophia Press
  • The Devil is Afraid of Me: The Life and Work of the World's Most Popular Exorcist - published on January 19, 2020 by Sophia Press

Amorth was also interviewed for the second episode of True Horror with Anthony Head, presented by Anthony Head. He explained he would never perform an exorcism based solely on someone's claims of possession; always directs people to psychiatrists and doctors first, and that when he sees someone is not possessed but the person still insists, he replies: "You have no devil. If you have a problem, talk to a good vet."


Views on yogaEdit

At a film festival in Umbria (where he was invited to introduce the 2011 film about Exorcism called The Rite), he is quoted as saying that yoga is satanic because it leads to practice of Hinduism and "all eastern religions are based on a false belief in reincarnation" and "practicing yoga is satanic, it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter".[16]

Disappearance of Emanuela OrlandiEdit

Amorth claimed that Emanuela Orlandi, an Italian schoolgirl who went missing in Rome in 1983 was kidnapped for a sex party by a gang involving Vatican police and foreign diplomats. He said that she was later murdered and her body disposed of. Amorth claimed that girls were recruited at the Vatican for parties, adding that her death "was a crime with a sexual motive."[17]



  • An Exorcist Tells his Story (translated by Nicoletta V. Mackenzie, 1999; ISBN 0-89870-710-2)
  • Gospel of Mary: A Month With the Mother of God (2000; ISBN 0-8189-0871-8)
  • An Exorcist: More Stories (translated by Nicoletta V. Mackenzie, 2002; ISBN 0-89870-917-2)
  • Esorcisti e Psichiatri (2002; ISBN 80-7192-981-6)
  • Pater Pio: Lebensgeschichte eines Heiligen (2003; ISBN 3-7171-1108-6)
  • Dietro un sorriso: Beata Alexandrina Maria da Costa (Elledici, 2006; ISBN 88-01-03477-6)
  • Memorie di un esorcista (2010; ISBN 978-88-566-0942-4)
  • An Exorcist Explains the Demonic (with Stefano Stimamiglio, translated by Charlotte J. Fasi, 2016; ISBN 978-1-62282-345-1)


  1. ^ "Directory of Exorcists, Deliverance Counselors, and Investigators". Camelot Warfare Library. Oblates and Missioners of St. Michael. 1996–2017. Archived from the original on 30 June 2018. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  2. ^ Connor, Laura (19 September 2016). "The Pope's chief exorcist 'who banished 70,000 demons' and said Vatican was possessed by devil dies aged 91". The Mirror. MGN Limited. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  3. ^ Friedkin, William (December 2016). "The Devil and Father Amorth: Witnessing "the Vatican Exorcist" at Work". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  4. ^ Amorth 2000, p. 9.
  5. ^ Allegri, Renzo (10 August 2003). "The Exorcist". A Messenger of St. Anthony. PPFMC. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b Brandreth, Gyles (29 October 2000). "An Interview With Fr Gabriele Amorth - The Church's Leading Exorcist". Catholic Exorcism. Telegraph Group Ltd. Archived from the original on 3 June 2001. Retrieved 13 September 2006.
  7. ^ Pentin, Edward (16 September 2016). "World Famous Exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth Dies at 91". National Catholic Register. EWTN News, Inc. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  8. ^ Dicker, Ron (2013-05-31). "160,000 Exorcisms And Counting". HuffPost. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
  9. ^ "Gabriele Amorth 2012 interview"
  10. ^ Retrieved 2020-10-03. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "Pope's Exorcist Says the Devil Is In the Vatican". ABC News. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
  12. ^ National Catholic Register, Vatican exorcist: Hitler Knew the Devil, Edward Pentin, October 26, 2006. Archived January 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ a b Amorth 2000.
  14. ^ Brandreth, Gyles (May 2006). "An Interview With Father Gabriele Amorth: The Church's Leading Exorcist". The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 27 July 2012. Reprinted with permission...This interview first appeared in the 29th October 2000 issue of The Sunday Telegraph
  15. ^ Amorth 2000, p. 115.
  16. ^ Squires, Nick (27 November 2011). "'Harry Potter and yoga are evil', says Catholic Church exorcist". The Telegraph. Rome: Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  17. ^ Squires, Nick (22 May 2012). "Emanuela Orlandi 'was kidnapped for sex parties for Vatican police'". The Telegraph. Rome: Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 24 September 2018.

Further readingEdit

  • "Exorcist". The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume V. New Advent - Catholic Encyclopedia. January 1909. Retrieved 2007-03-03.

External linksEdit