On Satan’s trail with Don Gabriele, the world’s most famous exorcist

On Satan’s trail with Don Gabriele, the world’s most famous exorcist

Richard Owen, Rome

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Father Gabriele Amorth said Pope Benedict XVI himself ?fully believes in liberation from Evil, because the Devil lodges in the Vatican.

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Father Gabriele Amorth

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“Are you afraid of the Devil?” The world’s most famous exorcist levels his gaze at me and then smiles.

“No, it is he who is afraid of me. I work in the name of the Lord. Poor Satan.”

Poor Satan?

“Oh yes. The Evil One shouts and makes noises, but we are made in God’s image, we have the Holy Trinity on our side. There is no need to be afraid of the Devil unless we give in to his temptations.”

Related Links
  • Four exorcisms a day. Yes, it’s a devil of a job
  • Extract from Memoirs of an Exorcist
  • How to perform an exorcism

We are in the infirmary of the Society of St Paul, the order of Father Gabriele Amorth, in the shadow of St Paul’s Basilica, Rome. The Vatican’s chief exorcist was taken to hospital last autumn with a blood infection and is now convalescing — “they found nothing serious”. Perhaps it was the Devil who laid him low. “Oh no — just an illness. He has more serious evil to perform.”

Father Amorth made headlines this week by suggesting that those who had “given in to Satan’s temptations” included paedophile priests and even some cardinals and bishops who paid only lip service to the Gospels.

The growing crisis over the clerical sex abuse now engulfing Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican, he said, was the work of Satan, who had even “infiltrated the Vatican corridors”.

Is the sex abuse crisis really due to the Devil? “Oh yes. All evil is due to the intervention of the Devil, including paedophilia.”

And the Vatican? “Legions of demons have lodged there. The majority of those in the Vatican do good work. But Pope Paul VI talked about the ‘smoke of Satan’ infiltrating the Vatican as long ago as 1972. Satan sets out to damage the leadership of the Church — and of politics, industry and sport, for that matter.”

And although all manner of incidents, scandals and misdemeanours in Italy and abroad leap to mind as potential evidence of diabolical intervention, he declines to give examples. Father Amorth — or Don Gabriele, as he is universally known — has just published The Memoirs of an Exorcist, a book of interviews with Marco Tosatti, the Vatican journalist. In a style that is somewhat reminiscent of a medieval chronicle, he describes his often hair-raising experiences over the past quarter of a century in the front line against the Evil One and his minions.

Father Amorth, aged nearly 85, is honorary president of the International Association of Exorcists. He fought for the Resistance in the Second World War, took a law degree but then entered the Church. He began conducting exorcisms shortly after his ordination 60 years ago; in 1986 he was appointed by Cardinal Ugo Poletti, then the Vicar of Rome, as assistant to Father Candido Amantini, the chief exorcist, eventually succeeding him.

Now frail, he becomes animated as he describes his life-long struggle with demons who possess the bodies of their victims, at one stage spreading his arms wide to show me the length of one particular demon occupying the body of a woman he had “liberated”.

He talks to Lucifer and his demons, he says, and knows their names. On the writing table in his room he keeps pictures of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, “who came into the world to fight the Devil and return us to God”. But the modern world, he says, has “given in to the Evil One. You see it in the lack of faith, the empty churches, the collapse of the family.”

“Compare the world of today to when I was a boy in Modena: families and parish communities were strong, women did not go out to work. Now they have to because one income cannot support a family. So young people are left to their own devices, they get into bad company, they have lost their roots and replaced them with the negative influences of television and the internet, or the occult.”

What about those who believe in neither God nor Satan? “The Devil is only too happy to take advantage of those who do not believe in his existence. It means he can operate with complete freedom, even inside the Church. He exploits lust and power.”

The Devil tries to reach all of us, Father Amorth adds, and “the possessed are those who listen to him most. Mind you, they are a minority. If you read my book you might get the impression the whole world is possessed, but I am describing a small number of cases, comparatively speaking.”

His claim to have carried out 70,000 exorcisms seems incredible. “But I was talking about the number of exorcisms, not the number of people exorcised. You often have to exorcise someone dozens, even hundreds, of times, and an exorcism ritual can take anything from a few minutes to several hours.”

Exorcism can only be done with the approval of the local bishop, usually after medical or psychiatric tests show no rational explanation for the symptoms, which include vomiting, violent headaches and stomach cramps but also superhuman strength, fits and extreme aversion to holy symbols. He is adept, he says, at distinguishing hysterics from the real thing. There are more women than men among the possessed, “but we don’t know why. There are various explanations: Satan taking revenge on the Virgin Mary, or using women as a means of reaching men. None of them is convincing.”

The possessed talk in languages they do not know, including ancient tongues such as Aramaic, the language of Christ. “Sometimes the language is incomprehensible. I once asked a demon what it was and he said, ‘Satanic language’.” The victims often react so violently to the ritual of prayers, incantations, holy water and the sign of the Cross that they have to be held or tied down while the priest touches the possessed person with his stole and places his hand on his or her head.

In many cases, he says, they vomit objects such as nails or glass. Father Amorth has a collection weighing two kilograms. “You get used to being vomited over. I once performed an exorcism on a woman who managed to hit me in the face with a stream of vomit from the other side of the room — physically impossible.”

The Devil, he says, is humourless but does sometimes play tricks. He and his demons speak through the victim, sometimes using their normal voice but sometimes in hoarse, raucous tones. He imitates the unnerving low growl for me. They are not, however visible, any more than angels are.

“Angels exist, and how, but they are not as depicted in art — they are pure spirit. We all have guardian angels. Demons are, of course, fallen angels who rebelled against God; that is why they are so intelligent, and so arrogant.”

He does not believe in ghosts, which are “an invention of the human mind”.

Father Amorth has no designated successor, and complains that even now the Church hierarchy does not take exorcism — or the Devil — seriously enough. But “the Lord has made use of me” and his example has inspired many other priests — as did the 1973 film The Exorcist, which although “exaggerated” was “substantially true”.

At his age does he still have the stomach for the battle with Satan? “Oh yes. I have work to do.”

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Jihad Bee Replaces Terror Mouse

Jihad Bee Replaces Terror Mouse
By Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch | July 17, 2007

Hamas’s Al-Aqsa television station recruited a new children’s character to “continue” the legacy of its star martyr, Farfur – the Mickey Mouse lookalike who was beaten to death by an Israeli on the previous program.

The new character on the children’s show Tomorrow’s Pioneers, a bee named Nahool, tells the hostess he is Farfur’s cousin and that he wishes to “continue the path of Farfur… the path of martyrdom, the path of the Jihad warriors… and in his name we shall take revenge upon the enemies of Allah, the murderers of the prophets…” The expression “Murderers of the prophets” is an Islamic expression used by the PA religious leaders to refer to Jews. Defining the Jews as the enemies of God is common in PA religious broadcasting.

There was worldwide outrage after PMW reported the existence of Farfur and his hateful messages in May. The New York Daily News dubbed the character “Terror Mouse,” while Walt Disney’s daughter Diane described it as “pure evil.”

Without apparent regard for the sensitivities of their child viewers, the show’s creators killed off the character in a particularly violent way that allowed them to continue the show’s rabidly anti-Israel messages.

It is now clear that these messages will continue through the new Nahool character.

Click to view video on YouTube or PMW website

The following is an excerpt from the program:

Hostess Saraa’: “Who are you? And where did you come from?”
Nahool: “I am Nahool [the bee], Farfur’s cousin.”
Saraa’: “And what do you want?”
Nahool: “I want to continue the path of Farfur, the path of “Islam is the solution”. The path of heroism, the path of martyrdom, the path of the Jihad warriors. Me and my friends shall continue the path of Farfur. And in his name we shall take revenge upon the enemies of Allah, the murderers of the prophets [i.e. the Jews], the murderers of innocent children, until Al-Aqsa will be liberated from their filth.”
Saraa’: “Welcome! Welcome Nahool.”
[Al Aqsa TV (Hamas), July 13, 2007]

CAIR & Hamas: Implications and an Illustration –Click on continue and read the whole article

CAIR & Hamas: Implications and an Illustration

By Aaron Mannes, COUNTER TERRORISM BLOG

Allow me to add a few notes (and a graph) to the many excellent previous posts on Hamas, CAIR, and the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. It cannot be re-iterated too often that CAIR is a Hamas spin-off. This has implications both for placing CAIR in the proper context, but also for the new challenge of handling the defacto Hamas mini-state in Gaza. CONTINUE

Posted by Ted Belman @ 10:15 am |

New Video: Hamas TV Kills Islamic Mickey MouseVIDEO:– HAMAS MICKEY MOUSE ‘KILLED BY JEW’…

Hamas Mouse Beaten To Death By Israeli

Hamas Mouse Beaten To Death By Israeli

Israeli snaps after mouse calls him a terrorist

hamas mouse

(AP)Hamas TV on Friday broadcast what it said was the last episode of a weekly children’s show featuring “Farfour,” a Mickey Mouse look-alike who had made worldwide headlines for preaching Islamic domination and armed struggle to youngsters.

In the final skit, Farfour was beaten to death by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour’s land. At one point, Farfour called the Israeli a “terrorist.”

“Farfour was martyred while defending his land,” said Sara, the teen presenter. He was killed “by the killers of children,” she added.

The weekly show, featuring a giant black-and-white rodent with a high- pitched voice, had attracted worldwide attention because the character urged Palestinian children to kill Israelis. It was broadcast on Hamas- affiliated Al Aqsa TV.

Station officials said Friday that Farfour was taken off the air to make room for new programs. Station manager Mohammed Bilal said he did not know what would be shown instead.

Posted by Pat Dollard 7 Comments

Bye, Bye, Gaza

Bye, Bye, Gaza
By Jacob Laksin
FrontPageMagazine.com | June 18, 2007

“Bye, bye, Gaza.” So declared terrified Palestinians this weekend, as they fled from what, after six days of street fighting between rival Hamas and Fatah cadres, has effectively become the realm of the Islamic terrorist organization. They have the right idea. Although Hamas has offered amnesty to its political opponents, Gazans are unwilling to credit the offer. That’s not especially surprising. By now, few require edification about what Hamas means when it proclaims that the “era of justice and Islamic rule have arrived.” It means, for instance, that prisoners can expect the treatment afforded 28-year-old Muhammad Swairki, a cook for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas‘s presidential guard. After seizing Swairiki last week, Hamas fighters bound his hands and legs, then “freed” him in the following manner: by hurling him to his death from a 15-story apartment complex in Gaza City. Cases like these contribute to the minimum of 120 people who have been killed in the recent carnage unleashed by Hamas. Measured by the unebbing flood of refugees from Gaza, many Palestinians consider the era of Islamic justice and rule far more desirable in principle — after all, they did vote to elect Hamas — than in practice. Abbas’s Fatah seems bent on capitalizing on that hard fact. While Hamas was crushing the remaining pockets of resistance in Gaza this weekend, Fatah forces moved to assert control over the West Bank. In his boldest move, Abbas expelled Hamas from the Palestinian Cabinet and decreed an “emergency government,” with himself in command. The ploy is clear enough: To send the message that Fatah, unlike its bloody-minded counterpart in Gaza, is a force for moderation and compromise; that it is the true representative of the Palestinian people; and that the international community’s assorted diplomats should address themselves — and their aid packages — to its offices.  Will it work? Fatah cannot be disappointed with the early evidence. Hardly had Abbas ousted Hamas from the Palestinian Authority this weekend than the American consul general in Jerusalem, Jacob Walles, turned up at Abbas’s headquarters in Ramallah to announce that the United States would suspend its economic embargo, a response to the election of Hamas in 2006, just as soon as the new emergency government is appointed. The European Union has similarly pledged to work with a Fatah-led Palestinian Authority. Even Israel is on board. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert kicked off his trip to the U.S. on Sunday by hailing the emergence of a new Palestinian government as a victory for peace. In Fatah, Olmert said, he saw “an opportunity that has not existed for a long time.”  What Olmert could have possibly had in mind is unclear. Proof of Fatah’s moderate credentials, which supposedly make it a credible partner for negotiations, is nowhere to be found. In his enthusiasm for Fatah, for instance, Olmert declined to mention that it remains an umbrella organization for terrorist factions committed to and, indeed, actively seeking Israel’s destruction. Just last Saturday, one of these factions, the Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, launched an attack on an Israeli military post near Gaza using a jeep disguised as a television vehicle. The European Union has had its own runs-ins with Fatah terrorists. To take one recent example, in January of 2006, Fatah militants stormed the EU’s offices in Gaza after the publication of cartoons of the prophet Muhammed in a Danish newspaper. One might think that such incidents would cast doubt on the popular narrative that Fatah represents the “peaceful” and “secular” alternative to Hamas. Instead, faced with two uninspiring choices among the Palestinian leadership, the international community has mistakenly invested its hopes in the one with better public relations. Aside from being misguided, calls for negotiations with Fatah are a diversion from the more important work at hand. Now that Gaza has officially become “Hamastan,” emphasis should be placed on isolating Gaza. Properly, Israel has already taken action in that direction, declaring Gaza a “terrorist entity,” locking down the Gaza border, and deploying troops along its perimeter. Even more encouraging is a new report in the Times of London that Ehud Barak, now Israel’s defense minister, is considering an invasion of Gaza, with 20,000 troops, to lay waste to Hamas’s military capability. That still doesn’t address a central problem — the smuggling of weaponry into Gaza across the porous Egyptian border — but suggestions from senior Israeli military figures that IDF troops may be deployed along the Egyptian border indicate that Israel is at least serious about eliminating any potential threat from Gaza. None of this will please Israel‘s hardened critics. In its latest policy brief, Amnesty International lays out what will likely be the theme of human-rights watchdogs who specialize in depicting Palestinians as blameless victims of Israeli injustice. Waving aside Israeli concerns about security, the group concludes that border closures, as “well as other forms of restrictions on freedom of movement of people and goods,” can under no circumstances be imposed “on whole communities.” Similarly, count on self-appointed global consciences — a certain ex-president comes to mind — to claim that Israel’s isolation of Hamas, rather than the campaign of terror that makes it imperative, is the true cause of conflict in Gaza.  But here is the good news: In the new security environment, these positions are unlikely to garner a substantial following. Most reasonable observers recognize that there are authentic threats to Israeli security and that no country could countenance an open border with a failed state presided over by terrorists. Both the United States and the European Union consider Hamas a terrorist organization, and after a flurry gruesome reports about revenge killings and public executions in Gaza, none of the prominent players in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are ready to reconsider their view. No one wants to see undue suffering befall Gaza’s residents, of course, but in this instance the suffering is largely self-imposed. Unsettled though the future course of Palestinian politics remains, it seems clear how the civilized world is prepared to greet the Hamas terror state. In short: Bye, bye, Gaza.