Last April, I was in Lucca, Italy, to receive the Puccini Prize for my work in opera. On an impulse, I e-mailed a friend in Rome, Andrea Monda, who is a religious scholar. I asked him if he thought Father Amorth would meet with me. Word came back shortly: “FATHER AMORTH CAN SEE YOU AT 9 AM ON APRIL 5 AT THE SOCIETÀ SAN PAOLO IN HIS RESIDENCE.”

Through Andrea, I was able to hire a translator/assistant, a talented young man named Francesco Zippel, and a few days after Easter, the holiest day on the Christian calendar, Francesco and I met with Father Amorth in his residence, in the room that’s dedicated to his work.

He was short, bald, and frail. His face was heavily lined, his voice and movements were weak, but his mind was razor-sharp and his manner jovial. We shook hands warmly. He smiled and said, “The Devil has made me famous all over the world.”

He had agreed to meet with me because he admired my movie. In his book An Exorcist Tells His Story, published in 1990, he wrote:

It is thanks to the movies that we find a renewed interest in Exorcisms. Vatican Radio, on February 2, 1975, interviewed William Friedkin, the director of the movie, The Exorcist. . . . The director stated that he wanted to tell the facts of an episode, narrated in a book, that had actually happened in 1949. When a Jesuit priest was asked [on the same program] if The Exorcist was just one of many horror movies or something altogether different, he emphatically maintained that it was the latter. He cited the great impact the movie had made on audiences throughout the world.
“Father, you write of dialogues you’ve had with Satan. Have you ever seen him?” I asked Father Amorth.

“Satan is pure spirit. He often appears as something else, to mislead. He appeared to Padre Pio as Jesus, to frighten him. He sometimes appears as a raging animal. The ritual of exorcism is not practiced by an ordinary priest. An exorcist requires specific training and must be thought to have a personal sanctity. He can be exposed to dangerous behavior and personal threat. His prayers often cause a violent response as he attempts to shine a beam of light into the darkness.”

“You’ve said publicly that you believe, referring to the current Church scandals, that Satan is in the Vatican. Do you still believe this?”

“Yes. Today Satan rules the world. The masses no longer believe in God. And, yes, Satan is in the Vatican.”
THE SCIENCE OF EVIL THE SCIENCE OF EVIL Reviewed by Francisco Nascimento on 01:25 Rating: 5

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