From CNA:

In a book of memoirs released in February, the noted Italian exorcist Fr. Gabriele Amorth affirmed that "Yes, also in the Vatican there are members of Satanic sects." When asked if members of the clergy are involved or if this is within the lay community, he responded, "There are priests, monsignors and also cardinals!"

The book, "Father Amorth. Memoirs of an Exorcist. My life fighting against Satan." was written by Marco Tosatti, who compiled it from interviews with the priest.

Fr. Amorth was asked by Tosatti how he knows Vatican clergy are involved. He answered, "I know from those who have been able to relate it to me because they had a way of knowing directly. And it's something 'confessed' most times by the very demon under obedience during the exorcisms."

Fr. Jose Antonio Fortea Cucurull, a Spanish priest and theologian who specializes in demonology, responded to Fr. Amorth's assertions. After reading reports of Fr. Amorth's accusations pointing a finger at members of the clergy, including cardinals, Fr. Fortea declared that it is a "duty of justice" to speak out in their defense. Noting that some prelates "are more spiritual and others more earthly, some more virtuous and others more human," he wrote on his blog, "from there to affirm that some cardinals are members of Satanic sects is an unacceptable distance."

Fr. Fortea also defended those implicated in Fr. Amorth's statements, stating, "Our College of Cardinals, if we compare it with past centuries is the most edifying and virtuous that history has ever known. One would have to go back to the epoch of the Roman Empire to find a body of electors so distanced from all earthly pretension as the current one is.

"Cardinals might be better or worse," he reflected, "but all have upright intentions and seek the glory of God."

But seriously, folks. Demonic possession - real or unreal?
What do you believe?



  1. It’s a possibility, certainly. Our own thoughts possess us, though, to the point that even Paul acknowledged an inability to do what he willed. I’m not sure it’s an exterior force that invades. At the same time, I don’t believe it’s necessarily some sort of dementia in the accepted sense (hysterical dementia, perhaps?) What’s important is, if it is real to the sufferer, as it’s inside the sufferer, it is as real as it’s going to get!

    What I do know is that devils are traditionally understood to be liars and any information given by them is to be regarded with deep distrust. That’s simply part of an exorcist’s training! What was this exorcist doing questioning demons about far away events and those other than the possessed themselves? There is a word for holding a demonic entity in a physical environment for interrogation and gathering of information and power over others, but that word is emphatically NOT “exorcism.”

  2. unreal nonsense created in superstitious ages before we understood the facts about mental illness. In places where this nonsense is still believes it is used to keep those in need away from treatment and to make them feel guilty for their mental illness.

    That there are mentally ill officials in the Vatican, though, is a thought that I would be very happy to entertain.

  3. I have been face to face with people so consumed with evil (Phelps family) that I came away shaken and stunned… it is hard to imagine that one whole family is entirely sociopathic (sp?). But I confess that I vote for mental illness. On the other hand, we all struggle with demons – addictions, pride, etc. A seminary professor, former RC monk/priest turned Episcopalian and finally bishop, told us of his participation in exorcisms, and I respect that man very, very much… I don’t believe in Satan, so not sure what to say about demons as individual beings.

  4. Love the pic, Mad One, though it’s funny only because as a proper acolyte, I would never talk during church. (Well, I guess there was that time when a new member of the Altar Guild was wearing his alb at cocktail dress length over bermuda shorts, and he really didn’t have the legs for it.).

  5. Maybe, KJ. But I bet you still try to get the other servers to laugh by pulling funny faces behind the priest’s back.

    I know all your server naughty ways.

  6. I have come to believe that there is evil.

    Is that evil capable of becoming the center and control of a person?
    Do we look back at a lot of what is now clearly understood to be mental illness and see contemporary explanations like “possession?
    I guess that leaves me somewhere in the middle. I can believe that some people are so hateful that they open the door without giving up the modern concepts of mental illness. KKK and Phelps family sorts come to mind.


  7. I don’t know whether demonic possession is real or unreal, but the idea really freaks me out. I wouldn’t watch The Exorcist for many years because I was too scared to.

    Then again, I don’t like flesh-eating zombies either, and I don’t really think they’re real. At least, I hope they’re not.

  8. I believe in evil and the evil one. I think he makes the best use of whatever situations he finds… and finds many.

  9. Don’t know.

    Believe that 99.999% of Actual Evil is human-chosen (consciously, right-minded).

    AND that there is mental illness, which so distorts the “conscious right-mind”, that it can provoke the sufferer to do things which any sane person would call “evil.”

    But is there something else? A force(s), disembodied from the human brain, yet having a WILL, that can tip the scale of the right-minded, toward Evil?

    Don’t know.

  10. Well, JCF, you’re often naughty. In fact, you are definitely the naughtiest person round these parts. Is this due to madness or demonic possession?

  11. I just read this last night in the news along with news about a gay prostitution ring at the Vatican and the latest sexual abuse stuff from Germany …. being a Catholic can be depressing 🙁