On Feb. 21, Sony Pictures released the trailer for the movie “The Pope’s Exorcist.” Several personalities expressed their disagreement with its portrayal of the late Fr. Gabriele Amorth.
Sony Pictures reported that the film is “inspired by the true story of Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican’s Chief Exorcist.”
On the contrary, the demon’s actions, as well as the exorcist’s ministry, were exaggerated for cinematographic purposes.
Actor Russell Crowe bears no similarities to Father Gabriele Amorth. So who was this Italian priest, really?
“The Pope’s Exorcist”: 10 Fascinating Facts About the REAL Father Gabriele Amorth
1) He founded the International Agency of Exorcists
Father Gabriele Amorth was perhaps the best known exorcist in the world. Together with Father René Laurentin, he founded the International Association of Exorcists in 1994. Almost 20 years later, it has 800 exorcist members and 120 auxiliaries.
2) He became an exorcist at age 60
Amorth was born in Modena, Italy, on May 1, 1925 and was ordained a priest in 1951. Although he was publicly known for his ministry as an exorcist, he received this task 35 years after his ordination and at almost 60 years of age. .
3. He performed thousands of exorcisms
In his 30 years of ministry, until he died at the age of 91, it is estimated that he performed nearly 160,000 exorcisms. Of them he came to say in the year 2000 : “I talk to the devil every day. I speak to him in Latin. Answer in Italian. I’ve been fighting with it, day in and day out, for 14 years.”
Some of these exorcisms were recorded with television cameras .
4. He reminded the world that the devil existed
Father José Antonio Fortea, a theologian specializing in demonology, met Father Amorth in 1995 during his theological studies on exorcisms.
He recalled in 2016: “His strong and vigorous voice spoke to millions of people about the devil’s action. He alone, a single person, managed to revitalize the ministry in a country, and then his influence reached everywhere in the Church. The means of achieving this was simply to say what he had seen.”
5. He worked as a journalist
Among the activities he carried out in his life, his work as a journalist stands out. For many years, he directed the monthly “Madre de Dios” and worked with the group Famiglia Cristiana and Radio Maria.
6. He explained why the devil was afraid of St. John Paul II
Father Gabriele Amorth explained in 2011 why the devil is so afraid of Saint John Paul II.
According to the priest, “the devil responded, ‘because he disrupted my plans.’ And I think he is referring to the fall of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. The collapse of communism.’
“Another response that he gave me, ‘because he pulled so many young people from my hands.’ There are so many young people who, thanks to John Paul II, were converted.”
7. He warned about ISIS
In 2015, he stated that: “ISIS is Satan. Things happen first in the spiritual realms, then they come to fruition on this earth.” He then added: “There are only two spiritual realms: the Holy Spirit and the demonic spirit.”
8. He warned about the devil in politics
On another occasion, he mentioned that “the devil loves to take over business leaders and those who hold political office.”
He also assured that “Hitler and Stalin were possessed. How can I know? Because they killed millions of people (…) Unfortunately, an exorcism on them would not have been enough, since they were convinced of what they were doing. We cannot say that it was a possession in the strict sense of the word, but rather a total and voluntary acceptance of the devil’s suggestions.”
9. He was opposed to the use of tattoos
According to them, the one who gets a tattoo commits an involuntary satanic act, since it attacks the “Temple of God,” which is your body, a member of the body of Christ.