Pope's exorcist says the Devil is in the Vatican
Richard Owen in Rome, timesonline.co.uk
Sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church are proof that that "the Devil is at work inside the Vatican", according to the Holy See's chief exorcist.
Father Gabriele Amorth, 85, who has been the Vatican's chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as "cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon".
He added: "When one speaks of 'the smoke of Satan' [a phrase coined by Pope Paul VI in 1972] in the holy rooms, it is all true – including these latest stories of violence and paedophilia."
He claimed that another example of satanic behaviour was the Vatican "cover-up" over the deaths in 1998 of Alois Estermann, the then commander of the Swiss Guard, his wife and Corporal Cedric Tornay, a Swiss Guard, who were all found shot dead. "They covered up everything immediately," he said. "Here one sees the rot".
A remarkably swift Vatican investigation concluded that Corporal Tornay had shot the commander and his wife and then turned his gun on himself after being passed over for a medal. However Tornay's relatives have challenged this. There have been unconfirmed reports of a homosexual background to the tragedy and the involvement of a fourth person who was never identfied.
Father Amorth, who has just published Memoirs of an Exorcist, a series of interviews with the Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti, said that the attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II in 1981 had been the work of the Devil, as had an incident last Christmas when a mentally disturbed woman threw herself at Pope Benedict XVI at the start of Midnight Mass, pulling him to the ground.
Father José Antonio Fortea Cucurull, a Rome-based exorcist, said that Father Amorth had "gone well beyond the evidence" in claiming that Satan had infiltrated the Vatican corridors.
"Cardinals might be better or worse, but all have upright intentions and seek the glory of God," he said. Some Vatican officials were more pious than others, "but from there to affirm that some cardinals are members of satanic sects is an unacceptable distance."
Father Amorth told La Repubblica that the devil was "pure spirit, invisible. But he manifests himself with blasphemies and afflictions in the person he possesses. He can remain hidden, or speak in different languages, transform himself or appear to be agreeable. At times he makes fun of me."
He said it sometimes took six or seven of his assistants to to hold down a possessed person. Those possessed often yelled and screamed and spat out nails or pieces of glass, which he kept in a bag. "Anything can come out of their mouths – finger-length pieces of iron, but also rose petals."
He said that hoped every diocese would eventually have a resident exorcist. Under Church Canon Law any priest can perform exorcisms, but in practice they are carried out by a chosen few trained in the rites.
Father Amorth was ordained in 1954 and became an official exorcist in 1986. In the past he has suggested that Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were possessed by the Devil. He was among Vatican officials who warned that J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels made a "false distinction between black and white magic".
He approves, however, of the 1973 film The Exorcist, which although "exaggerated" offered a "substantially exact" picture of possession.
In 2001 he objected to the introduction of a new version of the exorcism rite, complaining that it dropped centuries-old prayers and was "a blunt sword" about which exorcists themselves had not been consulted. The Vatican said later that he and other exorcists could continue to use the old ritual.
He is the president of honour of the Association of Exorcists.
The Devil at Home in Rome
Reports persist of actual devil-worship in the Holy See. What is worrisome is that these reports are from insiders who should know.
A book published several years ago by a retired priest, Msgr. Luigi Marinelli, caused quite a stir in Italy. Gone With the Wind at the Vatican flew off the shelves as Italians eagerly consumed its stories of greedy bishops, money-laundering prelates, and even sexual abuse. In so doing, he became but the latest Vatican insider to allege that satanic rituals have been performed within the walls of the Holy See. Another recent book, the anonymously written Blood Lies in the Vatican,, also hinted at Masonic plots in Rome.
This latest round began with allegations described as “explosive,” made in Rome in November 1996 by an archbishop that members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy there are secretly involved in formal satanic worship. These charges have been confirmed as true by a well-known Vatican insider and are all the more remarkable by the total lack of notice in the US press.
Abp. Milingo – a better exorcist than the Pope?Emmanuel Milingo
Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, 71, is a formerly high-ranking cleric who first spoke out about satanism in the Vatican, and took a lot of heat for it.
Recently, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican’s chief doctinal enforcer, has banned charismatic healing sessions and exorcisms during Mass. In particular, a diocesan bishop can now forbid another bishop from conducting exorcisms in his diocese — a direct slap at Milingo, who as an archbishop, has been able to conduct his wildly popular healing sessions wherever he wanted. This has angered the Vatican, which recently removed him from his post as Special Delegate for the Pontifical Council for Migrants, rendering him unimportant to the Curia.
He had already been exiled some three years ago when his exhuberant rites, characterized by some ecclesiastics of owing more to traditional African witchcraft than Catholicism, attracted too much attention. “Tales of [his] miraculous cures from cancer, AIDS and other terminal illnesses abound in Italy. Thousands converge on his services to witness people, reputedly possessed with demons, writhing in agony on the floor while Milingo conducts his mass exorcism - dancing, singing and shouting.” (London Telegraph, 2/7/99)
He has also made enemies of his fellow Zambian priests, who accused him of practicing “black magic” — as he has accused an unidentified cabal of Vatican clerics of doing. Subjected to a trial that he said resembled the Inquisition, he was cleared by the personal intervention of Pope John Paul II, who allegedly described him as a “lightning rod for the Devil.” But Milingo was nevertheless stripped of his archbishop’s rank.
This happened, ironically, around the time the Vatican decided to play down the existance of the Devil. Evil is now seen as a pervasive, deceptive force, rather than as a personal being which can possess humans. The new view emphasizes psychology, since according to Msgr. Corrado Balducci, a Vatican exorcist who recently declared that aliens are not devils either, most cases brought to the Church’s attention come from psychiatric disturbances, not demons.
Perhaps, but in so doing, the new ritual seems to have been severely weakened. Pope John Paul II himself, along with his chief exorcist, were bested by the Devil during an attempted exorcism of a 15-year-old girl not long ago. Is it Vatican jealousy at work or is there another, more ominous reason? Could the very halls of the Holy See themselves have been infiltrated by satanists as Milingo and others have asserted?
The Exorcist’s Accusations
Milingo first made the accusations in an address to an audience of clergy and laity from across the globe at the Fatima 2000 International Congress on World Peace, held in Rome on November 18-23, 1996. Commenting on the growth of evil in the world and the need for more exorcists to aid the many people afflicted by demonic activity, he stated:
Now the third dimension [of evil] is the most dangerous. It is subtle and most terrible. . . I could not believe when I discovered this third dimension of evil. The third dimension is people who follow instructions in satanic sects. . .
Now with this third dimension, I’m sorry to say, our Church belongs to it. I’m very sorry, I could not understand myself, and even now I don’t understand. But the only consolation I have is that, well, Judas Iscariot was one. Together with Jesus for three years, he never changed, then I understand that the third dimension of evil existed not only now, but it existed even then. Because nothing could change the heart of Judas Iscariot — nothing. (Emphasis added.)
Milingo, formerly Archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia, has written books such as Face to Face With the Devil, and travels around the world preaching and healing. He has publicly accused fellow Catholic clergymen of harboring Satan’s minions:
The devil in the Catholic Church is so protected now that he is like an animal protected by the government; put on a game preserve that outlaws anyone, especially hunters, from trying to capture or kill it. The devil within the Church today is actually protected by certain Church authorities from the official devil-hunter in the Church — the exorcist. So much so that the exorcist today is forbidden to attack the devil. The devil is so protected that the one who is the hunter, the exorcist, is forbidden to do his job. (Emphasis added.)
Statements like these understandably caused a furor in the Italian press, gaining front-page headlines. Three days after his speech Milingo gave a press conference to clarify his remarks, causing a second outburst of sensational media coverage. To the question, “Are there men of the Curia who are followers of Satan?” the prelate replied, “Certainly there are priests and bishops. I stop at this level of ecclesiastical hierarchy because I am an archbishop, higher than this I cannot go.”
It should be noted that the only ranks higher than archbishop in the Roman Catholic Church are those of the cardinals and the Pope himself.
Il Tempo and other major daily papers reported that Milingo used a statement by Pope Paul VI to back up his charges. In 1972, Paul surveyed the wreckage to the Church after the Second Vatican Council and was widely reported to have said, “From somewhere or other, the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.” Milingo added, “I have not heard that anyone has seen him leave. We must pray that he will go away.”
Nary a word of this made it into the American media, until it was reported in the Winter 1997 issue of The Fatima Crusader, a conservative pro-Marian Catholic newsletter associated with the group that sponsored the Fatima 2000 Congress. The story was picked up by William F. Jasper and reported in The New American, the organ of the John Birch Society, a right-wing political group, in the issue of March 3, 1997.
Milingo’s remarks have been strangely ignored by the American press. The New American claimed that a Lexis/Nexis data search found not a single mention of his Fatima 2000 Congress statements, and were informed by an Associated Press researcher that Milingo was considered “a big old mouth” that was always spouting “a lot of insanity,” because of his outspoken opinions about such things as the existence of Satan and of miracles.
A sudden defection
Then recently, to the undoubted shock of his followers and the delight of his enemies, Milingo has, to all intents, jumped ship. On Sunday, May 27, 2001, the controversial archbishop married a Korean acupuncturist, Maria Sung, 43. The woman was chosen for him, and the ceremony was presided over, by none other than the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, head of the Unification Church and self-proclaimed Messiah.
Automatic excommunication should be the result if the Vatican considers him guilty of apostasy or violating the Church’s celibacy laws. Roman Catholic canon law, of course, frowns on marriages by senior clerics, no matter who does the ceremony.
After the wedding, conducted by Moon in a ballroom at the New York Hilton with about 60 other couples, Milingo told reporters the Vatican’s threat of excommunication meant “nothing” to him. “It doesn't affect me,” he declared. “I have an obligation to carry out what the Lord wants, and that's what I'm doing.”
“God is still with me,” he said. “I love my church.” In a later statement, he said he and his new bride would return to Africa to bring a mission of healing to the AIDS and war-ravaged continent.
The archbishop was not the only renegade cleric to wed that day. Former Roman Catholic priest George Stallings, 53, now archbishop of his own breakaway African American church, also wed, as did numerous Christians and Muslims.
The Vatican was indeed swift to react. The very next day, chief spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said that Milingo “could not be considered a bishop of the Catholic Church” and would be subject to “foreseen canonical sanctions.” This almost certainly means formal excommunication.
Milingo's decision to marry is viewed as a slap in the face for Pope John Paul II, who had shown him leniency despite pressure from leading Vatican officials. Senior Roman Catholic church sources said the Zambian bishops would ask the Vatican to expedite the excommunication of Milingo from the Church for what they saw as a betrayal.
“Milingo has betrayed the Zambian people and the Catholic Church. If it is in the name of Jesus and the glory of God he acted, then it is incomprehensible that he was married by a man whose followers consider (him) the messiah,” one source told Reuters.
Incredibly, the Unification Church has been linked to devil worship in Zambia and has been forced to clear its name in the courts.
According to some experts, Moon, facing a steady loss in his ranks, looks to Africa as a new recruiting ground. Undoubtedly, the acquisition of such a charismatic figure as Milingo is quite a feather in his crown.
The effect of this on Milingo’s followers, including those in the Fatima movement, is bound to be catastrophic. In one move, he has done to himself what his enemies in the Curia could not accomplish in twenty years. And in so doing, he has unfortunately lost much of whatever credibility he may have had.
Not long after his marriage, Milingo returned the Church. It was reported that after a retreat he had reconciled with the Pope and renounced his wedding. His new wife said she would launch a hunger strike in protest. Not much has been heard since and it is doubtful Milingo will ever speak out again.
In The Fatima Crusader article, Malachi Martin, a scholar, Vatican insider, and best-selling author, said, “Archbishop Milingo is a good bishop and his contention that there are satanists in Rome is completely correct. Anybody who is acquainted with the state of affairs in the Vatican in the last 35 years is well aware that the prince of darkness has had and still has his surrogates in the court of St. Peter in Rome.”
He said more members of the clergy becoming aware of the situation, and that Archbishop Milingo was “merely like that actor in the movie Network, who got fed up and said, ‘I’m not going to take it anymore.’”
But Martin had his own allegations of Vatican skullduggery to make, ones that were much more detailed and serious than those of Milingo. These will be discussed in detail in the next article.
|Collapse of the American Empire: Swift, Silent, Certain|
Harvard's Niall Ferguson, one of the world's leading financial historians, echoes Diamond's warning: "Imperial collapse may come much more suddenly than many historians imagine. A combination of fiscal deficits and military overstretch suggests that the United States may be the next empire on the precipice." Yes, America is on the edge.