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His Excellency, Bishop Manuel Pestana is to be thanked for this forthright and courageous article. It originally was the introduction to the Portuguese translation of Father Gabriel Amorth's book An Exorcist Recalls (Um Esorcista Racconta). Father Amorth is the same author that Archbishop Milingo praised at our Fatima 2000 Congress (See The Fatima Crusader Issue 54 article "The Three Dimensions of Evil") .
Since Bishop Pestana's introduction first appeared, it has been republished several times as magazine articles. It has been translated into French and Spanish and is being published in countries as far apart as France and Argentina. His Excellency confirms that the devil has made very powerful inroads into the Catholic Church both in Rome and in various ecclesiastical bureaucracies around the world. Indeed, let us pray to St. Michael every day: “Defend us in this day of battle.”
The great Pope Leo XIII entered the 20th Century still bewildered by the vision he had had of the formidable diabolic presence in Rome, “to the damnation of souls.” Since 1886 he had ordered all bishops to say the prayer of Saint Michael the Archangel, written by him, by his own hand, and also a greater exorcism that he recommended that bishops and priests recite with frequency in their own dioceses and parishes.
The “century of man” without God, announced by Nietche, is then transforming itself into the “century of satan”, who prepares his kingdom with World War I; he starts an atheist and tyrannical communism against God and against man in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917; he sows blood and ruin throughout Europe with World War II, fruits of the powers of darkness; he invades the earth with hate, terror, cruelty, heresy, blasphemy and corruption in wars and revolutions without a truce; he is insinuated first as smoke and he installs himself later, powerful, in the very breast of the Church.
All of this Our Lady told in confidence to the seers of Fatima, exactly in the same year as the Russian tragedy, nevertheless guaranteeing them “in the end” the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart, just as, even in the 3rd chapter of Genesis, the victory over the infernal serpent is depicted along with the presence of Mary, crushing its head.
St. John Bosco encouraged the youth to "think of Mary" and "go to Mary" as St. Bernard taught.
Encouraged by the Popes, Christianity continued to say the prayers of Leo XIII. Christian thinkers like Anton Bohm (Satan in the Present World – Tavares Martins) and de La Bigne Villeneuve (Satan dans la cité – Du Cedre) denounce the visible infiltration of the devil in all institutions of society. Bernanos surprises us “Beneath Satan's Sun.”
Suddenly, with the coming on of the last and terrible quarter of the 20th Century, the angels' existence is questioned, the prayer to Saint Michael disappears, exorcisms are no longer given, including the exorcisms previously given in baptism, and the ministry and function of the exorcist drowns in silence.
Paul VI complains of the smoke of satan inside the sanctuary, almost occupying the space of forgotten incense, and is saddened by the auto-destruction of the Church. Seminaries disappear; faculties of theology prostitute themselves into schools of iniquity; with a certain frequency the sacred liturgy is reduced to an irreverent exhibition of folkloric banalities. Under the pretext of inculturation, religious life slides towards the abyss of hell.
“The powers of hell will not prevail against the Church,” that much is certain. Nevertheless, the very Lord predicts the darkening of faith, the turning cold of charity. In Fatima the vision of hell shakes the naïve and irresponsible optimism of those who believe in the salvation of everyone, even of those who refuse salvation.
We are grateful for this worthy Portuguese translation of Father Gabriele Amorth's book, An Exorcist Recalls. Surely it will awaken many consciences drugged by a civilization of death and lies. His experience is notable and serious, and helps us evaluate the immeasurable damage caused to the Church and to the world when we ceased to take the devil seriously. I know we cannot believe him—he wouldn't be the father of lies—even when he seems to tell the truth (Luke 4:34). There will always be something sinister behind what he says. He is homicidal from the beginning. Hateful and cynical, incapable of reaching God in his furor, he seeks to destroy His image in men.
Jesus beginning His mission, is tempted by the devil and the expulsion of evil spirits becomes one of the most prominent notes in His activities as Messiah. “In My name you will expel demons” (Mark 16:17), Jesus says in His last discourse to His disciple before He ascended into Heaven, noting that this will be a sign of those who believe in Him. And satan, through the action of the apostles, fell from the sky like a bolt of lightning. When Christians of all levels, in spite of the Gospel and the Magisterium, began to doubt first the actions and then the existence of the rebel spirit, we must realize what Jesus had predicted has now taken place (Matt. 12:44-45): banished, he returns to a house “unoccupied, swept and decorated” but defenseless, with seven spirits worse than him, "and the final condition becomes worse than before,” exactly what is happening now.
Today, it is not only satan's smoke that penetrates through hidden fissures, but the devil himself who breaks triumphantly through the main doors. Who is going to cast him from our churches, from our episcopal and parochial residences, from monasteries and convents, from our community centers, from our universities and seminaries, from our publishing houses, from Senates and Legislative halls, from mansions and palaces of government and from our courts, from schools and hospitals, from our banks and stock exchanges, from our news media, TV and radio, from all of our consciences?
And let us not stop there: Who is going to expel the devils from the Pontifical palaces, from the Congregations and Secretariats, from the Nunciatures, from the Bishops Conferences, and the general houses of Religious Orders, from the sanctuaries and basilicas, from the International organizations like the UN, and from parliaments without mentioning the world placed “under the power of the evil one” which lies “under the sun of Satan”.
We need exorcism, urgently! Thank you, Father Amorth, for your example and courage; thanks to all you promoters of this translation into the graceful language of Camoes.