We, exorcist priests around the world, are immensely grateful to Father Gabriele Amorth for everything he has done, reinventing and valorizing the ministry of exorcism inside the Church. In 1991, he gathered Italians exorcists for the first time. Subsequently, in 1994, with the French exorcist Father Rene Chenessau, he founded the International Association of Exorcists and –with a unanimous choice of the assembly – he became its first president.
When, in 1997, I became part of this association, I was deeply edified by the force, momentum, dedication, and enthusiasm Father Gabriele constantly emanated as its head, with the aim of helping exorcists to carry out their task better. His tenacious and passionate commitment to raising awareness, inside the clergy and among God’s people, about the pastoral importance of this ministry, culminating on June 13, 2014 with the Holy See’s approval of the Statutes of the ” International Association exorcists’ [IAE] and its official recognition as a private international association of faithful with legal personality, in accordance with the Code of Canon Law.
With its approval, the Church confirmed its maternal concern for the priests who carry out this delicate pastoral ministry and all those who need their help. God wanted that Father Gabriele enjoyed, already here on earth, at least in part, the result of so many efforts, addressed and generously offered, never sparing himself.
Apparently grumpy, he was actually forthright and honest with everyone, and we, exorcists, have always deeply admired his great spirituality, embodied in his intense life of prayer; in his great love of religious life, priesthood, the Church, the Pope, and of the Blessed James Alberione; in the living devotion and Eucharistic adoration of the Virgin Mary; in spiritual fatherhood, which he showed to all the people he met every day in his priestly ministry. In particular, we admired his untiring efforts to assist, with great humility, faith, and charity, those who were tormented by the evil one; we have been edified by the kindness and love with which he supported these brothers and sisters who are suffering and by the way he encouraged them on the hard path of liberation, so that they could find their trust in God and be strengthened by His grace. We admired his ability to play down the most critical situations and create a peaceful environment during exorcisms, talking calmly and consoling suffering hearts. In moments of relaxation and friendly talks, we were struck by his sense of humor, his ability to tell some jokes, which ended with a loud laugh, which encouraged the spirit of those present.
His willingness to grant interviews to radio and TV stations, and newspapers, had the sole purpose of promoting integral evangelization, which takes into consideration also Christ’s mandate to His Church to cast out demons in his name, offering everyone, through the means of social communication, proper catechesis on this ministry. He never granted an interview only to be seen or for the pleasure of being interviewed.
With these heartfelt and fond memories in our hearts, let us entrust to the Lord the soul of this faithful servant, inviting all those people who have benefited from his work to remember him always in prayer, confident that he now prays for us, in the peace and joy of the righteous.
On behalf of the International Association of Exorcists, we send Father Jose Valdir De Castro, superior general of the St. Paul Society and to all the religious men of his religious family my deepest condolences. We also thank their religious family for the great gift we received from it, through Father Gabriel, and we thank God for having made this gift to the Church through them. In doing so, we ask to reward him for the hardships and trials he faced for His sake and for the sake of so many suffering people.
With confident hope, for the help of the divine grace, to carry on worthily the work he has begun and encouraged so fervently, we guard ever more deeply the unity in Christ Jesus – among bishops and exorcists and among the exorcists themselves – much desired and promoted by Father Gabriel, so that in the fellowship, and in the exercise of this ministry, carried out in accordance with liturgical practice established by the Church, we can always provide more effective support in the fight against Satan and against the rebellious angels, to the salvation of the people of God and for the coming of God’s Kingdom.
Father Bamonte, president of Italian exorcists