Thursday, March 19, 2009

Book: An Exorcist Tells His Story

By Gabriele Amorth

Now, I admit that I have a fascination with all things demon or ghostly, so that's primarily why I picked up this book. Demons...ooohh...

It was a good book, primarily, I think, focused on encouraging the Church to pay more attention to the position of exorcist, a ministry that has, apparently, been allowed to lapse for the most part. The author is sort of calling to task the Bishops, whose job this is to either perform exorcisms when needed or to delegate the responsibility to a priest.

It was a basic explanation of the biblical basis for exorcisms, the fact that *any* Christian should have the power to drive out the devil (which is why Protestant churchs can have deliverances, or whatever they choose to call them, and have them work), but that for full blown possessions, an actual exorcist is needed. The difference between possession, obsession, oppression was explained.

Now, I disagree with him that all ghosts are really demons. I just don't see evidence for that, and I have experienced ghosts personally.

Then again, I have a different perspective on the devil altogether.

Briefly, because I know it's bizarre: I don't believe that the devil is a fallen angel. I have simply never been able to make that premise make sense. Angels have no free will. So how can they rebel? So...yes, Lucifer is an angel, but it's his *job* to tempt us. Him and his lietuenant angels. A guy doing a job. It's a nasty one, but it has to be done.


  1. I never really thought of Lucifer as an angel, though we were told that growing up. I love that you are helping us remember the days of confirmations and being "covenant children" through your blog Amber.

    Thank you for shedding light on your faith, I can't wait to hear more!

  2. See, and I can't think of him as anything *but* an angel.

    Also, I'd like to clarify that this is my personal opinion. I've yet to come across anyone else who shares it, and it's certainly not the opinion of the Church, or any denomination I've run across.

  3. I don't think the Church teaches that the angels don't have free will. Just that their free will, through constant obedience to God's will has been "set in place" if that makes is because of the angelic free will that we include those who do serve God in the circle of the saints: St. Michael the Archangel, etc. Even in the angelic realm God did not create automatons, but rather beings who can freely love Him and be in Communion with Him.

    And Lucifer, through his free will, rebelled against God and took a third of the angels with him, and there was a war in heaven and they were cast down. There are scriptural references to this and the first Bishop of Athens (converted by St. Paul's preaching there as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles), St. Dionysius the Areopagite wrote an interesting treatise on the subject called "The Heavenly Hierarchy", based on the scriptures that talk about the angels.

    And as far as I know, this is one of the many points where Roman Catholic and Orthodox Catholic teaching are the same.

    Luke 10:18, Isaiah 14:12-15, Revelation 12:7-12

  4. Alana,

    Your explanation does make a bit more sense.

    I was always taught that angels had no free will. That they were just extensions of Gods Will, no choice in the matter. But, then again, I wasn't raised in the Church, and I left the church I was raised in at 14, so I may have missed some more detailed explanations. Or, it could have just been peculiar theology. And, of course, RCIA can only cover so much. I'm trying to learn on my own, but there's a lot of material to cover. I'm perfectly willing to learn that I've been wrong, and correct myself. :)

    And it does make a lot more sense for the Archangels to be included in the Saints if they have free will.

    Thank you for the scripture references, I'll have to look them up when I get home. I'm glad you're back on the web!


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