(Rome) On September 16, the internationally known exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth, died. His successor complains that there are hardly any young priests who are ready to act as exorcists.
Father Amorth belonged to the Catholic Order of the Society of St. Paul (SSP). From 1986 until his death, he was head of the diocese of Rome. Amorth, together with other exorcists, founded the International Exorcist Association (AIE) in 1994, whose president he had been until 2000 and has been honorary president since then.
Accessibility for all: four hours of fixed office hours
On 18 October the BBC reported on another exorcist. What Father Amorth was on an international level, Father Vincenzo Taraborelli is at the Italian level. Father Taraborelli had been an exorcist of the Diocese of Rome along with Father Amorth. He has now followed Amorth's footsteps as a de facto chief priest of the Pope's diocese.
Father Vincenzo Taraborelli is Carmelite. He belongs to the Carmelite monastery on the Via della Conciliazione. The baroque monastery church of Santa Maria in Traspontina is located directly on the boulevard between Castel Sant'Angelo and Saint Peter's Square. In 1936 it was not a victim of the construction of the road through the Castel Sant'Angelo.
Santa Maria in Traspontina
The church has been since 2003, the Roman titular church of Cardinal Marc Ouellet. The Franco-Canadian has been the Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops since 2010.
In the Carmelite Monastery, Father Taraborelli offers regular consultations for exorcisms. An exorcist "must be accessible to everyone," says the Carmelite, and he is serious about it. Anyone who goes to the monastery website will find Father Taraborelli's office hours.
The exorcist can be reached every Monday, Tuesday and Friday after Holy Mass from 7.30 am on Via della Conciliazione 14 / c close to Traspontina Church, and every Wednesday from 5:45 pm during the Eucharistic Adoration, following the Holy Mass at 5 o'clock.
79 years old, but always active
Father Taraborelli is always active, and he is already 79 years old. His pocket calendar is packed with appointments. In a few weeks he practices a hundred and more exorcisms. He is always available for "emergencies" via his own telephone number.
Exorcism is "nothing romantic," says the exorcist. "We speak of obsession and demons." He was born in 1937. On February 17, 1963, he was ordained a priest for the Carmelite Order.
"Before I carry out an exorcism, I ask people to visit a psychologist or a psychiatrist and get the diagnosis." In the Carmelite church, he likes to show visitors an oil painting from the 18th century. "This is a possessed woman. Demons run out of her mouth. She was cured by exorcism. "
No growth among exorcists
"Padre Amorth lived to 91. Perhaps I will be so old, and may still have something to do." The words are not conceited. He has a concrete reason. In the BBC report, Father Taraborelli complained that there was no growth of new exorcists. "Exorcism in Italy is a frightening job for young priests," the BBC said. "The exorcist of Rome, who does not have a successor," is the title of the Spanish BBC program. The young priests show little interest in the service of the exorcist, at any rate in Italy. "Young priests are not particularly attracted by the prospect of spending hours in windowless rooms to read the prayers of the exorcism ritual for those affected," said BBC.
Father Taraborelli says, "I have told the [auxiliary] bishop that I can not find anyone who is ready to take over. Many of them are afraid. Even priests can be afraid. It's a hard life. "
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
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