Fr Fortea's harsh criticism of the movie "The Pope's Exorcist".


This week the trailer for the movie "The Pope's Exorcist" was released and the voices critical of the way the exorcist's ministry and demonic action is represented are added.

The film was awaited with expectations by many Catholics because it claims to be based on the testimony of Father Gabriele Amorth, celebrated exorcist who died in 2016 at the age of 91.

However, the preview of the film aroused the criticism of several personalities, some of them priests. On this occasion, it was Father José Antonio Fortea who issued a harsh judgment on the trailer and Hollywood's vision of the devil, the Church and the ministry of the exorcist.

Father José Antonio Fortea, who is described in his personal blog as a "theologian specializing in the field of the devil, exorcism, possession and hell", stated that "the Hollywood vision of the power of the devil is disfigured".

"I just saw the trailer for the movie The Pope's Exorcist, based on the figure of Father Amorth. The production company, after implying that it is based on the figure of that priest, should add: 'Any resemblance to reality is pure coincidence,'" Father Fortea says with irony.

An erroneous vision of the power of the devil

The Spanish priest points out that "the vision that the cinema gives us of the action of the devil on the possessed is exaggerated, full of extraordinary facts continuously".

This happens "because the Hollywood vision of the power of the devil is disfigured. The exaggeration in one field (the field of the possessed) is due to the exaggeration in the other field (the vision they have of the fallen angel)."

"I feel sorry for the scriptwriters, but God limited the power of the demon so that we would not fall in fear of him, also so as not to foster attraction on his potential worshippers," he adds.

According to Father Fortea, the reality of the exorcisms is what appears in the Gospels and the accounts of demonic action in those cases are very limited.

"In the accounts of healings, the descriptions are varied and detailed. However, in the field of the possessed there was nothing more to tell, substantially. And the exorcist work of Jesus was frequent," the priest emphasizes.

The real ministry of the exorcist

As the real manifestations of demonic power are limited, "the work of the exorcist, therefore, is also more humble: it consists in praying, in asceticism, interspersing orders from time to time during the rituals. Is that all? Yes, that's all.

"The exorcist does not perform theatrical poses, he does not do anything outlandish that resembles magic," Father Fortea emphasizes.

Hollywood's anti-clericalism

In addition to the criticisms about the power of the demon and the ministry of the exorcist, Father Fortea believes that the whole plot is functional to the anti-clerical spirit that Hollywood lavishes on the Church.

"No script about exorcists will be complete if we don't add to it a certain dose of conspiracy, of dark secrets plotted by the hierarchy of the Church," the priest points out.

"Hollywood screenwriters are extremely anti-clerical. Hence, in their stories, necessarily, that hierarchy has to be involved in frightening, dark deeds."

"A Hollywood movie can never show a fight between the devil (evil) and the Church (good), but the devil and the Church are on the same side in front of an exorcist-hero. I have not seen the movie The Pope's Exorcist, but I am sure I have already told you the end of the story, sorry," concludes Father Fortea.