Men with Beards: A Review of ‘The Pope’s Exorcist’
Satan is real. . .and really dangerous.
C.S. Lewis put it succinctly in the preface to The Screwtape Letters:
There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves (the devils) are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.
William Friedkin, director of The Exorcist (1973), made a documentary, released in 2017, called The Devil and Father Amorth. “Amorth” referring, of course, to Fr. Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist of the Diocese of Rome from 1986 until 2016. Friedkin’s documentary begins in conversation with Jeffrey Burton Russell, author of The Devil (1977), Satan(1981), Lucifer(1984), Mephistopheles (1986) and The Prince of Darkness (1988), in which Burton takes up where Lewis left off:
People ought to stay away from the subject as much as possible. The more you open yourself to thinking about this stuff and start feeling about this stuff, the more room you allow for the supernatural power of evil to come in.
Friedkin chose not to stay away. He filmed Fr. Amorth doing one of his last exorcisms: of an Italian woman, Christina, whom Amorth had already exorcized eight times.