Benedict XVI, being German, comes from a place "decidedly averse to these things," argued Fr. Amorth, saying that in Germany "there practically aren't any exorcists." However, he clarified, "the Pope believes (in them)."
The Italian priest also warned of the existence of bishops and priests who do not believe in Satan in the interview. "And yet, in the Gospel, Jesus speaks extensively about it, so it should be said, either they've never read the Gospel or they just don't believe it!"
Fr. Jose Antonio Fortea Cucurull, a Spanish priest and theologian who specializes in demonology and is now studying for his doctorate of theology in Rome, responded to Fr. Amorth's assertions on March 1.
After reading reports of Fr. Amorth's accusations pointing a finger at members of the clergy, including cardinals, Fr. Fortea declared that it is a "duty of justice" to speak out in their defense.
Noting that some prelates "are more spiritual and others more earthly, some more virtuous and others more human," he wrote on his blog, "from there to affirm that some cardinals are members of Satanic sects is an unacceptable distance."
The Spanish priest then explained the sources of information used by Fr. Amorth to say that Satanic sects are operating in the Vatican.
In addition to the people that seek help for demonic possession, said Fr. Fortea, "innumerable persons come to us who claim to have visions, revelations and messages from Our Lord." Among these, "a certain number offer apocalyptic messages and revelations about the infiltration of Satanism and the Masons within the dome of the Church."
Fr. Fortea added that the only acceptable stance is to suspend judgment of the messages while they are subjected to time-intensive discernment, "sometimes months for each one of the cases."
The other source Fr. Amorth refers to, according to Fr. Fortea, is the demons who are being exorcised. Of this, the Spanish priest wrote that knowing whether or not the demon is telling the truth "is in many cases impossible."
"We can know with great confidence when a demon tells the truth in the subject directly related with the exorcism. That is, the number of demons, their name and similar things. But we cannot be confident in what regards concrete news relating to people."
"Father Amorth does not have other sources of knowledge than the two that I just cited," indicated the Spanish exorcist, "I refer to his own words for this affirmation."
Fr. Fortea observed that the existence of similar messages from the same sources is "something known by me just as (it has been) by many other colleagues for many years."
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"Among exorcists, some have come to similar conclusions as those of Fr. Amorth. Others have not."
Fr. Fortea also defended those implicated in Fr. Amorth's statements, stating, "Our College of Cardinals, if we compare it with past centuries is the most edifying and virtuous that history has ever known. One would have to go back to the epoch of the Roman Empire to find a body of electors so distanced from all earthly pretension as the current one is.
"Cardinals might be better or worse," he reflected, "but all have upright intentions and seek the glory of God."
He concluded by emphasizing, "Statements must be proven, especially when they are about such grave accusations that affect the honorability of those who form part of the Head of the Church as far as they help the Supreme Pastor."