Vatican, Mar 11(ANI): Chief exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth, who has reportedly dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession over the past 25 years, has said the Devil is lurking in the very heart of the Roman Catholic Church.ather Amorth said the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles as well as "cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon".
"When one speaks of 'the smoke of Satan' [a phrase coined by Pope Paul VI in 1972] in the holy rooms, it is all true - including these latest stories of violence and paedophilia," The Times quoted Father Amorth, as saying.
Father Amorth, who has just published Memoirs of an Exorcist, a series of interviews with the Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti, added that the assault on Pope Benedict XVI on Christmas Eve by a mentally unstable woman and the sex abuse scandals which have engulfed the Church in the US, Ireland, Germany and other countries, were proof that "the Devil is at work inside the Vatican".
He also said the attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II in 1981 had been the work of the Devil.
He further claimed that another example of satanic behaviour was the Vatican "cover-up" over the deaths of commander of the Swiss Guard Alois Estermann and his wife Corporal Cedric Tornay, who were all found shot dead in 1998.
"They covered up everything immediately. Here one sees the rot," Father Amorth said. (ANI)