The supernatural thriller film “The Pope’s Exorcist,” directed by Australian Julius Avery and featuring New Zealand actor Russell Crowe as Father Gabriel Amorth, has garnered significant attention on television, platforms, and social networks.

The movie is slated for release in April and draws inspiration from the experiences of the late Father Amorth, who served as the Vatican’s Chief Exorcist and carried out tens of thousands of exorcisms over the course of his sixty-plus years as a priest.

However, not everyone is enthusiastic about the film’s release.

Recently, the International Association of Exorcists, a group recognized by the Catholic Church, issued a letter expressing their reservations regarding the film’s depiction of exorcism and Father Amorth. The organization notes that the film’s title is presumptuous and that the trailer implies a lack of dependability on such a sensitive and pertinent subject.

The letter goes on to state that the movie takes excessive liberties in adapting Father Amorth’s memoirs and that Russell Crowe’s appearance and demeanor do not match the human and priestly characteristics of Father Amorth. The production company and director appear more invested in the “eye-catching” correlation between the exorcist and the famous gladiator from two decades ago than in the spirit of service that drives Father Amorth in his consolation ministry.

Furthermore, the International Association of Exorcists is anxious that the film’s portrayal of exorcism is contrary to historical truth and misrepresents and falsifies what is genuinely experienced during the exorcism of those who are genuinely possessed. They also find the film offensive to the condition of suffering in which those who are victims of the devil’s extraordinary actions find themselves.

In comparison to “The Pope’s Exorcist,” the International Association of Exorcists advocates for the film “Libera Nos,” which accurately portrays exorcism in the Catholic Church and demonstrates how it is an exceptionally joyous event. Those tormented by the devil’s extraordinary action slowly find liberation and peace as they experience the living presence and action of Christ the Lord and the Communion of Saints.

The International Association of Exorcists also notes that the film portrays exorcism as a spectacle meant to evoke strong and unhealthy emotions, promoting the idea that exorcism is an abnormal, monstrous, and terrifying occurrence whose only protagonist is the devil. They argue that this is the opposite of what occurs in the context of exorcism in the Catholic Church, where guidelines dictate obedience.

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  1. Dear uCatholic:

    Where is this supposed letter from the International Association of Exorcists that condemns The Pope’s Exorcist film?

    How about including a link so that your site’s readers can see it?

    I just googled and cannot find anything anywhere about a statement from the IAE about the film, either positive or negative.

    • Exactly! What is there to get all worked up about? If they made a really serious documentary about Father Amorth, it would just end up buried on some streaming service with a few people seeing it. But with a Russell Crowe movie debuting in the theaters around the whole world, many more people will hear about Father Amorth and read his excellent books.


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