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 Vilnius, February 5: Msgr. G. Gruđas Commented the Renewed Polemics on Exorcism

The General Secretary of Lithuanian Bishops’ Conference Msgr. Gintaras Gruđas gave the interview to Lithuanian daily “Lietuvos rytas”(05 02 2005), concerning the televised ritual, performed in June 2003 by Italian exorcist Fr. Gabriele Amorth to Lithuania-residing Georgian national Ms Lena Lolishvili. The issue of supernatural powers of Lolishvili had reached publicity peak in February – March 2003 because of her public contacts with the later impeached president Rolandas Paksas. The issue was fuelled again in January 2005 after the publicizing the letter of Fr. Amorth, where the famous Italian exorcist denied his alleged positive evaluation of Lolishvili's activities and deplored the misunderstanding caused by quotation of his words.

In his interview for “Lietuvos rytas” Msgr. Gruđas commented the warning of Cardinal Audrys Bačkis spoken in 2003 against the “the work of Satan”, relating to prophecies and supernatural powers attributed to Ms Lolishvili. Msgr. Gruđas explained that the words of Cardinal Bačkis had been attributed to Lolishvili “not in terms of her person, but applying to the situation, caused by interpretations of Lolishvili’s prophecies and supernatural powers”. Msgr. Gruđas also deplored the actual dangerous involvement of Lithuanian people in occult practices performed by astrologists, sorcerers and shamans.

Until recently the issue of Lena Lolishvili had gradually turned down after wide media coverage in 2003. Since then, in spite of strong critical statements of high ranking Church officials, Lolishvili’s gifts were publicly advocated by a group of people around the publishing house “Dialogo kultűros institutas”, under the direction of lay theologian Rimantas Međkënas. In 2003 the publishing house “Dialogo kultűros institutas” published the book on Lena Lolishvili, positively evaluating her phenomena. In 2004 “Dialogo kultűros institutas” published the Lithuanian translation of Fr. Gabriele Amorth’s book “An Exorcist: More Stories” (“Nauji egzorcisto pasakojimai”). The edition was supplied by the special foreword written by Lithuanian publishers, and contained critical statements towards Lithuanian Church hierarchs. The Lithuanian foreword also described the meeting of Lena Lolishvili and Fr. Amorth in Rome in June 2003. According to the foreword, Fr. Amorth allegedly appreciated of Lolishvilis’s extrasensorial healing and prophetic capacities.

On January 2005 the Catholic Center of Evangelization publicized the letter of Fr. Amorth responding to their request, concerning the controversial statements of the foreword for the book “Nauji egzorcisto pasakojimai”. The famous Italian exorcist denied his allegedly positive evaluation of Lolishvili's activities and deplored the misunderstanding caused by quotation of his words by Lithuanian publishers.

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