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|“||They have no authority. My orders come from God.||„|
|~ Paul Silvano claiming that the Vatican has no right to punish him for his crimes.|
Paul Silvano is the main antagonist of the Criminal Minds episode "Demonology". He is a rogue priest who performs exorcisms against the will of the Vatican, and goes on a killing spree to eliminate the "demons" he holds responsible for the death of his friend and fellow priest, Father Del Toro.
He was portrayed by the late Carmen Argenziano.
Silvano attended seminary school with his best friend, Father Del Toro, and they both worked for the Vatican, sanctioned to perform exorcisms in the rare event they were approved. in late 2008, Del Toro died of a heart attack in Galicia, Spain, but Silvano believed that he was murdered by three people they had performed exorcisms on as teenagers, Matthew Benton, Thomas Valentine, and John Cooley. Consumed with anger and grief, Silvano decided to "purge" the three men of the "demons" he was convinced had made them kill his friend, as he would poison them during an exorcism to make it look as though they died of natural causes.
To that end, Silvano applied for diplomatic immunity in the event that he got caught, but the Vatican denied his request. Undeterred, he volunteered for a program designed by the Italian government to combat world hunger, which included diplomatic immunity. He then took a sabbatical so he could begin his homicidal crusade.
Silvano performs the first exorcism in Georgetown, Washington D.C., on Valentine, who dies of dehydration. He then performs an exorcism on Benton, now a drug addict, who also dies. The FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) begins investigating his death as a murder, led by Agent Emily Prentiss, his childhood friend. Meanwhile, back in the U.S., Silvano enlists two other priests in helping him kidnap Kavanaugh.
During the investigation, Prentiss finds a connection between Benton and Valentine, as they had both been in Galicia at the same time, and had both been in a support group for Catholics who had lost their faith. She also interviews another priest who says that someone who performed multiple exorcisms would seek medical care because the ritual is very stressful for the mind and body, and eventually finds Silvano, who is staying at a local hospital. He cites his diplomatic immunity, immediately raising Prentiss' suspicions.
Prentiss talks to Benton's fanatically religious parents, who admit to asking Silvano and Del Toro to perform an exorcism upon their son after he began abusing drugs. When she learns that the priests had also performed exorcisms on Valentine and Cooley, she puts the pieces together and realizes that Silvano is the killer. The BAU catches Silvano as he is about to kill Cooley, and arrest him. When Silvano insists he has diplomatic immunity, Supervisory Agent Aaron Hotchner informs him that he has contacted the Italian consulate, who revoked it. As he is taken into custody, Silvano insists that God himself commanded him to kill.