Thursday, November 4, 2010

"The Rite" - A Movie On Exorcism

A new film about exorcism named "The Rite", starring Anthony Hopkins, is coming out in January 2011. A student sent me the link concerned that it might be another reason to give the Church bad press. I disagree. From the information about the book it is based on, it might be a movie that opens the eyes of many to the reality of the devil. Of course, I wouldn't bet on Hollywood, but the book it is based sounds great. So, I would wait until we know more about it to judge it as anti-Catholic or a bad depiction of the faith.

Here is a review of the book:
Journalist Baglio follows a Catholic priest through the latter's training to become an exorcist in this incisive look at the church's rite of exorcism and its use in contemporary life. Baglio began delving into the topic after hearing about a course at a Vatican-affiliated university, where he met and befriended the Rev. Gary Thomas, a priest in the diocese of San Jose, Calif. Thomas took the exorcism course at the request of his bishop and subsequently apprenticed himself to a seasoned exorcist. Keenly aware of the misunderstanding that abounds about exorcism through film images, Baglio sets about dispelling misconceptions and does so skillfully, separating the real from the imaginary in the mysterious and unsettling sphere of the demonic. Both Thomas and Baglio were changed by their exposure to the rite. Thomas grew spiritually during the process, which bolstered his desire to help his parishioners, and Baglio, previously a nominal Catholic, reconnected with his faith. For anyone seeking a serious and very human examination of this fascinating subject, one that surpasses the sensational, this is absorbing and enlightening reading.
Here is the trailer for the movie:


Pamela said...

If it does nothing else, I hope that there is some delving into the fact that the Church takes great care when determining if an exorcism is necessary or not - including examining psychological or physical reasons for the person's behavior, rather than spiritual. Given the one scene where the priest says that the woman needs mental help instead of spiritual, I hope it's something they touch on.

Chris said...

We'll see. I read the book. It was a fair account, not overly sensationalistic (like the preview seemed to be).

In the book, there is expressed a disconnect between the what the Church thinks and what the exorcists think. The exorcist who "teaches" the priest does hundreds of exorcism per year. Not a single psych eval, no 'permission from the bishop', etc. Just opens the door to the daily line of people who are possessed, some a little, some a lot, some of whom he's been seeing for years! I'm dubious of that.

That being said, there are parts of the book that make me think "why doesn't every diocese have an exorcist?", and other parts that make me think, "there sure are a lot of possessions in Italy,... hmmmm"