After watching the movie The Rite, I felt intrigued by their premise “Inspired by true events”. Most of the times for me that means, “we tell you this because you’ll believe it.”
I came home and dug on the subject. Google, my best friend, helped me out and together we found Matt Baglio’s webpage.
In an interview with Time magazine, Baglio describes his source of inspiration for this book.
TIME: The thing that inspired this book was a class on exorcism. Tell me about it.
BAGLIO: I was a freelance journalist living in Rome and had heard about this course called Exorcism and the Prayer of Liberation. It was organized by the Legion of Christ and their school, the Regina Apostolorum, which is Vatican-affiliated. Not knowing anything about exorcism or if the Church even still believed in it, I was intrigued by the idea of a university-level course teaching priests about exorcism.
How much of the book rings true? I find the topic very interesting, given the fact that I am amidst skeptics when it comes to issues pertaining religion. Nonetheless, Baglio assures the curious readers The Rite – The Making of a Modern exorcist is written with a journalistic point of view.
Father Gary Thomas was working as a parish priest in California when he was asked by his bishop to travel to Rome for training in the rite of exorcism. Though initially surprised, and slightly reluctant, he accepted this call, and enrolled in a new exorcism course at a Vatican-affiliated university, which taught him, among other things, how to distinguish between a genuine possession and mental illness. Eventually he would go on to participate in more than eighty exorcisms as an apprentice to a veteran Italian exorcist. His experiences profoundly changed the way he viewed the spiritual world, and as he moved from rational skeptic to practicing exorcist he came to understand the battle between good and evil in a whole new light. Journalist Matt Baglio had full access to Father Gary over the course of his training, and much of what he learned defies explanation.
The Rite provides fascinating vignettes from the lives of exorcists and people possessed by demons, including firsthand accounts of exorcists at work casting out demons, culminating in Father Gary’s own confrontations with the Devil. Baglio also traces the history of exorcism, revealing its rites and rituals, explaining what the Catholic Church really teaches about demonic possession, and delving into such related topics as the hierarchy of angels and demons, satanic cults, black masses, curses, and the various theories used by modern scientists and anthropologists who seek to quantify such phenomena.
Written with an investigative eye that will captivate both skeptics and believers alike, The Rite shows that the truth about demonic possession is not only stranger than fiction, but also far more chilling.
To read an excerpt of the book visit Scribd. To view the movie’s trailer press play below: