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The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcistby Matt Baglio
Synopses & Reviews
In The Rite, journalist Matt Baglio uses the astonishing story of one American priest's training as an exorcist to reveal that the phenomena of possession, demons, the Devil, and exorcism are not merely a remnant of the archaic past, but remain a fearsome power in many people's lives even today.
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.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Written by a journalist who had full cooperation from Father Gary Thomas as he learned the process of exorcism, "The Rite" is an astonishing portrait of the phenomenon of demonic possession and of one priest's transformation from a skeptical apprentice to a practicing exorcist.
Father Gary Thomas had served as a pastor in California for twelve years when he attended a course on demonic possession in Rome and participated in more than eighty exorcisms along with a senior Italian exorcist. These experiences profoundly changed the way he approached his calling and his views on the nature of evil and human suffering. Written by journalist Matt Baglio, who had full cooperation from Father Gary as he learned the process of exorcism, THE RITE is an astonishing portrait of the phenomenon of demonic possession and of one priest's transformation from a skeptical apprentice to a practicing exorcist.
THE RITE provides fascinating vignettes from the lives of exorcists and people possessed by demons—culminating with Father Gary’s own fearsome confrontation with the Devil. Baglio traces the history of exorcism, revealing its rites and rituals, and he delves into such related topics as angels and demons, satanic cults, black masses, curses, and the many mysterious locales that make up this strange world.
Novels and films like The Exorcist have captured the imagination of millions. Written with an investigative eye that will captivate both skeptics and believers alike, THE RITE is proof that truth about demonic possession is not only stranger than fiction but also far more chilling.
About the Author
MATT BAGLIO, a reporter living in Rome, has written for the Associated Press and the International Herald Tribune.
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