California pastor Father Gary Thomas reluctantly accepted the request of his bishop to attend a course on demonic possession in Rome. He participated in more than 80 exorcisms alongside a senior Italian exorcist. Matt Baglio had full access to Fr. Thomas as he learned the process of exorcism and as he grew and changed in his understanding of the nature of evil and human suffering.
The Rite describes the reality of demonic possession. It also traces the history of exorcism and and treats related topics such as satanic cults and black masses. Since Fr. Thomas was a skeptic and the author is a fact-seeking journalist, this book is more compelling even than the previous best-seller on this topic, The Exorcist.
©2009 Matt Baglio (P)2009 St. Anthony Messenger Press
This is an absorbing story, better than The Exorcist, at least from the standpoint of authenticity and documentation of the subject. I later saw the trailer of the film LOOSELY based on this book. While it seems like a good film, it makes major changes to the book. The book, narrated by the author, tells the real journey of a Rome UPI based journalist who started off just wanting to write an article about a new Vatican initiative to train and send off an exorcist to every Catholic diocese. So Baglio befriended and followed the experiences of an American priest undergoing what became a thoroughly life altering transformation from a kind of light hearted Bing Crosby type pastor to one who has witnessed "the dark side" and grown very deeply aware of a reality most of us don't want to even think about. The book does not at all see the Devil behind every corner. Indeed it emphasizes that an exorcism only takes place as a last resort after the analyses of a team of a psychologist, medical doctors, and psychiatrist cannot remedy the symptoms and certain overt paranormal activity takes place. Almost all cases are indeed deemed to be of psychological, not demonic, disturbance. It was really spooky to hear of what medical/head shrinker team members (cited by name and institution) reported witnessing. Though I was spellbound hearing this book, I haven't played again it since because it was a draining experience.
This read is a spiritual work of mercy. Not only does it instruct, it directs the faithful to embrace the sacraments and the sacramentals. Far from sending many devoted Christians into panic or hysteria, the book creates a sense of peace, stressing ordinary means to extraordinary healing. Well written, informative, and filled with what all of our hearts deeply desire: the truth.
I'd rank this book right up there with Fr. Amourth's books on exorcism.
yes -- if i could not find anything else to listen to i would listen again
Although the delivery was very mechanical, the material held my interest start to finish. The subject gave me quite a bit of insight into the theology of demons. The best part, for me, was the explanation of how demons came to be. This actually allowed me to reach a better understanding of the background of the covenant and the need for redemption by Jesus Christ.
Text like in delivery, but informative with regard to the Catholic religion and it's stances on the subject both past and present. Not a read for pleasure, but rather a read for knowledge.
I was certainly not impressed with the narration by the author, I would have rather heard the priest. Even though I am a huge horror fan I did not buy this "book" hoping for gruesome details. I found the material to be dull and lacking.
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