Release Date: 01/04/10
In 2005 a Vatican-run university opened its doors to priests from around the world, running a course for would-be exorcists. Looking for a story, Rome-based investigative journalist Matt Baglio attended the class, and there met Father Gary Thomas -- a Californian priest who had been chosen to attend by his bishop. Father Gary was concerned that many of the 'possessed' were in reality suffering from psychological disorders best left to the care of doctors. How and why his view changed is the subject of this book. We follow Father Gary's year-long training with a senior exorcist as he is transformed from a doubter into a believer. Baglio gained unprecedented access to this world, including participating in exorcisms and culminating with Father Gary's own fearsome confrontation with the Devil. Woven into his story is the fascinating history of exorcism, its rites and rituals, and the ways and reasons that people become possessed. Matt Baglio speaks to psychologists and detectives, as well as Vatican clergy, to wrinkle out the truth about this most Gothic of subjects. The Rite is proof that the truth about demonic possession is not only stranger than fiction, but far more chilling.
As a fan of unusual titles, I was fascinated by the chance to see how a modern exorcism was conducted by the church of today. That said, whilst the subject matter was fascinating the authors interpretation and overall depiction of events of today was sadly lacking, there was no passion, it was pretty standard writing and was just written as basic facts so inevitably was pretty boring. Add to the mix that the various events within this title felt more like the people involved were using religious matters to hide mental illness and its sadly a title that’s more miss than hit.