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The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist

A book on modern Catholic exorcism/exorcists

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"The Devil is present everywhere..."

  • Apr 2, 2009
  • by
Do demons and angels truly exist? Or are they just a figurative way of expressing the "lack of good" within a person or activity? While most people are only familiar with the versions of "exorcism" they have seen in movies or read about in the latest supernatural thriller, this book outlines a completely different reality as priests see it.

Much of this book reads like a primer on how to become an exorcist. There is some fascinating information regarding the historical foundations of exorcism within the Catholic church - for example, it used to be that before a baptism, the individual would have to go through a series of exorcisms over a period of days before he or she could be baptized. There is also some interesting accounts of exorcisms in Rome (where it is, apparently, a very common practice) - some very dramatic, and some notably less so. Not only that, but many people who have exorcisms done for them need not one, but in many cases several such faith interventions. However, backed by priests or not, this book is not so much different from another that might say demons don't exist and are nothing more than a mental illness. There is little concrete information that would tend to sway a reader one way or the other.

I did find it ironic that many priests refuse to believe in exorcism because they have never seen one conducted, nor have they seen (that they know of) a person who has
been possessed. These are, presumably, the same priests who would tell a person struggling with their faith that belief in God should not be a case of "seeing is believing".

One other small issue - I realize that the author is writing this as a man of faith, but Wicca and witchcraft are *not* the same thing, nor are they completely interchangeable. There are those who call themselves Wiccans who do not place any emphasis on spells or magic - whereas witchcraft, by its very definition, is heavily dependent upon those things.

So, in the end, how you feel after finishing the book is heavily dependent upon how you felt when you started it. If you believe that demons truly exist and need be exorcised, then you will come away feeling that your belief has been enforced. If, however, you do not, then this book may or may not do anything to change your opinions. As with so much related to religion, it all comes down to faith.
The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist

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More The Rite: The Making of a Mode... reviews
review by . May 06, 2013
An excellent book on a serious subject, told objectively, respectfully and critically.
With a plethora of exorcism movies available for viewing consumption, the subject itself has always been viewed as either an archaic act of old world superstitious wizardry or a scream feast with friends while watching one of those said movies. Matt Baglio's The Rite was a very enlightening and informative read that demystified preconceived perceptions that I, as a reader, had, primarily that the rite is the last step taken in a long medical odyssey. When all options, psychiatric and otherwise …
review by . June 01, 2010
I wasn't sure what to expect from The Rite, and found it refreshing that the book was not full of 'Hollywood' style descriptions and embellishments. We follow the journey of Father Gary as he trains to be an Exorcist in Rome. I personally really enjoyed the book and was glad that it stay true to its title, which is "The Making of a Modern Exorcist". It's not a story about hundreds of exorcisms being performed with amazing feats. If you are looking for something exciting, you will be wise …
About the reviewer
Beth ()
Ranked #1233
Member Since: Mar 30, 2009
Last Login: Apr 16, 2009 12:52 AM UTC
About this book


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.--Publisher description.

Table of Contents:

Rome -- The calling -- Going back to school -- Know your enemy -- Opening the door -- In My name -- Searching for an exorcist -- The first night -- Discernment -- Crossing over -- The fall -- Suffering of the soul -- A pastoral approach -- Windows to the soul -- Liberation -- Organizing the ministry -- The exorcist.
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ISBN-10: 0385522703 (hbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780385522700 (hbk.)
Author: Matt Baglio
Publisher: Doubleday Religion
Date Published: March 10, 2009
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