My View Of The Book: The Rite The Making Of A Modern Exorcist
A colleague of mine suggested I read The Rite The Making Of A Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio
Is it worth the read? Yes.
Folks in PSICAN have always been interested in my close relationship with Exorcism in the early 1980's.
From my experience with the Canadian Catholic and Apostolic Diocese, I had spoke often of the almost zero use of Exorcism in North America in the '70's and 80's. In the Anglican Church several Bishops had to be present and decide on the use of Exorcism and it was not used often, if ever. Mostly because the Priesthood in the 70's and 80's right up to now: means folks who study their Seminary Studies plus a specialty in Psychology, or Medicine, or Counseling and Education. The Priest of today is a multidimensional leader. But that leader usually knows nothing of Exorcism.
This book answered all of the questions I had about why the Catholic Church in North America
was in this situation. Which is pretty much the same reason as the Anglican Church had the same situation in North America(, from my own knowledge).
My experience with the Priests was one of the reasons I sought Post Secondary Education in my Second Degree in Christian Religion.
Even though I am a Heritage Spiritualist (with Pagan Root of Heritage) the Christian Apostolic and Catholic ministries were a big part of my life.
The Rite brought back my past quite home for me. My knowledge of the Rite of Sacrament, and the Old and New Testament were really necessary to understand the book. I really had to reach back into my Theology knowledge to keep up with the scripture references. (But in the book there is a great reference list with full passages, so you can keep on top of the lessons)
The book The Rite is nothing like the movie The Rite. The movie is only made in the spirit of the book. It takes a bunch of stories from the book and jumbles them up into a few characters so the movie can fill almost two hours. If the movie followed the book it would be very long.
The Rite follows an California Priest, Father Gary who worked for quite a while as a very successful religious leader of a congregation. ( He had left a very successful job as a Mortician, and gave up a relationship with a lovely woman, to follow his calling.)
A near death experience had caused him to doubt his faith.
His success as a great community leader put him near the top of the heap to be considered to be trained as a premiere American Exorcist. He declined this offer, and chose sabbatical education in Italy halfway through his career. When another Priest had to decline the Exorcism training at the last minute the Catholic Diocese once again pressed Father Gary to take the Exorcism training while he was on his sabbatical in Italy anyway.
Father Gary decided to try out the program and added it to his studies.
The rest of the book explains the difficulty he went through to find a Priest to Intern with, and it covers a lot of information about the early Authors (Priests) of texts on the Rite of Exorcism.
The book is awesome about covering the Saints who are part of the exorcism rite and/or who studied and spoke about Demons and Angels in their work.
The book covers the multi-dimensional work of Exorcism. There are accounts of about 100 exorcisms experienced as co-Priest and/or observer in the Rite of Exorcism by Father Gary while in Italy.
I really enjoyed the book. It brought back my appreciation for the Catholic Church that was where I worshiped as a kid, because it was walking distance. And for my Theology and Religious Education. Which definitely made the reading of this book's references easier, allowing me to read it at a nice pace.
Even though I do not agree with the Catholic and Apostolic Ministries about Demons and The Devil, it was really nice to learn why these ministries make the references as they do.
I thought it was interesting to learn that the Catholic Stance on Exorcism.
I also thought it was interesting to learn that via the new Catholic Doctrine I would be considered a person that a Catholic should not know or seek any advice from: being that I am Heritage Pagan Spiritualist Medium, who works with a Paranormal Investigations Team. The work that I do is considered as dangerous to the Catholic community as Cults like Charles Manson's, Witch Doctors, and Satanic Ritualists.
This saddened me a little. The references to spiritual self-help and enlightenment material being dangerous also did hit below the belt too. I felt that the book was a bit of Propaganda stating the Catholic Church is in a New Age War. It might increase the numbers of young people to come back to the Church, but it could drive the last of the doubters away.
I see the movie The Rite (while a good theatrical piece), being propaganda by the Catholic Church to strike fear into the young generations of Catholics, scaring them into accepting a life that includes the Church. Fear worked before during the Crusades. So did killing people in the name of religion! (oh isn't that what Manson did?)