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The Rite's Real Life Exorcist to Explore Ritual's Myth and Reality

3/7/2012 - 8:01 AM PST

Catholic PRWire

STEUBENVILLE, OH (March 7, 2012) - Hollywood-style exorcisms usually involve spinning heads, thrilling special effects, and verbal showdowns between priests and demons. But in Matt Baglio's book, "The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist," on which the popular 2011 film "The Rite" was based, the true experience of the Catholic ritual is revealed.

Baglio's book recounts real exorcisms performed by Catholic priests in Rome--but mostly, it follows the faith journey of Father Gary Thomas, who will speak at Franciscan University of Steubenville about this supernatural Catholic rite.

On Tuesday, April 10, at 7:00 p.m., Father Thomas will speak on "Exorcism: Myths, Facts, and Mystery" in the Tony and Nina Gentile Gallery of the J.C. Williams Center, exploring the reality of exorcism versus popularized conceptions of the rite. The talk is free and open to mature audiences aged 13 and up.

In 2005, Father Thomas was sent to Rome by his bishop to take a course on exorcism in response to the Vatican's request that local churches begin to name official exorcists. Though somewhat hesitant, Father Thomas went. It was here, at the "Exorcism and the Prayer of Liberation" course at the Ateneo Pontifico Regina Apostolorum, a Vatican-affiliated university, that he met young journalist Matt Baglio. Entranced by the spiritual rite--and by the inexperienced Father Thomas' struggles with skepticism, exorcism, and demonic forces--Baglio was inspired to write his book.

In the film version of "The Rite," for which Father Thomas served as an advisor on the set, Colin O'Donoghue portrays young seminarian Michael Kovak (based on Father Thomas), who apprentices himself to a seasoned exorcist (played by Anthony Hopkins) during a training course in Rome. The story documents real exorcisms witnessed and performed by Father Thomas in Rome, and his discovery of the actual presence of demonic forces, how they are manifested, and, ultimately, how they are driven out.

"Paganism and idolatry are becoming more mainstreamed by the sheer frequency of usage by people who either have a thin optic of faith in God or no faith in God at all," Father Thomas said.

Father Thomas currently serves as the pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Saratoga, California, and is the mandated exorcist for the diocese. Baglio's book will be available for purchase in the University Bookstore during normal business hours. Father Thomas will be available to sign books after his talk, which is sponsored by the departments of Psychology, Sociology and Social Work, and Theology


Franciscan University of Steubenville  OH, 43952 US
Tom Sofio - Associate Director of Public Relations, 


The Rite, Father Gary Thomas, Exorcism, The Vatican, Franciscan University, Matt Baglio



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1 - 1 of 1 Comments

  1. devon haas
    2 years ago

    This Movie has the ability to- 'externalize' the propensities and depth potentials of mischievous forces - be them..'Golems'- Jinns-'Earth spirits', or Demons of varying strengths and resolutions- depending on your 'cultural filter'- if you have friends who are Pagan - and you are in 'Recovery'- sick or isolated-resulting in 'Feelings of being trapped, angered or exhausted in your home life, then - by ALL means,..DO NOT bring this DVD into your home.
    ..I filmed this movie being supernaturally :"Altered",..closed down the tripod,... and life has never been the same. So,.. for all you skeptics out there. Two years have gone by and I have seen the Sun come up at least 700 times-due to fear of nocturnal sleep.
    ::::::::::This is a certain and considered Warning. I am an Engineer who now is spearheading his third Company. I have Two degrees and I am credible. But, all things dealing with mythology,...your curiosity will probably get the best of you. God be with you. D

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