Skip to comments.A Renewed Interest in Exorcisms
Posted on 01/07/2011 6:18:58 AM PST by markomalley
I was not yet born when the cinematic classic The Exorcist hit theaters in 1973. My father tells me that, at the time, it was the most terrifying film that anyone had ever seen. He said it got him back in the pew in a hurry. Interest in the Catholic Churchs rite of exorcism grew following the films release, but gradually faded. Why? Perhaps partly because of the absurdity of 1980′s televangelism and promises of expelling demons for cash (though the train wreck that is The Exorcist II: The Heretic might have contributed) . Maybe the thought was that if Oral Roberts had the power to cast out demons from Jimmy Swaggart, the devil might not be so tough.
It seems that interest in exorcism is on the rise once more. 2005 saw the release of The Exorcism of Emily Rose, which spawned a few documentaries on exorcism on the History Channel and Discovery Channel. Later this month, a new movie, The Rite, starring Anthony Hopkins will be released to theaters. The film is said to be loosely based on Matt Baglios book, The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, which chronicles Baglios experience following a Catholic priests training in Rome for becoming an exorcist. Time ran a feature on the book in 2009, and even New York Times has picked up on the book and the sudden increase in the number priests being trained for the exorcism ministry within the Church.
As if all that werent enough, the Discovery Channel announced yesterday that it will begin airing a series called The Exorcist Files. The shows producers are purported to be working with the Vatican, and Entertainment Weekly claims:
The Exorcist Files will recreate stories of real-life hauntings and demonic possession, based on cases investigated by the Catholic Church. The project includes access into the Vaticans case files, as well as interviews with the organizations top exorcists religious experts who are rarely seen on television.
Some may regret that interest in the Catholic Church is being generated by something as dark as demonic possession. But, we should remember that exorcism is one of the central ministries of the Church, and our Lord and Savior made casting out demons one of the staples of his earthly ministry. Indeed, the Gospel writers recount the Lords healing and exorcism as proof of his divinity and the efficacy of the salvific economy. Perhaps there is no better time than now to remind the world of the supernatural reality of the Church and the glories of divine grace, and exhibiting the power that Christ gave her over the devil and his minions may deliver that important message. Of course, this is assuming that the message is not distorted or muted by the vanities of popular media.
In 1975, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a short document entitled Christian Faith and Demonology. It suggested that the extraordinary works of Satan should not be the object of our attention on account of the dangers of showcasing his power. I dont think publicizing the ministry of exorcism would count as doing so, since exorcism is the work of the Church. Over the years I have read a lot of theology, contemporary and historical, and I dont remember any book shaking me to the core and rousing my spirit like Gabriele Amorths An Exorcist Tells His Story. The book didnt bring me to belief (I already believed); the book woke me up to face soberly the reality that every one of us is waging a great invisible and spiritual battle against the forces of evil and sin, and only the mercy, justice, and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit will save us from them. One can at least hope, I think, that the renewed interest in exorcisms will lead others to this realization.
The Exorcist III and especially IV are good. IV is scary as hell with just the dialog alone.
As our priest says, you don’t have to have your head spin around and puke green vomit to be possessed by the devil.
This is interesting, but I agree with the Roman Catholic church that this type of thing showcases Satan. I appreciate this person’s awakening, but he already was ‘possessed’ by Christ.
We just went thru one in congress.
From the 60’s onward, the left-leaning hippies who infested the seminaries took the Summer O Love and superimposed their view of a effete wishy-washy Christ who only “loved” on the face of the Church.
Demons were banished to the parking lot and parishioners heard a never ending stream of pansy blather to justify “loving” everyone and never being “judgmental.”
It's time people understood, once again, that this is a real battleground and there are real casualties because there are real spiritual presences fighting for control.
I've heard more about evil from the pulpit this past year with our new African pastor than I have heard in the past 40 years in any church.
If it takes being scared of reality to get some back to earth and into the pews and into confession, good.
“We just went thru one in congress.”
Yah, but just remember if they fail and fall, the subsequent possession will be worse than before.
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