Book: The Rite

I finished this book, and was quite pleased with it.  The movie trailers (of course!) make this look like a lurid horror movie, and the story couldn't be further from that.

Baglio does a fine job of laying out "just the facts, ma'am" of how a modern day exorcist becomes one.  He follows an American priest through this process, from classes in Rome, to an apprencticeship, to finally his service her in the U.S..  Father Gary Thomas is a pretty typical parish priest, who is asked by his bishop to serve also as the diocesan exorcist.  He does so with trepidation and enthusiasm, skepticism and solid faith - just what you want in an exorcist.

My favorite chapter in this book was "Discernment", wherein Baglio investigates the more scientific aspects of the exorcism,  psychiatric diagnoses and the brain.  I figure any book on exorcism that uses "quantum entanglement" and plumbs the depth of neuro psychiatric is worth my time.  In other words, Baglio takes the topic seriously, journalistically and dispassionately.

I found the ending a bit abrupt, and there are some seriously dry parts.  Also, I'm not sure the book has a wide audience, although Baglio works hard to make sure that it is accessible to non-Catholics who would not be familiar with Catholic prayers, sacraments and rites.

A worthy read.

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