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Press Release: The Rite by Matt Baglio

June 1st, 2010

Soon to be a major motion picture from New Line Cinema starring Anthony Hopkins

THE RITE

The Making of a Modern Exorcist

By Matt Baglio 

* NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK WITH NEW AFTERWORD*

“Chilling descriptions of exorcists battling demons…Matt Baglio has strong storytelling skills.” L.A. Times 

A passage from the pages of The Rite

“A loud screech pierced the room, followed again by that hideous, guttural voice as Sister Janica railed against Father Carmine, grunting and hissing at him between clenched teeth. Finally, after a particularly vicious struggle, the voice said: ‘Chi é lui?! Che sta facendo qui?!’

 Again Father Carmine turned to Father Gary, saying in English, ‘The demon just asked me who you are and what you are doing here.’” ? The Rite

 

Demonic possession and exorcism have long been thought to be the stuff of fantasy, medieval superstition, and religious fanaticism.  Images from the classic horror film The Exorcist, of a young girl being transformed into a levitating, foul-mouthed, deformed creature are etched in many of our memories. But that was just a movie, right?

While many dismiss exorcism as fiction, others, including the leadership of the Catholic Church, understand it as a grave and sinister reality.  In 2005, a Vatican-affiliated university in Rome sought to aid in the training of a new breed of exorcists and offered a course called “Exorcism and the Prayer of Liberation.” Thinking there might be a story in it, accomplished journalist Matt Baglio audited the class, and encountered a reluctant and quietly skeptical American priest named Father Gary Thomas. Both of their lives would be changed forever.

With full cooperation, Baglio details Father Gary’s fascinating training as an agent against evil in THE RITE: The Making of a Modern Exorcist (Doubleday; On sale June 15, 2010; Trade Paperback $15.00), leading the reader on a journey into a largely unseen world where the battle between good and evil is no figure of speech. Beginning with his appointment to the course and following him through his grueling apprenticeship with a renowned and elusive Italian exorcist, Baglio reveals how this courageous priest is transformed from skeptic into practitioner. Father Gary participated in more than eighty exorcisms on the road to becoming one of the few Vatican-approved exorcists in America today.

In a seamless and absorbing narrative, Baglio masterfully depicts the unearthly scenes of modern exorcism, while unveiling the ancient rituals, tenets, and history of the practice. Additionally, Baglio delves into such related topics as satanic cults, curses, black masses, and the various theories used by modern scientists and anthropologists who seek to quantify such phenomena. Culminating in Father Gary’s own personal confrontation with demonic possession, THE RITE is an astounding portrait of a phenomenon that is, by far, stranger—and more terrifying—than anything you could imagine.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Matt Baglio, a reporter living in Rome, has written for the Associated Press and the International Herald Tribune. For more information on the author or THE RITE, please visit: www.mattbaglio.com.

ABOUT THE BOOK:  

THE RITE
The Making of a Modern Exorcism
by Matt Baglio
On-sale: June 15, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-385-52271-7; Trade Paperback; Price: $15.00
Doubleday Religion logo

 For more information, or to arrange an interview with the author please contact Tammy Blake at 212-572-2545 or tblake@randomhouse.com.


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