January 26, 2011 3 Comments
*Horror of horrors! Why is JesCom sponsoring a suspense-thriller? *
by Dit Sablan
Yes, Jesuit Communications is sponsoring *The Rite*, Warner Brothers’
newest film on exorcism which stars Academy Award winner Anthony
Hopkins. But the film is not your run-of-the-mill exorcist B-movie. It
is based on journalist Matt Baglio’s book, “*The Rite: The Making of a
Modern Exorcist,”* which tells the real life story of Father Gary Thomas
and how he trained and became the official exorcist of San Jose,
California. In a recent interview with /Zenit News Agency/, Father
Thomas mentions that he and Baglio were not only consulted in the
production of the film but were physically present in the shooting as
well — an assurance of the film’s orthodoxy.
But why should *The Rite* be a relevant film for us?
First, although there are admittedly very few official exorcists around,
the rite of exorcism continues to be a ministry in the Church, following
Jesus Christ who expelled demons from people during his time. There was
a time when, before ordination, would-be priests were ordained to the
minor order of exorcism. And although this practice is no longer
observed in most seminaries, perhaps due to the advent of the scientific
age, the Church nonetheless continues the ministry of exorcism, even as
it maintains its teaching on the existence of the Devil!
Second, in the /Zenit/ interview, Father Thomas reveals a sense of
urgency within the Church as regards this sensitive matter. He cites for
example that months before John Paul II died in 2005, the Pope requested
that each diocese in the Church be equipped with a trained exorcist.
Likewise, recently, the US Bishops met in Baltimore over this issue.
Significantly, Father Thomas as the bishops’ resource person, pointed
out that the youth today are at risk of demonic influences and even
possession, because of their interest in the occult, now widely known as
the new age phenomenon. (Parents beware!)
Finally, the movie is relevant because as Father Thomas says, more than
a suspense-thriller, *The Rite* is a movie about our Faith. Indeed it
deals with our unending daily struggle to win over our demons and our
unending fight against the forces of evil in this world. Surprisingly,
this horror movie may yet inspire us towards greater faith!
/The Advanced Screening of *The Rite* is on Friday, 28 January 2011,
7pm, SM Megamall, Cinema 9. Father Joseph Syquia, official exorcist of
the Archdiocese of Manila will start the event with a brief talk.
Tickets are sold at P500. Available at the following Tanging Yaman
Outlets: 1. Sonolux Building, Seminary Drive, Ateneo de Manila
University, 2. Loyola House of Studies, Ateneo de Manila University,
and 3. 5th Floor, SM Megamall Building B, Mandaluyong City.
/For more information, call 426-5971 local 111 – 113.