ISSN 2330-717X

“The Rite” Earns Respect


Unfailingly, whenever there is a TV show or movie that touches on subjects like Transubstantiation—the transformation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus—the Virgin birth, apparitions, the stigmata, even confession, it is the subject of ridicule and insulting commentary. But when it comes to the phenomenon of exorcism, it’s hard to find anyone who mocks it.

Catholic League staffers reviewed over 600 movie reviews of “The Rite” that appeared in mainline media outlets. Aside from a few snotty remarks, the subject of exorcism was given a respectful hearing: none was derisive. The cast of “The Rite” was also respectful: none lambasted the idea that demons could be purged by a trained Roman Catholic priest.

This is good news. Evil exists, and everyone save for a fringe minority, admits it. More important, the belief that the devil can be conquered also exists. That the Catholic Church has a mechanism to deal with it is hardly surprising. After all, it was founded by Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

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William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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