Busted Halo
audio: sirius radio show
The Busted Halo Show with Father Dave Dwyer
The Busted Halo® Show with Father Dave Dwyer
The Busted Halo® Show with Father Dave Dwyer airs Monday through Friday, from 7:00pm to 10:00pm Eastern time on Sirius XM Satellite Radio channel 129. Give us a call: 1-888-3-CATHOLIC. Go to www.siriusxm.com for subscription information. Don’t forget — Sirius XM subscribers can also listen to The Busted Halo Show On Demand.

   Subscribe to Podcast (RSS) 
January 17th, 2011
Interview With the Exorcist: Father Gary Thomas


Fr. Gary Thomas is a Vatican-certified practicing exorcist whose experience is the subject of the new movie The Rite, starring Anthony Hopkins, scheduled for release on January 28. That movie is based on a 2009 book about Fr. Gary by journalist Matt Baglio, The Rite: The Making of A Modern Exorcist.

[Read our review of the movie The Rite here.]

We interviewed Fr. Gary on the heels of the book’s release, about what is and isn’t true concerning exorcisms and demonic possession, and what this means in terms of our faith life. The book and upcoming movie chronicle Father Gary’s own Vatican training to become an exorcist, and give an inside look of the church’s use of the rite of exorcism and its role in contemporary life.

I’d you’d prefer to listen to the interview, you can play it here:

or download the mp3.

Fr. Dave Dwyer: Father Gary, many of our listeners might be surprised to know that having a priest on staff at a diocese in the role of an exorcist is still something that we do. They may think, “Oh, well gee, isn’t that a thing of the past,” or, “Didn’t we get rid of that? ” or something like that. But it actually not only is common, but you went over to the Vatican for training. Is that about right?

Fr. Gary Thomas: I did. I finished my 12-year term as pastor of my previous parish, and was granted a one-year sabbatical. I laid out the things I had hoped to do on it. However, at the time, when I was going through the process of getting ready for the sabbatical, exorcism was not part of the equation. Exorcism became part of the equation toward just before the end of my term as a pastor, in which the bishop appointed me, and then said, “Oh, by the way, there’s a course in Rome, when you’re there, on exorcism.” But, halfway through the course — which is when I met Baglio [journalist Matt Baglio, author of The Rite: The Making of A Modern Exorcist] — halfway through the course, it became really apparent to me that I needed to tutor under an exorcist, that the course itself was good, but the course was not based itself on any practical training and so…

FD: I would imagine that it would be hard to be appointed by your bishop to fulfill that role without some sort of training. I mean, if they asked me to do that I’d be, “Well, okay, what should I do?”

FG: Well, most bishops, and this is not to knock the bishops, very few bishops really understand what’s involved in the ministry of exorcism, and I can say that, including my own bishop, who appointed me. And I think I, a number of times, tried to explain a variety of things to him, and he does very much believe in the reality of Satan, but I think that, even when I went over to take this course that I had no idea what was really going to be expected of me. It all kind of unfolded and evolved as time went on. And so, I think once I was training under Father Carmine De Filippis — whose name is in the book, who is one of the nine exorcists in Rome — it became very apparent to me not only that is this very serious, which I didn’t deny that it was, but the variety of situations and peoples’ experiences that were coming to Father Carmine and what really was required. And the course, I think, provided actually a lot of very important insight and information that really kind of helped supplement the actual practical teaching.

In my three years as an exorcist, I’ve exorcised five people, and I would say that there was one particular situation that would probably be pretty similar to [the portrayal in The Exorcist.]

FD: Well, let’s talk about some basics for our listeners out there. And, we have a lot of Catholic listeners, even many non-Catholic listeners, and maybe the basics of the Church’s teaching that has to do with this, as in evil, as in Satan, as in being possessed by demons. We certainly see it in the Gospels and maybe some people relegate it to, “Well, there was a lot of stuff that happened in Jesus’ time that doesn’t happen anymore.” What is our real belief about this stuff as Catholics?

FG: Well, I think you simply have to begin with Scripture and then it really reaches an apex in the Paschal Mystery — the death and resurrection of Christ. In the very first book of the Bible, the book of Genesis, there’s the first reference in the temptation of Adam and Eve by the serpent, which really constitutes what we say is the Fall of Man. It is out of the tensions which you find in the rhythms of the Old Testament that lead up to Jesus’ coming, where it’s very clear that that Christ’s mission is to conquer Satan, sin, death, and create the bridge for us to reach eternal life through the grace of the Son in the Father. And so, you know, the gospels of Matthew and Mark, in particular, are fraught with many, many clear examples of demonic possession, and Jesus as the exorcist who comes and delivers people from the throes of Satan and demons.

FD: Certainly there are those accounts in Scripture. In addition to healing somebody from blindness, or from some other sickness, it very clearly does say that somebody was possessed by a demon or he drove a whole bunch of them into the pigs and all that.

FG: Right. Right. We went through a phase, though, I think, in the post-Vatican II Church until somewhat recently, where I think a lot of biblical scholars saw exorcisms as really a metaphor for evil that really was unexplainable, and sometimes would think of possessions or the manifestations of possessions as being related to diseases that had yet to be discovered per se. But now, there’s a much sounder grounding that, no, Christ, in fact, was performing real-life exorcisms. And so, I encounter lots of Catholics who will say, “Oh, the Church is still doing those things?” or, “We still believe in Satan?” Satan hasn’t go away. He is relevant in and out of season.

FD: …You’re in the Diocese of San Jose? Is that right?

FG: That is correct.

FD: Even in California, where people think life is sort of relaxed and casual, sunny and pleasant, you in the course of your duties have been a part of — you have performed exorcisms, right?

FG: I have. I have.

FD: Well, tell us what that’s like, I mean, what would people not expect it to be. I suppose what many people bring to the table is Hollywood’s version of that. So, many people would have seen somewhere back in the day the film with Linda Blair, The Exorcist, so I guess, in terms of our recollection, is it like this…?

[Plays sound clip from the movie The Exorcist.]

“I command you by the judge of the living and the dead to depart from this servant of God. It’s the power… (Holy Water!)

The power of Christ compels you
The power of Christ compels you
The power of Christ compels you”

FD: So very familiar in our pop culture, and people even called in earlier in the show, Father Gary, with other movies like The Exorcism of Emily Rose that are certainly based on true accounts, so people go, “Are the Hollywood directors just kind of juicing that up or is that kind of what you experience?”

FG: Sometimes that’s what I experience.

I think as long as people have a relationship with God and stay close to God, they really don’t have anything to fear.

FD: Wow. Okay.

FG: And, what’s fascinating about that movie, just as a quick aside, it is amazing to me that that movie was made in about 1972, so that is about a 37-year-old movie. That movie is still inscribed in an icon kind of way in the minds of people when they think of exorcism. I cannot tell you how many times people have even cited that movie, “Oh, I saw the movie The Exorcist, is that what you do?” Not The Exorcism of Emily Rose but The Exorcist. It is just amazing that after all these years that movie still has an embedded memory in the minds of so many people. Yes, to answer your question, I have exorcised in my three years as an exorcist, I’ve exorcised five people, and I would say that there was one particular situation that would probably be pretty similar to what you just played in terms of the movie. I don’t use the word “compel” but I do certainly say, “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I demand you to leave,” and I will say that repeatedly in the midst of the prayers of exorcism from the Solemn Rite that I pray over the people.

FD: So essentially this is us saying, as a church, that is not just Hollywood lights and bells. We believe that some sort of demon, whether it is Satan himself and his minions can take over a human person.

FG: In a rare full possession, yes, but not every situation a full possession. In fact full possessions are very, very rare. However, less than full possessions are not quite as rare although they are not normative — what we would call an oppression or an obsession that sometimes does exist with people where they’re able on the one level to function but on another level they have opened a door or someone else has opened a door for them where a demon does have some serious influence. I would like to stress, though, you really have to invite the demon in. Or, someone else has to invite the demon in. Lots of times, though, people, out of fear, go, “What do we have to do to protect ourselves?” What I say back is largely, “Continue having a relationship with the Lord. Stay close to God in prayer, and refrain from being involved in things that would be considered to be the New Age — rituals of the New Age, rituals of the occult, things such as Wicca, or tarot cards, Ouija boards, superstitious practices, black magic, white magic, anything that would really be idolatrous. I think as long as people have a relationship with God and stay close to God, they really don’t have anything to fear in the sense of any of the kinds of things that we’re specifically talking about.

FD: So, is it part of your training that you can distinguish someone with, as you call it, a partial possession from something that is genuinely a psychological issue and/or do you hear people kind of critiquing the practice of exorcism, saying, “These days, don’t we just believe that all of that is schizophrenia or something else?”

Fr. Gary Thomas

Fr. Gary Thomas

FG: Right. And those are legitimate points. I have a team. And on my team, my exorcism team, I have a trained clinical psychologist, a psychiatrist, and a physician, all of whom are practicing Catholics, and all of whom believe in the possibility of Satan’s existence, but they’re not people who says there’s a demon under every rock or chair. And I have two clergy, two priests, who are on the team as well. So, as a person, as a priest, who’s not a therapist, much of what I do involves what we would call discernment. So, how do we discern the spirit? Well, we discern the spirit by, first of all, asking a lot of probing questions, and then, you know, some of those questions involve not just their own personal spiritual life but the things they’ve been exposed to. And then you simply pray prayers of deliverance, really as a starting point, and you encourage people if they don’t have a sacramental life to return to the sacramental life, and then you pray with them over the course of time.

Sometimes it’s very clear when people come in that there really isn’t any particular diabolical doorway that they’ve opened, but sometimes you’re drawn to conclude that, because nothing else seems to make any sense or explain away their problems. So that’s why you have therapists. Sometimes I use a therapist. Sometimes I don’t. When it’s very, very clear that — sometimes people will say that they feel that they’ve had a curse put on them and then you ask them questions in which they can’t give you any definitive answers, either the person who put the curse on them, any reason why someone would have put the curse on them, any evidence that a curse has been put on them. Then you simply conclude, “Well, no curse has been put on you. You simply have chosen to believe that.”

There are things that happen that we can’t explain. When people, though, show signs of some kind of demoniacal manifestation such as foaming at the mouth or rolling of the eyes or taking on the appearance of a serpent sometimes or speaking in a language that they have no competency in but all of a sudden do, those are the classical signs. But again, that doesn’t always come in the first go-around. You have to ask all kinds of questions. You pray over people. You get them to go back to the sacraments if they’re not already, and then, you know, you say to them after you’ve prayed over them a couple of times and there’s no manifestation, nothing whatsoever — you simply encourage them to continue in their own prayer life. What I try not to do — I try not to give people, a) false hope, and b) share things with them that I just want them to go away. So if someone really doesn’t have what appears to be any kind of diabolical intrusion, I have no problem telling them that. It isn’t that I’m looking for more people to come and see me. You’re there to try to help people, and sometimes they’re just reassured that what they thought was, wasn’t.

FD: In the way you go, perhaps, to an oncologist and he says, “No, you don’t have cancer.”

FG: That’s correct.

On my team, my exorcism team, I have a trained clinical psychologist, a psychiatrist, and a physician, all of whom are practicing Catholics, and all of whom believe in the possibility of Satan’s existence, but they’re not people who says there’s a demon under every rock or chair.

FD: … I’m just wondering about how much of your time as a priest is devoted to this. Are people knocking on your door every day? Or, do you do this once a month or something?

FG: I would say probably 15 percent of my day, although not every day, but probably on average, at least 15 percent of my week is spent on this. So probably 15 percent of a 40-hour week, probably six hours of my week some weeks, maybe not so much other weeks. I just finished ministering to a person just before I came over here to wait for your phone call. And I exorcised a man on Monday and exorcised somebody else on Friday, and they were long sessions.

FD: Now, tell us about you as a priest, you as a believer. When you’re talking about something like that, is there some sort of prayer for yourself after you’ve been in contact with such evil? Is there part of the ritual or some sort of after words, or do you just run to hang out in the Blessed Sacrament or something? [Laughs.]

FG: Well, there’s protection. There’s a protection prayer that I pray — and then an authority prayer that I pray over the person — but the protection prayer is for the person, anyone else who is in the room and myself. And then the authority prayer is to take authority in the name of Christ over the demons and then you begin — and again, whether it’s the formal right or whether it is just deliverance prayers, this is just standard operating for me. So at the very beginning you pray protection prayers.

FD: So, how has this affected your faith, let’s say?

FG: Well, I mean, before I took on this role I certainly believed in the reality of Satan. I think, now that I’ve been in this ministry, I’ve been — I’ve never had a doubt — but anybody who has a doubt can simply come and see what I’ve seen at times and then maybe they won’t have doubts either. But, I think one thing it has done — it is a profoundly healing type of ministry. The people who come to me, in one way or another they all have — whether it’s something diabolical or whether it’s psychological, these are mostly people who are enduring great suffering.

FD: And I would imagine, thanks to your ministry you have been part of some success stories, some people who are really genuinely freer?

FG: Yes, I would say, at times. But, it’s really Christ who’s the exorcist. It’s really Christ who’s the exorcist and I’m the vessel through whom Christ works. It’s incredibly important that in my role — and I learned this when I was in the course in Rome — that the exorcist always remain a truly humble prayerful person, because when you begin to see how the prayers you use agitate demons and sometimes deliver people from them, human nature being what it is can sometimes bloat — and Satan is also part of that in the bloating of — the exorcist’s ego in ways that can sometimes really assist the exorcist in losing his own effectiveness, cause he thinks that he’s the one responsible, but it’s really Christ.

FD: And, then they right a book about you, and that doesn’t help the ego.

FG: Well, again, I haven’t let any of this get bigger than it is…

It is a profoundly healing type of ministry. The people who come to me… whether it’s something diabolical or whether it’s psychological, these are mostly people who are enduring great suffering.

FD: God bless you. [Laughs.]

FG: Even the movie that’s hopefully going to come out. The book — again, Matt wrote the book to really help educate the average Catholic and the average person about what the Roman Catholic Church is trying to do in this area, and I think he actually — and I’m not saying this to toot my own horn — I do think it’s a good read, and it is very informative, and kind of has a textbook feel, told in a story form. And I think there’s a lot of really good information in there. The book was sent to every bishop in the United States by my request with a letter from me, and every rector of every seminary in the U.S. with a letter from me. So I communicated with every rector and every bishop in the U.S., encouraging them, a) to train an exorcist, which is what John Paul II asked us before he died, and b) to help the seminary rectors begin to take this on in formation because there’s very, very few priests who have any exposure to this.

FD: …It sounds like you are a happy, healthy priest, and you’ve got just a new role in your life.

FG: I hope I’m happy and healthy. I think of myself as. The happiness is just a fleeting moment but more and more I find this more satisfying and meaningful.

FD: So, it’s a ministry that you would recommend to priests?

FG: Well, I think, to the right priests. I got into it providentially. I think a lot of guys today have the inclination to do this but sometimes it’s a matter of a) having the confidence, and b) recognizing that you don’t have to be afraid of the demons. You have to respect them but you don’t have to be afraid.

FD: And have you been scared?

FG: No, I’ve never been afraid.

FD: Really?

FG: No. Never.

FD: Interesting.

FG: And, the exorcist gets attacked, but I’m not afraid. And it’s got to be a grace, because most people I know, and most priests I know, want nothing to do with it.

FD: Well, Father Gary, God bless you. This is a needed service in the church, because as you have pointed out earlier, there’s plenty of evil out there, we don’t have to look too far to find it, and hopefully your book, in the hands of all the bishops and the seminaries, will maybe get it a little more well known.

FG: I hope so.

FD: Well, thanks for joining us on the Busted Halo Show.

FG: Thanks, Father.

(Originally aired: 10/29/09)

Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Russian Pride

    Dr. Steven Novella a neurologist from Yale University and co-founder and president of the New England Skeptical Society, explained what “demonic possessions” really are. In other words, Dr. Novella cited that mental illness is the root cause of the alleged paranormal phenomena.

  • Sean Chercover

    Excellent interview! Many thanks, to you both.

  • Dan

    I must declare an immediate callout to people who put their “faith” into pseudo-psychics. Latreena, if you come back to this post I hope that you’ll reconsider your adoration of the so-called psychic Sylvia Browne. I know a lot about Sylvia Browne. I can tell you that she, and her former husband, “Dal” Browne, are both convicted felons. Sylvia is NOT a psychic. I personally know several people who’ve rendered Sylvia Browne’s services only to be let down with incredibly inaccurate and downright false advice. Sylvia Browne was a catholic. She became disgruntled with the catholic church many years ago and started her own “church” The Church of Novus Spiritus. She pretty much created her own tailored belief system by claiming that Satan and Hell are merely scare tactics. Sylvia Browne charges as much as $15,00.00 for a so-called psychic reading. She and her son Chris are NOT psychics. They’re basically con artists. Google “Sylvia Browne” and you’ll get a plethora of credible information exposing her for the flat out fraud she really is. Now a word to Jose, there are legitimate psychics out there. The federal government uses them as do many law enforcement agencies. There is nothing demonic about being an intuitive. Scientifically, it is believed that we humans all possess this innate ability. The Vatican even claimed that, “it’s feasible to contact the dead.” But it’s very rare that a person is able to be on the same electromagnetic wavelength as a spirit. Real psychics exist, but there are more frauds than the real deal.

  • Jose

    Latreena, have you been in an exorcism? Certainly, consulting psychics is one of the many things an exorcist will tell you, right away, NOT to do. — The evil one is a deceiver.

  • Latreena

    pschic silvia brown says there is no such things as devils.i beleve her cause she is a real pschic investigater of paranormals. i read her books and shes prooves that harsh dogmas in religons made up the devils to scare peoples. i trust silvia she helps so many peoples who loved ones died and she talks with them. you peoples need to no the truth and not beleve the dogmas. silvia brown is my hero.


    Blessed by God. Thank’s be to Fr. Thomas to allowed his book and this film. (is anything in spanish?) I meet Fr. Richard Thomas a Jesuit priest and also an exorcist. Thank’s be to God for these priest. We need in our dioceses a least one exorcist priest.

  • J.M.

    Father Gary was one of our youth pastors when we were in high school in San Jose. Just putting up with us was enough to drive anyone crazy, heh. Anyway, he was such a soft spoken and kind-hearted man back then, it seems bizaree that now he’s an exorcist, wow! I always thought he’d end up as a quite pastor of some parish. Good Bless, Padre!

  • lynda

    I will think differently now about how the Devil works..but GOD is the only thought to have in my mind. The Devil does not deserve a second of my time..The movie was made very real and the actors did a great job!

  • tarotgamer

    The media in the UK and the US should recognize that there’s a difference between tarot cards and tarot reading. Despite what most of us have been led to believe, there is really nothing occult about tarot cards themselves. They are simply a variant of standard playing cards created in Italy during the 1400s for a type of card game still played in European countries like France. It was only until the 1700s that tarot cards began to be used by occultists who promoted myths connecting them with ancient Egypt and Kabbalah. Whether you approve or disapprove of tarot reading, the English language media should stop accepting the occultist claims of tarot at face value. These cards were intended for game playing and not occultism or tarot reading. The way the tarot is often presented in our media is harmful to the interests of game players who are trying to educate people about the real history of tarot cards and of their use in games. We need a more balanced presentation of tarot cards in the English language media.

    • Whitepantheress

      I can see your point of view. Tarot cards in the 72 card deck cover human archetypes and can be used to explore issues someone is going through, asking for spiritual guidance or not. I would think Tarocci, if that is the game, is far less common than reading the cards. If I’m incorrect I’d like to know. If not its a bit like news covering a football game and saying “You can see the fans walking into the stadium, and also some disabled people wheeling their chairs in.”

  • steven

    I have seen the movie and am reading the book, both are very interesting. I enjoyed the movie, it wasn’t as hyped up as other movies regarding the church. What I ultimately take away from the movie and what I have read so far in the book is that peoples eyes need to be opened to the real dangers out in the world. another poster did mention the phrase from the movie “Choosing to not believe in the Devil will not protect you from him.” is very true and something I hope people ponder.

    Lastly, I will offer this to the skeptics, Ill give you 99% possibility that any and all of this is false, but heres the thing…IF even 1% or 0.01% of this is true, then mortal man is in grave danger when they move away from the grace of god.

    Peace to all believers and non-believers and may you all be blessed.

  • Jessica

    I have not seen the movie nor read the book but I do want to do both. I have to say that I have personal experience with demonic “oppression” which is different that possession but both are very very very real. The biggest deception on the Devils side is tricking people into thinking that he doesn’t exist. Drugs and alcohol play a huge factor in oppression and possession and I have seen it first hand.
    I am not Catholic, I am in fact a Seventh Day Adventist which is on the opposite spectrum of doctrine and I’ll tell you what is sad…My church has become so lost to the fact that the Devil does exist and does posses that it’s pathetic and I would have to go to a Catholic church if I was in fear so I am thankful that there are still resources available to us like the Catholic church.

  • Mary

    Tim, I can relate to your feelings regarding the catholic church, the paranormal, etc. As hard as it is to even remotely believe for some, there is scholarly, scientific data from credible sources that support paranormal phenomena. Skeptical sources like the one you mentioned in your post are very one-sided. I’m all too familiar with Dr. Shermer and James Randi. These men are not true skeptics of the word, rather cynical debunkers. There’s a big difference between a true objective skeptic and cynical debunker. As far as Father Gary goes, I haven’t been able to research much about him. Other than, as you claimed, Tim, Father Gary being a former pastor at St. Nicholas Church in California, now a pastor at Sacred Heart Church in Saratoga, California, a former embalmer and his involvement with exorcisms, I wasn’t able to seek any further information. If Father Gary is indeed a fraud as you claim with your contentious claims, Tim, that too hasn’t been substantiated at all. By all means I’m not trying to degrade you put you down Tim, nor am I trying to persuade you into believing in something that you disagree with. We can become burdened by the things we don’t understand and we can become smug with our assumptions and ideas, yet we really don’t know for sure. I’m most certainly a skeptic, an open-minded skeptic.

  • Ralph Wright

    Watched the movie with my son on Friday. Went to the book store and bought the book that evening. I just finihed the book. The book is much more informative. Thank you Matt and Father Gary for your willingness to share this affirmation with the rest of us.
    As far as Wicca goes I liked one line in the movie in particular. “Choosing not to believe in the Devil will not protect you from him.”

  • Sue Ellen Bohning

    One thing I have not heard is the mention of alcohol and drugs. In particular the ” magic mint” or salvia divinorium” ( excuse spelling). Drugs take away free will, then the door is open. I understand shamans in rain forest are even afraid of magic mint. This may be causing a lot more lost souls or entities to enter people. A recent case of this may be Ariizona. I feel sorry for mentally ill who have conditions with actual brain changes as the cause. They are harmless mostly.

  • Diane Rapoport

    I went to see the movie yesterday. Typically when a movie includes any reference to the Church I go in with the notion that I will be offended in some way, however, this was not the case. I was pleasantly surprised that, may I dare say, it was a very positive note for the Church. I am a devout Catholic and perhaps with my impending nature when I see any media that is focusing on the Church I may be overly excited to see something positive. With that said, I’m praying that this last accepted prejudice of the Church lessens in some way. Overall this movie was fantastic, for the Church. For entertainment purposes, the Song of Bernadette was more entertaining. So I gave it a 7 for entertainment value, but a 10 for not offending the Church. ‚Ć

  • Justina

    Firstly, wiccans are usually viewing their false gods as personified ideas, and this may cripple to some extent the ability to contact the real things, which are just demons pretending to be nice.
    NONETHELESS, a TV program that showed some wiccans and part of a ritual and interview, showed me people who looked like they were dead. Soul dead or something. Creepy. So some of the features of possession or semi possession, incl. of course perversion, vainglory and pridefulness writ large,
    would not be viewed by them as necessarily bad things.

    Secondly, possession is nothing unusual in totally non Christian “religions” and in a manageable temporary form is even invited as useful. In its nonuseful form, it is an object of worry and eradicating work of questionable results. I am not talking about Abrahamic religions.

    The pagan primitive religions and original pagans had various devil like concepts, which were usually avoided or
    appeased. Some of the very demons that were too violently hostile to mankind to veil their true nature and whose cults were considered over the top by the Romans, are the ones that later played a role in the witchcult which gives credence to the stories coming out of the Middle Ages. Even today, in East Anglia, there are practices that are the same as the medieval witch cult’s alleged practices, an embarassment to a pagan who was doing the research.

  • Steve

    Amused One,

    You are severely misinformed on a number of levels about Catholic beliefs. First, the Devil is not a “Christian deity.” The devil is a created being, an angel created by God. The devil is not a god. Also, the devil is not even a uniquely “Christian” belief – our knowledge of him largely is based in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the devil is present in the other Abrahamic religions as well, Islam. God created the devil and has dominion over him with the devil retaining free will, just like the rest of us. They are not equals.

    Secondly, Catholics do not practice idolatry. The Church teaches that idolatry, or any worship of any creature/being/object is a mortal sin. The honor shown to the saints is not worship whatsoever.


  • Amused One

    Interesting, I know of no Wicca ever needing an exorcism. Maybe because the Devil is not even in the equation of their beliefs.The Devil is a Christian Deity. Wicca does not have the prejudice and fear of learning other religions either and I found the statement I quote below to be disconcerting. Ignorance and prejudice of others’ beliefs is not flattering to Christianity, I am sorry, we are all one.
    “refrain from being involved in things that would be considered to be the New Age ‚Äî rituals of the New Age, rituals of the occult, things such as Wicca, or tarot cards, Ouija boards, superstitious practices, black magic, white magic, anything that would really be idolatrous”

    I find it particularly interesting of the use of the word “idolatrous”, as Catholics us many idolic images and practices. Just some food for thought.

  • sergio

    I have almost completed the book. I have only seen previews of the movie but I dont think the movie is going to follow the book. I think the movie is going to attempt to be more “Hollywood”. I am amazed by the faith of these priests. Being in the presence of pure evil and not even flinching. You just have to read it to believe it. It has definitely steered be in a different direction. Thank You Father Gary, Thank you busted Halo, and thanks to my wife for forwarding this link to me. God Bless

  • megan

    I am reading The Rite now and am loving it. I’ve always believed but to actually learn the background, rules and processes,and how Jesus was the first exorcist. I’ve never been “by the book” about my beliefs and in a weird way Father Garys story helped confirm some things for me. Its an awesome read

powered by the Paulists