Perhaps those of you that have signed up to receive notification of new posts so as to follow this blog, have been wondering why the number of posts have decreased in recent months. Actually there are three reasons,  of course there is my time to spend working on this blog; as a Bishop I do have other ministerial obligations and  as an Independent Bishop who is in essence a volunteer I do have other responsibilities and duties more secular and domestic. The third reason is that while Google search tools may turn up a dozen “hits” every day using search criteria such as Exorcism, Demonic, Possession, etcetera, most of these “leads” have little to do with the subject of this blog.
Keep in mind that Exorcism is considered a very integral part of the Christian religion; one part of The Great Commission given by Christ in some of the versions of the synoptic Gospels. In the various churches that practice Catholicism, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and the Independent churches often characterized as Old Catholic but seldom in communion with the Old Catholic Bishops of Utrecht; Exorcism is a sacramental rite performed only by a Priest authorized by a Bishop, a prayer ritual casting the entity out of the victim by the authority of Christ. In Protestant churches that observe this part of the Great Commission is is a prayer service that can be performed by any born again Christian.
In Christianity the victim is never to be retrained involuntarily by the minister or assistants, nor is he or she to be physically abused in any manner; this is something–physical abuse–we do see in other religious belief systems. While I will not name this other systems here, I have read news reports of victims of possession being abused by the person conducting the exorcism attempting to violently beat the demon out of the victim, washing the demon out, starving the demon, etcetera; all of these extreme measures often resulting in death by concussion, drowning, starvation, or other cause of death. Admittedly some uninformed or unexperienced Christians historically have made these same mistakes, but the news media is full or reports each day of someone killing a person known to them while attempting to exorcise a demon from a hapless victim.
I choose not to report these events as most are not portrayal of real exorcism, but most are usually reports of someone suffering from psychological or medical conditions, or just an otherwise innocent person victimized by another human.
Other search engine findings usually involve novels, screen plays, video games, sports teams even late model automobiles that include Demon in their names or subject matter. Which in any of THESE events, the reports are not material or subject matter relevant to the discussions of this blog.
I have been bloging about the media reports surrounding the life of the late Father Gabriele Amorth, the Roman Catholic Priest that reportedly performed thousands of Exorcisms during his career. While a recently released documentary about Fr. Amorth filmed by William Friedkin–the director of The Exorcist–is said to amaze skeptics and scientists alike, Screen Gems apparently has acquired the rights to the bulk of the journals and records of Amorth’s career.
Screen Gems has acquired the exclusive life rights of legendary Italian priest Father Gabriele Amorth. Amorth, who died in 2016, performed thousands of exorcisms for the Vatican and left behind a trove of detailed accounts of his exploits.
The deal also includes rights to his two international bestselling memoirs “An Exorcist Tells His Stor”y and “An Exorcist: More Stories”. The plan is to use the material to create a franchise, similar to the way the Ed & Lorraine Warren’s accounts of their work became “The Conjuring” film series.
Michael Patrick Kaczmarek will produce while Jeff Katz is writing the script based on his treatment. Amorth was recently the subject of a documentary by filmmaker William Friedkin.
Whether this is a good thing or not remains to be seen of course. It is hard for me to believe that the material will not be greatly enhanced for dramatic effect, possibly making the seriousness of Fr. Amorths work look less than admirable.