Quibbles with "The Rite" Movie

I just saw the new Anthony Hopkins in the theater a few weeks ago, and was very impressed. I felt like I was watching a new genre of film, I felt as if no film had ever broken this ground before. Overall a very positive portrayal of Catholicism.

As contrast, I hated “The Exorcist”, for its overall disturbing scenes (not scary, but the kind you remember forever), and the ridiculous ending where the priest cannot cast out the demon and tells it to possess him instead. Grrrr! :banghead:
But I digress.

Back to “The Rite”. As far as I can tell, it seems that the young seminarian was ordained a transitional Deacon, because his Dad was there (I think), but then the rest of the movie he seems to act like a priest. He gives a version of the Last Rites to a dying woman, and basically performs an exorcism. Granted, both are in extreme/high pressure situations, but very strange. Did anyone else notice this?

I also understand that Apostolic authority is a key element in a successful exorcism, meaning that the exorcist must have express approval of the local bishop to proceed. Nothing like that happens in the movie, it seems the exorcists are on their own. Then again Anthony Hopkins character is nearly destroyed by evil, so maybe that is a factor.
I did like the film a great deal, so I ordered the book to see how closely the film adheres to the true story.
Also, I don’t like that the Anthony Hopkins character is presented as “Unorthodox”, which is portrayed as giving him the edge over evil.

In essence its like saying the Church is too slow and outdated to really know how to cast out demons, you’ve got to figure it out for yourself? Huh?

I notice this theme in other films. I liked the film “Bless the Child”, but there is a similar line, something like this Theologian is so smart, he was banned by the Vatican. Basically saying that if the Vatican doesn’t like you or agree with you, you MUST be good. :shrug:

So today the book “The Rite” arrived, and prominently on the back cover it says, “In 2007, the Vatican’s chief exorcist revealed an initiative to install an exorcist in every diocese worldwide. Three days later, the Vatican denied the story.”

Stuff like this bugs me, because it just creates confusion. Is the Vatican covering their exorcist plans up? I highly doubt it.

Please weigh in with your take, I'd love to hear it whether you've seen the movie or not.:D

Have not seen it. If I were catholic, I would simply remind people this is a movie and one that does not do more than entertain the viewer at best.

I've read the book, and found it very enlightening. The book is very respectful of the Church, and neither the chief exorcist nor his apprentice were unorthodox. In fact, the author Matt Baglio's faith was strengthened in the Church as result of his investigations.

There's an excellent review by a Catholic nun on (Sister Helen Burns) on her blog Hell Burns. She also reviews many other films and really seems very up to date on contemporary media and very knowledgeable about the Theology of the Body which she uses to analyse a lot of media.

hellburns.blogspot.com/

There's an excellent review by a Catholic nun on (Sister Helen Burns) on her blog Hell Burns. She also reviews many other films and really seems very up to date on contemporary media and very knowledgeable about the Theology of the Body which she uses to analyse a lot of media.

hellburns.blogspot.com/

Thank you for sharing this, this blog is going in my bookmarks! I've just read a bunch of her reviews, they are very fun to read. I really like her writing style.

Thanks for the link, I enjoyed the review. I'm happy to hear the book is better too. :)

[quote="NewEvanglztn, post:1, topic:230360"]
Back to "The Rite". As far as I can tell, it seems that the young seminarian was ordained a transitional Deacon, because his Dad was there (I think), but then the rest of the movie he seems to act like a priest. He gives a version of the Last Rites to a dying woman, and basically performs an exorcism. Granted, both are in extreme/high pressure situations, but very strange. Did anyone else notice this?

I also understand that Apostolic authority is a key element in a successful exorcism, meaning that the exorcist must have express approval of the local bishop to proceed. Nothing like that happens in the movie, it seems the exorcists are on their own. Then again Anthony Hopkins character is nearly destroyed by evil, so maybe that is a factor.
I did like the film a great deal, so I ordered the book to see how closely the film adheres to the true story.

[/quote]

Even back in Jesus' day there were people who weren't followers of Christ who were casting out demons (Gospel of Mark I believe. It's the one where Jesus says something like "if you aren't against me then you're for me").

[quote="NewEvanglztn, post:1, topic:230360"]
So today the book "The Rite" arrived, and prominently on the back cover it says, "In 2007, the Vatican's chief exorcist revealed an initiative to install an exorcist in every diocese worldwide. Three days later, the Vatican denied the story."

Stuff like this bugs me, because it just creates confusion. Is the Vatican covering their exorcist plans up? I highly doubt it.

[/quote]

Not as much "covering it up" as "keeping it hush-hush". Let's face it, people are quite enamoured by exorcisms. From what I understand, in most diocese if there is an exorcist nobody except the Bishop knows who he is.

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