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On Demons and Exorcism I

Following the lead of Scott Richert, I read William Peter Blatty's "Legion".  Blatty, the descendant of Lebanese Maronite Catholics is world-famous for his chilling and yet uplifting novel "The Exorcist", which he later adapted into an Academy Award-winning screenplay.  In "Legion", Blatty re-introduces several characters from "The Exorcist" and the new novel still takes place in NW Washington, DC around Georgetown.

Unfortunately, "Legion" does not even approach the dark, scary magnificence of the previous novel.  However, as with "The Exorcist", it is a pleasant surprise to find a popular horror novel, which is so respectful to Christianity, the Catholic Church, and Catholic clergy, and includes such serious discussions of Good and Evil.  This has something to do with Blatty, who as Scott Richert explained on his about.com, is a Catholic believer who wrote the book not as a scary story, but as a "novel of faith".

Now, I found the "The Exorcist" a thought-provoking movie more than a scary one.  Until then, I was hardly a believer in demonic possession, although, I did witness what I still believe to be an exorcism in Moldova (more on that later).

A recent occurrence in Queens, the borough of NYC where I live, serves as a reminder of those dark forces, that in the words of Pope Leo XIII "prowl about the world, seeking the ruin of souls".  A statue of the Virgin Mary outside the rectory of St. Mary Gate of Heaven Church in the formerly Italian neighborhood of Ozone Park was found decapitated.  The remaining Italians in this increasingly Latino and Guyanese neighborhood, grumbled to the local newspapers that when the mobster John Gotti had his HQ in the neighborhood, this would've never happened.  As though the Prince of This World would be intimidated by a bunch of wiseguys.

Eugene Girin

Eugene Girin is a New York-based attorney and commentator.

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