posted by aaronsmith (SAINT PETERSBURG, FL) Apr 22, 2008
Member since Feb 2008
Something’s wrong with Emily Rose, a college student from a devout Roman Catholic family in the Midwest. Once a happy-go-lucky girl, she has started seeing strange visions, falling into body-contorting convulsions, speaking in strange voices and mutilating her body. Doctors at first suspect epilepsy or psychosis. But when Emily does not respond to medical treatment, her family and the Catholic Archdiocese suspect something more sinister: demon possession. Father Richard Moore, the family’s priest, is called in to perform the rite of exorcism to rid Emily of her demonic tormentors.
Father Moore is not successful. Emily dies. And Moore is charged with negligent homicide.
The Archdiocese wants the case to go away and hires hotshot defense attorney Erin Bruner to work out a plea agreement. But Father Moore will have none of it. He insists on telling Emily’s story, even if it means he will not be granted bail and is likely to be convicted in the process. His attorney, whose belief in things supernatural is so shaky she only thinks she’s agnostic, is presented with the perplexing dilemma of having to defend a man who believes in things she can’t even begin to imagine. (Father Moore says to Erin, “Demons exist whether you believe in them or not.”) The ensuing courtroom showdown pits the sureties of faith against the presuppositions of science—a true clash of worldviews
The Exorcism of Emily Rose is based on the real-life story of Anneliese Michel, a German college student and devout Catholic who died during an exorcism in 1976. Doctors said her seizures and visions were caused by epilepsy. Her family and their bishop believed it was demon possession. German officials responded by prosecuting the parents and priest for criminal negligence. (They were found guilty but given suspended sentences.)