Monday, January 10, 2011

Vatican denies involvement with Discovery Channel show

Last week Entertainment Weekly reported that the Discovery Channel was "teaming" with the Vatican for The Exorcist Files, a series which would "recreate stories of real-life hauntings and demonic possession, based on cases investigated by the Catholic Church."

And that was news to the Vatican.

In an interview with Discovery's president Clark Bunting, EW wrote the Vatican would be opening case files and allowing access to the show. However, by the end of the week, the director of the Vatican's Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, told EWTN/Catholic News Agency the report was "misleading" and the show wasn't officially collaborating with the Church.

Lombardi said the project may be in discussions with individual experts, but, "Neither are the Vatican nor the Catholic Church involved in this project ... every attribution of this kind to the Vatican must be considered inexact."

This is a bit of a smackdown from the pontiff to the publicity, but it's not surprising.  Not just anyone can claim to be hanging with the Vatican crew. Although the remaining thought is who is the possible "individual expert" involved with the show? What well-known demonologists and experts on exorcisms might be ready for a TV project?

UPDATED: The Los Angeles Times confirms the "guide" or de facto host of the show will be "Roman Catholic demonologist" layperson Adam Blai.

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