- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 19, 2016

The director of “The Exorcist” said he was recently invited by the Vatican to witness an alleged case demonic possession. He left a changed man.

William Friedkin, 80, told an audience at the Cannes film festival that he went to Rome to experience an exorcism unfold in person.

“I was invited by the Vatican exorcist to shoot and video an actual exorcism which … few people have ever seen and which nobody has ever photographed,” he said, Agence France-Press reported Thursday.

Mr. Friedkin said he was “astonished” at how many similarities there were to his 1973 film.

“I don’t think I will ever be the same having seen this astonishing thing. I am not talking about some cult — I am talking about an exorcism by the Catholic Church in Rome,” he said, AFP reported.

The director, who said he does not attend church or synagogue (his parents were Jewish), said he does believe in the teachings of Jesus.

“I don’t intend to join a church and yet what amazes me … is the fact that this man [Jesus] over 2,000 years ago preached in the desert, on street corners and in synagogues and there is no recording of his voice, there is no words that he wrote … yet billions of people have believed in the idea of Jesus Christ, Mr. Friedkin said. “There must be something in there.”

The Vatican did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment.

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