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Catholic Education Daily


Blatty Canon Lawsuit in New York Times... Sort Of

Exorcist author William Peter Blatty’s campaign, which includes a canon law lawsuit to pressure his alma mater, Georgetown University, to reclaim its Catholic identity, got some unexpected attention in The New York Times. An article on a new stage adaption of The Exorcist, which became a hit movie in 1973 and will soon premier as a play at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angles, took note of the canon law lawsuit. It seems that John Pielmeier, who wrote the screen play, met with Blatty after he realized that the people who approached him about the project didn’t own the theatrical rights to the book. He said that Blatty granted permission. In describing the back and forth between Blatty and Pielmeier, the Times notes:
Mr. Blatty, who is pursuing a lawsuit in church court against Georgetown University, his alma mater, to remove its designation as a Roman Catholic institution, declined to answer questions sent by e-mail. But he offered in an e-mail that he was happy to have chosen Mr. Pielmeier to write the play, and that Mr. Pielmeier had “done a wonderful job of capturing the true essence of the novel, the mystery of faith.”
Brooke Shields plays Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn in the movie), the tormented mother of the demon-possessed child, and Richard Chamberlain is the exorcist, Father Merrin (Max von Sydow in the movie). Previews begin July 3 in Los Angeles.

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