William Peter Blatty died this week at age 89. He had a long career as a screenwriter and an author. Despite his multiple marriages, his latest in 1983 and which would last to his death, Blatty remained a Catholic and in the latter part of his life a fervent one. Best known as the author of The Exorcist Blatty often complained that the work was misunderstood. He viewed its themes as being that there is a God and that the universe has a happy ending. Most recently, he spearheaded a drive to have the Vatican find that Georgetown University, his alma mater, was in violation of its papal charter. The Vatican in 2014 stated that the petition sent in by Blatty was well founded and then promptly did nothing.
“There it lies, I think, Damien … possession; not in wars, as some tend to believe; not so much; and very rarely in extraordinary interventions such as here … this girl … this poor child. No, I tend to see possession most often in the little things, Damien: in the senseless, petty spites and misunderstandings; the cruel and cutting word that leaps unbidden to the tongue between friends. Between lovers. Between husbands and wives. Enough of these and we have no need of Satan to manage our wars; these we manage for ourselves … for ourselves.”
William Peter Blatty, Father Lankester Merrin in The Exorcist