Last Call: Reporters haunt Chicago exorcist

When the real world and Hollywood collide, the result can be a slew of unwanted publicity. Just ask the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, which has just found itself the subject of widespread media coverage because it has a designated exorcist.

With the pending re-release of The Exorcist, an enterprising Chicago Sun-Times reporter ran a front page story about the diocese's in-house exorcist. A torrent of coverage followed in late September. Radio stations as far away as Seattle called for interviews.

James Dwyer, director of communications for the archdiocese, claims the last thing the church wanted was publicity over the fact that there is a priest in Chicago (his identity is kept secret as a matter of church policy) who's job it is to perform exorcisms.

'It's not something that we wanted to broadcast from the top of every hill,' Dwyer says. He adds he's not sure why the coverage was so extensive, but anyone familiar with reporters could tell him that - the devil made them do it.

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