Remember… if Easter is near, its the season to bash the Catholic Church.
Before Easter and before the beatification of Pope John Paul we are seeing the uptick in anti-Catholic gestures saved up by the MSM precisely for this period.
For example, in the Telegraph we find this, with my emphases and comments:
Pope film sparks Catholic controversy [Benign word, no? If this were done about a Jewish figure, the Jewish community and others would be up in arms saying that this was an effort to promote anti-Semitism, not “controversy”.]
A film about a panic-prone Pope who has unwittingly been thrust into the papacy and has to hire a psychiatric assistant to help him has sparked controversy in the Roman Catholic Church.
By Philip Willan in Rome 5:13PM BST 19 Apr 2011
Traditionalists say that the film, by the acclaimed Italian director Nanni Moretti, is “an instrument of Satan” and is particularly offensive as it has been released in the approach to Easter.
Bruno Volpe, the Catholic lawyer, has launched suit for defamation against Moretti and the producers under the terms of the Lateran Pact, which extends the same protections to the prestige of the pope as to the Italian president. [Good for him.] Mr Volpe said Habemus Papam (We Have a Pope), never mentioned the current Pope by name but it was nevertheless clear that it was a parody of Pope Benedict XVI and dishonoured the figure of the Pontiff in general. Salvatore Izzo, a Vatican expert, branded the work disrespectful and boring in an open letter to Avvenire, the Catholic bishops’ newspaper.
He said Catholics should boycott the film, which opened in Italy on Friday and will be in competition at Cannes. [Will it win something?]
“Why should we support financially that which offends our religion?” he asked, admitting he had not seen the film.
Antonio Vacca, the bishop of Alghero, described Moretti as “an instrument of Satan for separating man from God”.
Gerardo Pierro, archbishop of Salerno, said the launch of a similar film in an Islamic country would have led to the burning of cinemas and attempts to kill the director for blasphemy. “I think many people take advantage of the traditional meekness of Catholics, which is often confused with foolishness or resignation,” Archbishop Pierro said.
Franco Zeffirelli, the director of Jesus of Nazareth, agreed Moretti’s film was an insult to the Pope and the faith.
“It’s a horrible cheap shot,” Mr Zeffirelli said. “I feel especially sorry for this Pontiff, who may not be a crowd-pleaser, but who is very civilised and reasonable.” [Crowds are larger for Pope Benedict’s General Audiences than they were for the late Pope John Paul’s.]
The Pope is played by Michel Piccoli, an 85-year-old French actor, and many Catholics have acknowledged Moretti’s sympathetic depiction of the film’s ecclesiastical characters, though the Vatican has not reacted officially.