If Easter is coming, it time to bash the Catholic Church.

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.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. skull kid says:

    ”Vatican Radio and the Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica saw the movie as inoffensive.”


  2. SimonDodd says:

    Funny that our non-crowd pleasing pope is so pleasing to the crowd. Whodathunkit? If you give people the truth instead of condescending faux-kowtowing, they will flock to you.

  3. Ezra says:

    Knowing Nanni Moretti’s extremely gentle style of comedy, and having read Bruno Volpe’s website in the past, I’m inclined to believe Civilta Cattolica and Vatican Radio over Volpe, who posts sedevacantist garbage and references to “the apostate John Paul II” as if they were news (example). Have the people fulminating against it even seen the film?

  4. anna 6 says:

    From the Guardian: the movie”depicts a stress-racked pope who sees a psychiatrist and eventually resigns his position”. In other places he is described as “depressed”.
    “Mr Volpe said Habemus Papam never mentioned the current Pope by name but it was nevertheless clear that it was a parody of Pope Benedict XVI.”
    I don’t see how Mr. Volpe (or the director) could possibly see a connection between Benedict XVI and this description – which is precisely the opposite personality of our pope!

  5. Andrew says:

    One can always rely on some catholics taking the side of the bashers. It would be nice to know for once who is on whose side:
    Qui non est mecum, contra me est: et qui non colligit mecum, dispergit.

  6. robtbrown says:

    Winning the competition at Cannes is a fairly reliable indication for a film that no one will want to see it.

  7. Johnny Domer says:

    OK, I’m just going to ask it: how many trads reading this initially thought, “Gee, that sounds a lot more like Paul VI than it sounds like Benedict XVI…”?

  8. Glen M says:

    The fact we have such voracious enemies proves we are the true Church. No one is interested in what the Lutherans or Hindus are up to.

  9. benedetta says:

    As far as the atheist-yet-somehow-spiritual msm is concerned, unless between all of the decades of this and, well I guess weeks ago since these stories will have had to be in the works since awhile back, editors suddenly are struck dumb in a conversion story on par with St Paul, all the msm news and even programming that passes off as “entertainment” of This Week will be geared, at all costs, to prevent you from actually coming to believe in Jesus the Christ as the Resurrection and the Life. You will be permitted, even enabled, to be a tourist, but never on pilgrimage, you may dip into ancient texts to hear again the age-old story (“myth”), but always with helpful explanations provided at all the proper moments so that if you veer off the path laid out for your group by the tour guides and encounter the Risen One and actually come to belief, you will be quickly returned back to your halcyon complacency where you will be able to point out to all who wonder why it is you still go to the church, all the tidbits you have gleaned which show that Jesus was a remarkable revolutionary, a rabble-rouser, an incredibly charismatic figure, a leader whom we should emulate, a teacher who had disciples who were to go out and free the captives who can never be the unborn…

    Still whether you prefer the msm version or not, you will wonder about Him, and, regardless of what you hear said about Him, even if you might be ordained and well-versed, or someone just starting out, whether you vote for this one or that one, you may find yourself inexplicably drawn to Him anyway. Warning: what you discover about Him may undermine all of your previous faith in the msm and you might come to a position of what is called “not-buying”. Not-buying comes dangerously close to undermining consumerism altogether, it’s true. But not-buying can be fun. It can be enjoyable. It can be peaceful and invites and encourages peace, a peace you may have never known you could have. Contrary to popular myth, not-buying does not mean you can never again be a tourist. You can be a tourist again, and dip into the msm lore, take in the sights, even be entertained, but, and here is the important part when you are a non-buyer: Your Opinions Are Your Own.

  10. Hieronymus says:

    We should really be less worried about these scandalous works of fiction. The true reports are far more damaging, and after the 25 year free-for-all that was the previous pontificate, they are not in short supply. I imagine the floodgates are going to burst open AFTER the beatification. That will be far more effective in “proving” that the Church is a farce.

    But the show must go on with all haste, facts be damned!

  11. fenetre says:

    My parish habitually receives some sort of ‘gift’ whenever Christmas or Easter draws near. Usually it would be a rock through a window or glass door. This morning when I went to church its glass entrance was spray-painted with something not-very-nice. Well, at least the pastor doesn’t have to pay for the glass-smith to come this time.

  12. benedetta says:

    The other great thing about not-buying the msm punditry when it comes to matters of faith or its “historical Jesus” is, you need not worry. It’s a trend, and it’s funny, the trend itself is entertainment, but, certainly, no worries. If you don’t buy, you need not be worried. That’s a priceless peace. Just don’t buy, and don’t worry about what the msm does (and it is doing as Fr.Z says).

  13. Chuckles says:

    The “Prince of Darkness” referred to in days of yore could only have been the “Pope of the Roman organizers.!”

  14. RichR says:

    Remember… if Easter is near, its the season to bash the Catholic Church.

    I’d be happy if there was a “season”. Unfortunately, Christ’s One True Church gets criticisms all year round.

  15. benedetta says:

    RichR, That’s true it’s always en vogue but you can see how all the stops get pulled out to really emphasize the working assumptions This Week. There are working assumptions that set the tone all year round. Then there is this week. There seems a fear too, that people will really and truly come to believe…what is that about.

    Also people tend to buy on impulse and big industrial media complex knows this, studies it, it’s business. They make a marketing decision that if this week people happen to feel a vague spiritual impulse at some point, they might in turn buy or read or whatever and it carries a momentary gratification. There is marketing research at work in the editorial decisions. Do you think it is a profound coincidence that an entertainer singing a song about Judas has it marketed this week? Some marketing guys in suits sat down and said, the best possible time to make money from this would be what days on the calendar…And then you get elementary kids listening to some stupid song about Judas by a woman in a funny outfit with big gozangas or whatever it is (sorry Fr. Z) and they think it’s cool because it’s popular because it’s popular it’s cool and yet it’s just because some suits with receding hairlines akin to all others and beer bellies or what have you sat down and crafted a business plan. So who is free, the one who downloads that without thinking because it’s there this week and she is outfitted or the one who says, you know what, this music is somehow not optimally pleasing to my ear, at this particular moment. I will look for something that I like…and with my free will, make a free decision today to listen to straightahead jazz. And not be excessively tied to the rule bound tyrants who insist that if I don’t listen to this I will go straight to the uncool unpopular underworld…

    Now, they are obviously free to engineer opinions toward excessive undermining of all religious faith and particularly the Catholic faith. Apparently it sells too. It’s not quite the idealized, romanticized “freedom of speech” nor is it about intellectual discussion of ideas or about culture. It is much more about, the market, the money, the monopolies, the playing to impulses, doubt, blasphemy, sex as commodity. But the very idea that there is religious freedom in this country, when this so dominates such that you can’t even complete a thought without the ongoing assault in the form of words, symbols, images…

    But like I said, no need to actually worry about it…there is the kingdom of this world…and then imperceptibly another is at work, growing, thriving…We need to take notice, and keep moving. Be shrewd yet innocent…It’s here and at work but it does not define us and we need not live according to it, or, as myth goes, in reaction to it…

  16. Banjo pickin girl says:

    benedetta is smart. I like the phrase: “this music is somehow not optimally pleasing to my ear.” It made me chuckle.

    I got rid of my TV recently, gave mine to my mom. So I have no EWTN but also no UNGODLY TRASHHEAP NOISE. That is not what is in my wallet!

  17. benedetta says:

    Do you play, Banjo pickin girl? I like all kinds of music, from all places of the world and sometimes I even like to listen to the great Earl Scruggs. I will put some on today in your honor…I’m not that smart, just taking things day by day…You sure don’t need tv but isn’t it good to be able to have some music?

  18. Banjo pickin girl says:

    I play what is called “old time music,” predating bluegrass, some as early as 1820’s. I listen to Flatt and Scruggs too though. And I recently found out that Ricky Skaggs can play the fretless banjo (I have one of those, banjos were all fretless until 1880). I can play Immaculate Mary too though it sounds weird on the banjo.

    And excellent CD with all old time styles is one called Banjo Gathering, a two CD set with 50 solos, some of them sung but most not. Simple songs about simple subjects: Possum up a Gum Stump, etc.

  19. benedetta says:

    Wow, that’s very cool. I am interested in the field called ethnomusicology (just a fancy word) — the musical history in our country is so rich. I have never looked into this area but I will now, thanks for the recommendation. Hey I bet we have some here who would also like the work of Anonymous 4! That’s the thing about markets and the music industry…can’t account for the artistic spirit, and it never predicts that phenomenon known as “cross over”…Got Scruggs’ John Henry on right now…what was it Steve Martin did (the young Papist had it on his site also awhile back)…”Atheists don’t have no songs?” Atheists evidently don’t have an organized hymnal but perhaps don’t lack for songs…Remember one explicitly atheist pop song we had to parse and analyze in 8th grade English one time. People were quite tolerant and no one undermined others’ rights to not believe…That’s another big media industrial complex myth, that all the good rebels hate religion. Sorry, not buying…

    Happy trails, Banjo pickin girl!

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