First of all, I want to point out that I have not seen the movie Priest, nor will I go see it. Therefore, I am going to comment on what I do know about the movie. The source of my editorial will be based on an interview between Fr. Benedict Groeschel CFP, Mother Angelica, and Dr. William Donohue President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
Dr. Donohue is the only person who did see the movie. Dr. Donohue has been quite active defending religious freedom in the United States. His most recent achievement has been the saving of the US Christmas stamp.
Dr. Donohue says the following about the movie “Priest”, “It is a cruel caricature of Roman Catholic priests. One that is so blatantly unrepresentative of most priests, as to qualify as an invidious stereotype of the Catholic clergy. Worst, this movie invites the audience to see the Catholic church as the causative agent of priestly despair.”
“There are five priests in this movie and every one of them is a thoroughly tortured individual. All of them. All. Indeed the priests are either living a life that directly contravenes Church teaching or they are mean, or they are psychotic. Two of the priests are having affairs. One with a female housekeeper, another with his newly acquired male friend. Another priest is a drunk. The country pastor is obviously mad and the bishop is simply wicked. In short there is a not a single priest who is well adjusted and faithful to the church.”
Fr. Groeschel goes on to say, “And I want to make it very clear that this movie is ultimately against the gospel and in fact clergymen of different denominations have said that its both against the gospel and against the entire Judeo-Christian tradition and even against all religion. Because in an utterly biased way it represents priests as dishonest , as misbehaving, as mad or as wicked. There isn’t even one redeeming priest in the whole picture.”
The movie was made by a company called Miramax Films. Miramax is a subsidiary of Disney. It has been stated in the Wall Street Journal that regarding the relationship between Miramax and Disney, “Disney can get Miramax to do what it wants.” However, now that a controversy has evolved over Disney producing a movie that is anti-religious, Disney has claimed that is has no control over Miramax. To me, that is like saying that a parent has no responsibility for their children.
Well then, why should the movie “Priest” be pulled from the movie screens?
I’ve heard many people tell me things that were “true” because they either read about it, or seen it on t.v. I have to admit that I’ve even fallen for this. Disney has an obligation as a public trust not to promote religious and/or any other kind of prejudice. By advocating these types of prejudice, Disney is promoting religious bigotry. If anything, Disney should be trying to promote respect for the many different cultural differences that make this a great nation. The only thing they are attempting to do is to eradicate the moralistic law that this country was founded on, and to promote lifestyles that have been, and will continue to be unacceptable in any moralistic society.
Can you imagine Disney endorsing a movie that is against blacks, or native Americans? No. Nor should they. Why? Because it is wrong. We must remember that we are all made in the likeness and image of God, regardless what sex, color, or religious persuasion. Treating any individual short of this is wrong.
So why did Miramax make such a controversial movie?
The reason is simple. To destroy the church, and to make money. The church always has been and will continue to be against such controversial issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and homosexuality. Hollywood is partial to these issues.
So why attack the Catholic church? By attacking the Catholic church, Hollywood is attacking all moral religions. The Catholic church happens to be the largest defender of these issues. The Cairo conference in Egypt is a perfect example of this. That is not to say that other religions do not defend these same moralistic principles. There are many that do. However, by attempting to take out the “big one”, then Hollywood can much easier whittle away at the other moralistic religions.
Instead of focusing on the differences between Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Protestants, etc., why don’t we all try to recognize the many similarities between our religions. The central similarity is that we all believe in a God, and try to follow a prescribed moral conduct. Hollywood on the other hand is trying to persuade and embrace everything that is anti-moral. Therefore, I reiterate that the movie “Priest” is an attack on all religions; not just Catholicism.
So what do we do? The first thing we can all do is to pray for our Hellenistic society. Secondly, we can call or write Disney telling them that we are outraged by Miramax’s attempt to degrade religion. Third, we can boycott Disney by canceling our subscription to the Disney channel, cancel vacation plans to Disney Land and Disney World, and not buy any related Disney products.
Remember that just like the frog who was slowly boiled to death without noticing it, that we too will be lead on a path of deception if we allow Disney, and other companies to get away with this outlandish attack on religion.