A friend writes about Mel’s “Passion” film:

It’s bizarre to see a film dedicated to the Passion of our Lord so roundly condemned by the bishops (I hold them each accountable for every nut-case statement by the USCCB, because they’re supposed to be in charge of the darn thing) who are presently going about the much more important business of issuing “statements” about the Gospel and agriculture and how a sexist and oppressive hierarchy can “relate” to women.

Here is a major artistic expression of the central event of human history, thoroughly American (cinema is the only art form American culture has given the world). It had to be made by laymen, particularly a layman who will have nothing to do with the priorities (liturgical and otherwise) of the American Catholic bishops. And all the bishops can do engage in hand-wringing confirmations of everything John Cornwell, Gary Wills, et al. say about the evil nature of Catholicism.

What the Bishops ought to do is ensure that “The Passion” is screeened for every parish in the United States, shown to any Catholic who wants to see it. And then follow it up with Eucharistic adoration and benediction services in every parish. But only dispensationalist evangelicals have that kind of guts, and (of course) choose to waste it on silly trash like The Omega Code. Our leadership prefers to let the majestic barque of the Church ride gloriously at anchor, a spectacle of motionless power, just like the Pacific Fleet on December 6, 1941.

Will somebody remind the Bishops that it’s not too late — even the laborer who shows up at the end of the day gets full wages . . . .


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