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Whether the coverage of Mel Gibson itself is a good example of anti-Catholicism is up for grabs (in some ways I guess it’s a good sign that people hold Catholics up to higher standards), but the example Father gave was a clear instance of anti-Catholicism. I think a better example would be to examine how Catholic nuns, brothers, and priests are treated by the media.
I think the very public way that Mel Gibson has shown his devoutness really does beg some comment about how his religion comes to bear on his behavior. The case Fr. Barron makes about Bernie Madoff is not a good comparison because Madoff did not display a high level of devoutness. I think the writer of the article was a bit clumsy and flip, but what they were really asking is “Is this what you become when you live a devout Catholic life?” and I think that is a legitimate question. We are all one, right? There should be no complaining about being tarred with the same brush, because we are in fact all one in Christ, this is the reality of Christianity. Nor should we try to escape scrutiny of what we profess against how we live by complaining about anti-Catholicism, especially when it is a mild comment like this. Resistance and persecution was promised to us by Jesus himself, it is part and parcel of being a Christian.
Why don’t Priests and lay folks use the word sin? Sin can be the root of Dysfunction and bizarre behavior. I not saying that Father should condemn Gibson as a sinner, that is God’s job. Would it be better if the possibility of sin-evil-devil in the world were mentioned? Or did I miss something
I was in church and looked around and saw all of us folks with our various lives trying to live up to the highest standard of all – what God asks of us. We all struggle and miss the mark many times – “sin” but the Catholic church doesn’t change its theology to make us feel better! I am thankful for that and wish that people would quit thinking because you are Catholic and sin it is somehow the church’s fault.
I think Fr. Barron is absolutely right. As sad and disgusting as Mel Gibson’s recent string of outrageous statements have been, the real sin that he continues to be persecuted for (inside and outside Hollywood) is making THAT movie, and being open about his own Catholic faith.
I would disagree with the first poster that Mel has ever displayed a high level of “devoutness.” On the contrary, whenever he speaks about his own faith he has been very clear about just how bad a Catholic he considers himself to be (a really, really bad one. That’s why he depicted his own hand pounding the nail into Jesus’ hand in TPOTC).
But merely speaking up to say “this is who I am and what I believe” is enough to get one crucified in Hollywood (if it’s the “wrong” belief system, that is..as opposed to say, Buddhism or Hinduism or whatever Deepak Chopra is peddling these days).
I’ll make the necessary disclaimer, as Fr. Barron did, that Gibson’s behavior is appalling on many levels. But I also think that his behavior, sadly, is consistent with the outrageous outbursts that are often associated with alcoholism (complicated by his self-admitted bipolar disorder). Add into that equation that it appears that he is being blackmailed by a Russian golddigger, and you have a very pathetic situation indeed (especially for his children).
But hey, if you’re, say, Roman Polanski, no problem. Carry on.
I think the very public way that Mel Gibson has shown his devoutness really does beg some comment about how his religion comes to bear on his behavior
But the comment was directed at Catholicism (“who knew it could be so interesting”), not at Mel’s devoutness. It was a gratuitous dig.
“Madoff did not display a high level of devoutness.”
Actually, he wore the yarmulke publicly. Several Jewish writers thought it was to ameliorate his image since he bilked so many Jewish people. But commenters worried that the image of Madoff in a yarmulke would be used as a symbol of Jewish avarice and underhandedness.
Obviously, that’s not what happened. I can’t think of any article that tried to equate religion with his crime – other than to mention that many of the investors trusted him because of their common religion.
I would like someone to ask the author of the “who knew Catholicism could be so interesting” article what religion Oliver Stone practices and if he/she finds it as interesting as Catholicism. Mel Gibson’s despicable rants occurred in private under the influence of alcohol. Which also begs the question why these reporters don’t defend a right to privacy for Gibson’s private drunken rants, but passionately defend a woman’s right to privacy to terminate a “life less obvious.” Oliver Stone made his anti-Semitic comments in public and sober. Any media outrage yet??
Leftism is its own religion – and there are no enemies on the Left.
Elizabeth Scalia is a Benedictine Oblate and the Managing Editor of the Catholic Portal at Patheos. She is an award-winning writer and a regularly-featured columnist at [Read More...]
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