CATHOLIC BADDIES; Film Critic Says Priests Are Seen as Corrupt and Depraved and Nuns Are Monsters

Sunday Mirror (London, England), March 7, 2004 | Go to article overview

CATHOLIC BADDIES; Film Critic Says Priests Are Seen as Corrupt and Depraved and Nuns Are Monsters


Byline: EAMON O'HANLON

A TOP American film critic claims Catholics are fast becoming the new bad guys of Hollywood.

Richard Roeper, who writes in the Chicago Sun-Times, says the last four years have seen a tidal wave of Catholic-bashing movies.

Priests are increasingly portrayed as corrupt, lascivious and depraved, while nuns are seen are as nothing short of monsters.

Roeper says abuse scandals had undoubtedly contributed to turnabout and that many of the most damning portrayals are based on true stories.

But he says he is astonished films such as The Order (2003), in which an elderly priest dies after a ritual known as "sin eating" do not cause more of a stir.

Roeper said: "Catholicism has been represented far more frequently than any other faith and I've probably seen more films about the Catholic Church than all other religions put together.

"Just from the last four years, I could easily put together a Catholic Film Festival, but I don't think too many Catholics would be pleased with the entries.

"In these movies priests are suicidal, corrupt and or lascivious and nuns are heartless sadists.

"I am aware of scandals past and present involving the Church and yes, some of the films are powerful works based on true stories. But a lot of this stuff is just exploitative garbage."

Worst offenders include the "leering comedy" 40 Days and 40 Nights (2003), in which Josh Hartnett gives up sex for Lent, but still goes to Confession to gossip about women with his brother, a Catholic priest. …

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