Skip to comments.'The Nativity Story' Movie Problematic for Catholics, "Unsuitable" for Young Children
Posted on 12/04/2006 7:52:47 PM PST by Pyro7480
'The Nativity Story' Movie Problematic for Catholics, "Unsuitable" for Young Children
By John-Henry Westen
NEW YORK, December 4, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A review of New Line Cinema's The Nativity story by Fr. Angelo Mary Geiger of the Franciscans of the Immaculate in the United States, points out that the film, which opened December 1, misinterprets scripture from a Catholic perspective.
While Fr. Geiger admits that he found the film is "in general, to be a pious and reverential presentation of the Christmas mystery." He adds however, that "not only does the movie get the Virgin Birth wrong, it thoroughly Protestantizes its portrayal of Our Lady."
In Isaiah 7:14 the Bible predicts the coming of the Messiah saying: "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel." Fr. Geiger, in an video blog post, explains that the Catholic Church has taught for over 2000 years that the referenced Scripture showed that Mary would not only conceive the child miraculously, but would give birth to the child miraculously - keeping her physical virginity intact during the birth.
The film, he suggests, in portraying a natural, painful birth of Christ, thus denies the truth of the virginal and miraculous birth of Christ, which, he notes, the Fathers of the Church compared to light passing through glass without breaking it. Fr. Geiger quoted the fourth century St. Augustine on the matter saying. "That same power which brought the body of the young man through closed doors, brought the body of the infant forth from the inviolate womb of the mother."
Fr. Geiger contrasts The Nativity Story with The Passion of the Christ, noting that with the latter, Catholics and Protestants could agree to support it. He suggests, however, that the latter is "a virtual coup against Catholic Mariology".
The characterization of Mary further debases her as Fr. Geiger relates in his review. "Mary in The Nativity lacks depth and stature, and becomes the subject of a treatment on teenage psychology."
Beyond the non-miraculous birth, the biggest let-down for Catholics comes from Director Catherine Hardwicke's own words. Hardwicke explains her rationale in an interview: "We wanted her [Mary] to feel accessible to a young teenager, so she wouldn't seem so far away from their life that it had no meaning for them. I wanted them to see Mary as a girl, as a teenager at first, not perfectly pious from the very first moment. So you see Mary going through stuff with her parents where they say, 'You're going to marry this guy, and these are the rules you have to follow.' Her father is telling her that she's not to have sex with Joseph for a year-and Joseph is standing right there."
Comments Fr. Geiger, "it is rather disconcerting to see Our Blessed Mother portrayed with 'attitude;' asserting herself in a rather anachronistic rebellion against an arranged marriage, choosing her words carefully with her parents, and posing meaningful silences toward those who do not understand her."
Fr. Geiger adds that the film also contains "an overly graphic scene of St. Elizabeth giving birth," which is "just not suitable, in my opinion, for young children to view."
Despite its flaws Fr. Geiger, after viewing the film, also has some good things to say about it. "Today, one must commend any sincere attempt to put Christ back into Christmas, and this film is certainly one of them," he says. "The Nativity Story in no way compares to the masterpiece which is The Passion of the Christ, but it is at least sincere, untainted by cynicism, and a worthy effort by Hollywood to end the prejudice against Christianity in the public square."
And, in addition to a good portrait of St. Joseph, the film offers "at least one cinematic and spiritual triumph" in portraying the Visitation of Mary to St. Elizabeth. "Although the Magnificat is relegated to a kind of epilogue at the movie's end, the meeting between Mary and Elizabeth is otherwise faithful to the scriptures and quite poignant. In a separate scene, the two women experience the concurrent movement of their children in utero and share deeply in each other's joy. I can't think of another piece of celluloid that illustrates the dignity of the unborn child better than this."
See Fr. Geiger's full review here:
But [St. Paul] did NOT say to the churches to set up a multi-layered bureaucracy
He mentions six in various places: Christ, His Apostles, bishops, priests and deacons, and lay people.
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Ahhhhh, but NOT . . . in a legal edifice--one organization framework. Not even close to that.
That can't be right, isn't that an LDS belief? That we will evolve into Gods. I think one of the EO on this thread said he meant we would share in his divine essence.
That is aliento Orthodoxy. Personally, it's blasphemous.
I think "loud" is in the eye of the beholder, mostly.
I like a variety of emphases including all caps. My quirk. If it's too annoying, feel free to skip my posts.
You have some annoying quirks, too. No biggy. It's called the human condition, last I checked.
Anything straightforwardly built plainly and directly on Scripture and practiced in good faith without fleshly embellishment and layering on of inferred, extrapolated, assumed junk . . . toward the increasing of intimacy with Jesus, Father, Spirit--is worth my applause--at least acceptance and prayerful support.
The first part of Hail Mary is a compilation of direct scripture quotes. The request for her prayer in the end reflects her adoption of us at the foot of the Cross as Christ was dying, for us sinners.
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As written and recited . . . I consider it a fairly mangling distortion of Scripture wholesale OUT of keeping with the context and meaning of the Scriptures involved.
Having that man-made religion tag thrown at you is ugly isn't it? Not very kind of me, I'm sorry. I'm tired and sick of having it thrown at me. You can't even accept prayers from me for fear I may ask for a little help on your behalf.
Your "religion" takes you to a church on Sunday, I assume, so you are listening to someone preach to you every week. You may very well have a personal relationship with God but it comes with outside biases. Who started your church? Jesus started mine.
I'm too tired to continue because I get ugly when I'm tired.
Goodnight! I'll try to rejoin everyone tomorrow when I've had a much needed rest!
I'd think it would be a higher priority--Biblically as well as in view of the loving thing
--to deal with my content vs my formatting.
Of course, if my formatting affords a convenient out . . .
What can I say.
I laid that out in several numbered points.
My words were common English words.
The question at this point is most puzzling.
The EO would not have said that. We do not share in divine essence. Those who become Christ-like share in His divinity by grace (uncreated enegries), not by nature.
We should pray for all non believers as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ that they may truly be in a right relationship with our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST.
You don't believe you become God then, do you?
G'night Sam. Sweet dreams and God bless..
Do you even know what you are asking? I suggest you read the whole text of the Divine Liturgy.
What you call sacrifice we call "Gifts." Why do people give gifts, Blogger? Out of love. Out of gratitude. Because God showers us with gifts.
Make sure you notice when, before consecration, the priest says: We offer to You these gifts from Your own gifts in all and for all.
Gifts are "sacrifices" inasmuch as one goes out of his way to acquire them and give them without expecting anything in return. Gifts are labor of love. It's a sactifice alright, a bloodless one. Not something pagans did to buy favors.
We can never become God in essence (nature). The Church never believed that.
Woot! There it is!
"The Old Testament forbids trying to make contact with the dead.
Aww, man. You regressed.
Where in the Bible does it tell you that, annalex? The bible says to believe and be baptized. Belief is the main point and baptism comes as obedience but if a person believes on his or her death bed, and isn't baptized, does that person go to hell? I think not. There isn't anywhere I know of where the eucharist is really necessary. What is necessary is putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. But, you've been over all this before, I'm sure.
When he spoke of drinking unworthily, he was talking of the folks who had a party and ate and drank and didn't respect communion. If you take it in that frame of mind, you can get very ill and even die. (I don't know exactly where that is in the Bible but it's there.) That's why we confess our sins so that our hearts will be right with him and with others.
Christ's church is the body of Christ, all believers, not just one particular denomination. Some day you will find that out, hopefully. Love, M
Some of us may be selective in one we absorb but refuse to let flow through us like forgiveness, i.e. receiving Gods forgiveness while refusing to forgive others. But bottling up all that Light cannot have a good ending and we know it does not in the example given. (Matt 7)
Which brings me to your reply, Quix!
I rejoice that Christ picked twelve very different persons! And that He received seven very different churches in Revelation!
Truly, I believe the foundation stones for New Jerusalem are a metaphor for this beauty we are not cookie-cutter Christians. God is like a master artist whose Creation both spiritual and physical is a living canvas.
But personally, I must never give up trying to be utterly transparent in Him a diamond instead of a sapphire.
You see, Quix, when I first believed I was not just absorbing Light (using hosepipes metaphor) I was a black hole. Light cannot escape the gravity of a black hole, and light passing by it is bent by the intense gravity. Thats me. Left to my own devices, I would absorb all of God's Light and hurt those around me.
Therefore, I personally cannot afford the luxury of slacking off, dear brother in Christ. So I will continue to try to be like a diamond, though I know in the end Ill be blessed to be an amethyst.
We are to become LIKE Christ/God, but we are not to think of ourselves AS God or a god. Those who do are new age folks.