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:
It is 1 Corinthians 11. You are correct, the main distinction is between those who treat the eucharist as a happy meal and the proper way. But he also, in v. 29 speaks of the body of the Lord present in the Eucharist. My remarl was to a poster who advised me to approach the Lord "boldly". I posted from Cor 11 where that boldness is explained not be confused with lack of reverence, or else it becomes onto condemnation.
You are not saved until you are judged. If you believe, chances are that you will become suffciently merciful and pure in heart by the time you face the judgment that you will be saved when God judges you after death. If you don't believe, chances are that you won't.
God knows who believes as lip service and who believes in ernest and tries honestly to follow Chirst even if one honestly fails.
Well, YEAH! That and Yankees fans.
I stand corrected. I meant the "indwelling of the Holy Spirit" to be problematic, but the grammar I mangled indeed mistakenly referred to the Holy Spirit Himself.
It doesn't say that God demanded sacrifice.
The issue was the theology of atonement of St. Anselm. When I see you taking the scriptural critique of the protestant falsehoods seriously, I will begin taking your reverence toward the scripture seriously.
We disagree on the interpretation of that text; however that aside, Post 5581 started the conversation (with Annalex). It then went on to me questioning what Eucharist is, if not a sacrifice. To this, I received the definition of the word "Eucharist" rather than an explanation of what it is. It is obvious that the Orthodox and Catholics believe it is a sacrifice. But now, this begs the question, what is this sacrifice for? You all seem (correct me if I am wrong) to believe that this is a continuance of the sacrifice Christ made on Calvary. Yet, somehow it appears that many do not believe that Christ's sacrifice was for the purpose of paying the penalty for our sins as our substitute. So, what is it for? A distinction is being made between God's desire and His demand which I believe is a false distinction (for reasons aforestated). We believe that God's justice demanded that the penalty for sin be paid for and that He willingly substituted the payment of His perfect Son's life to pay that price (death). Do you all believe something differently?
Saying "because we want to" isn't exactly taking things seriously yourself. And so far, I have not seen "Protestant falsehoods" illustrated on any essential matters.
I actually like the Yankees best in the American League on religious grounds.
It was one of the world series between the Yankees and the Braves. They showed both locker rooms and the Brave's were G-d d&(ming this and G-d d@#)($*ng that (something I absolutely can not STAND. I'll take the F word a million times over GD or JC used as a curse). Anyway, shortly thereafter, I don't remember who it was, but one of the Yankees was thanking His Lord Jesus Christ. I've liked them ever since.
The Eucharist they don't need, as they are not capable of sinning. As a Catholic I take the Holy Scripture literally, and literally it teaches that baptism is necessary for salvation. There is an extrascriptural speculation that the innocent babies slaughtered in the Holocaust of abortion are saved by the extraordinary mercy of Christ, together with the Holy Innocents. There is another that they receive baptism of blood similar to the Good Thief. At any rate, they do not experience any pain of Hell due tot their innocence. St, Augistine taught that they are in a region of hell where they have all possible natural happiness, but deprived of the supernatural happiness of heaven. This is, best that I know, the range of Catholic thought on the subject. Also see Limbo.
"You all seem (correct me if I am wrong) to believe that this is a continuance of the sacrifice Christ made on Calvary. Yet, somehow it appears that many do not believe that Christ's sacrifice was for the purpose of paying the penalty for our sins as our substitute. So, what is it for?"
Its late and I'll answer in more detail, probably patristic detail, tomorrow, but quickly, it has to do with The Evil One and bondage to death wrought by sin.
I think languages are easier for kids. And Greeks use those funny letters alpha, beta... phe, phi, phoe, phum..
Kolo, did you take classes or Berlitz or use tapes?
The question is, did God demand the sacrifice of the Cross, not whether it was given.
such a term could very well lead to a wrong impression
It could, but our aim here is precision. Since the council of Ephesus and till the Reformation no one seemed to misunderstand it.
Well, let's see them! I can tell you that Hebrews 10 is anything but what the Church practices.
take for example
"For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified." [v.14]
[and I though they were perfected from before all ages according to +Paul]
Now, where does Chris say this in the Gospels? IOW, where is +Paul getting all this from?
I am not ready to discuss St. Anselm intelligently. Maybe next week I will. My gut feeling is that the transactional semantics of atonement: Christ buying salvation from God, is a gross to the point of heresy approximation of what St. Anselm taught.
I'm confused by your post. Are you saying that Christ sanctified us once for all on the cross based upon Hebrews? Are you saying that Paul made it up and that the gospels are the only rule? Not sure what you are saying. Would you clarify?
Put in the context of Romans 5, I agree, but then boast means boast in the ability to confess sin. We also should not forget that the body of Christ is present at the Altar in a unique way.
God, the Holy Spirit.