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:
What do you think a "ransom" is? What necessitates a "ransom?"
Anthropomorphism. God is unchanging. So, either He always send love or wrath, not both. Our perceptions change depending on our spiritual state.
Scripture says that the Holy Spirit is grieved by our sin
Anthropomorphism. The Holy Spirit is not subject to passions.
Christ Himself took our punishment by suffocating on a cross with spikes driven through his body
In His human nature.
And God isn't hurt by our sin?
No, He is not. We are.
Thanks, Dahlseide. Calvin comes through again. 8~)
I don't think what it is, I know what ransom is.
What necessitates a "ransom?"
An what is a saint in your book?
Amen. Because it comes from God. "For I know whom I have believed."
Why does having a personality with attributes imply that he is changing?
Kosta, you are astounding me tonight with your rejection of the abundantly clear record of Scripture. The things you reject are explicitly stated in Scripture. Your argument is with God, not with us.
Lastly, wasn't it you who accused me of Nestorianism because somehow you construed that I said a nature was crucified not a person? It seems that it was. Perhaps not. But if not, your orthodox brethren might beg to differ with some of your commentary tonight.
I don't mean to be sarcastic or malicious here, Kosta, but you have posted so many things I never would have imagined a Christian would believe. Just recently when asked if God is grieved by our sins, you said "no." You deny our sin necessitated redress by Christ and you appear skeptical of the "ransom" Christ has paid for us. And those are remarks just made within the past few minutes.
I think you might benefit by spending some time with my Scripture generator.
Even the random one.
Excellent for a first installment of the discussion..
You went right to the "point"..
GOD(Father, Son, Holy Spirit) seems to be not one Spirit at all but three personalitys/entitys..
Could be that "GOD" could be even more Spirits we just don't know about them all..
Whatever is; Is.. If theres only three thats cool too.. A spiritual Universe or a Universe of spirits is inconcieveable to most people I know.. Or a Universe where physical bodys are an after thought and not really needed..
Mankind anthropomorphizing God seem to tend to do it with the human body as some kind of model.. But then most people I know think they themselves are a human body.. NOT a spirit inhabiting a human body.. Theres quite a difference in that identification.. In that case they anthropomorphize themselves.. LoL..
If nobody dies, only human body's do (as scripture indicates).. Not only is God(plural) a Spirit(s), we are too.. Anthropomorphizing things is what fleshly man does.. Evolution is pretty much a yarn of an anthropomorphizing nature..
Yes, I'm willing to persue this subject more..
However we may be alone because it(the subject) gets way too close to exposing many peoples lack of faith..
Of course you know my agenda.. LoL.. That this subject highlights that mans body is merely transportation (3rd dimensional), a Donkey(metaphor), that houses the spirit..
A verse of scripture comes to mind.. for some reason..
We know that all creation has been groaning with the pains of childbirth up to the present time. Rom 8;22
Goodnight St. Alamo-Girl and St. Doc.
I think I still prefer the title "Pope Blogger" :)
Yes, it's been a long day. Good night to you both, Saint Blogger and Saint Alamo-Girl, "being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6).
LoL... mee too...
Very interesting, thought-provoking post. And one that provides a different perspective on many things, the decalogue for example.
I looked in Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith under "The properties of the divine nature."
Uncreated, without beginning, immortal, infinite, eternal, immaterial, good, creative, just, enlightening, immutable, passionless, uncircumscribed, immeasurable, unlimited, undefined, unseen, unthinkable, wanting in nothing, being His own rule and authority, all-ruling, life-giving, omnipotent, of infinite power, con-raining and maintaining the universe and making provision for all: all these and such like attributes the Deity possesses by nature, not having received them from elsewhere, but Himself imparting all good to His own creations according to the capacity of each.
In your view, what is the reason?
Simply God's sovereign pleasure (if God wanted all to be saved, then all would be saved, etc.). I don't think it was because of my "luck" that my non-Christian parents chose to have me baptized anyway, as an infant, in a Christian church. And, I don't think it was because I was smarter than the next guy for choosing God. The point in time of my belief (when I think the Spirit indwelled) was simply the "when". There was never any question of "if". That was decided at the "beginning".
I have no earthly clue why God would choose this lowly sinner over the next poor loser for salvation. All I know is that I deserve ZERO credit for it. :) The Scriptures do not reveal to us why God some and not others. I assume that He did HAVE reasons because He has no other history in scripture of acting TRULY capricious as far as I can tell. But, what those reasons were, I cannot even guess. The Bible just tells us some of the things they were NOT based on.
The difference is that the Church (the pope or her bishops) speak, that is because of the laying of the hands of the apostles that allowed them. "How can they preach unless they are sent?" When Blogger speaks that is his opinion only.
Apparently under your view, SOMEONE must be the pope. If a person does not acknowledge your pope as his pope, then he MUST have some other pope. This could take the form of some other ivory tower earthly authority, or in most cases, simply the person himself, as many Catholics have told me on FR. This Catholic assertion is simply wrong. Our side does not need or want a pope. We do not need a single human being to instruct us as to what our opinions and beliefs are. That is for you because you want to believe it. That is fine with me, but it is incorrect for you to project your requirement of such a human leader on us. It is interesting that for many other good Christians you give a TOTAL pass on the requirement, but somehow, every Protestant MUST have a pope, and of course it is always that Protestant himself. Is that really fair?
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