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:
Living the faith, dying unto our pasisons, praying three times a day, charity, loving our enemies, practicing mercy, humility, confessions and communions, repentance, hungering for righteousness, thanking God for everything including bad days, leaving all your earthly cares...I wouldn't call it work. It's a life.
My conception of theosis was an attainment of something, but here it sounds more like an awarding of something
Yes, it's called likeness to Christ.
The answer of course is that protestants are not seeking out the Holy Spirit for discernment but other men's opinions.
It sounds to me like Paul in Romans says that listening to Apostles -- those sent -- is a critical part of coming to call on the Lord. AS near as I can tell, the Bible suggests listening to those who are sent.
I suspect you're misremembering: IQ tests are normed to have a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. None of the properly normed IQ tests is sensitive to differences out beyond 4 standard deviations, so reporting IQs above 160 or below 40 is one of those statistics that fits into the sequence 'lies, damned lies, and statistics'.
That said, 130 as a cutoff for 'genius' is a bit low, surely 145 at least.
(My wife does work in psychometrics, among other things, so I know these things.)
Calling believers "saints" or "divines" (which is icnredibly arrogant) was something +Paul came up with. That is Paulian Christianity. The term agios, as used originally, was always reserved for God. Until Paul changed it. The Church, however, ignored Paulian innovations and reserved it for only special individuals who have supposedly attained theosis, martyrs, and people who generally fit the Beatitudes (cf. Mat 5), the pure in heart, the poor in spirit ((humble), the merciful, etc.
Certainly it wasn't through reading a printed instruction manual.
Indeed, the confession that "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" is from Christ. So is the Church who told you that.
No argument there, but where does it day that god demanded that ransom?
does it say that God demanded
Do you know the lord personally?..
If the new testament is accurate who knocked Saul off his transporation and blinded him?... Who is the Lord?.. The father, the son, or the Holy Spirit?..
Maybe its you that do not know the Lord personally...
I don't know this as a fact.. but could be..
I say this because I don't believe in miracles...
I rely on them..
The paraclete(Holy Spirit) is an ever present personality available for help..
And is no doubt looking over your shoulder as we speak..
I think what Kosta is saying is that the Apostles James and Peter for instance traveled with the Lord personally for a lot of time, where as many of the 70 apostles simply had a vision of or encountered breifly the risen Christ.
Indeed. That is what I thought you meant.
"No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." -- John 10:18
Thus it is Christ's perfect, merciful obedience to the commandment of God that saves us.
The people you trust are also the ones who wrote the history books. At some point in time, you are trusting that what the priests and historians are telling you is true. That is faith.
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This is very congruent with Scripture, in my construction on reality.
The apostles referenced the Old Testament many times. The word of God, whether it is preached or written in Scripture, is the same forever.
We can argue if baptism itself or the intention of the Church to baptize is efficacious, but my point is not that the faithful never receive the Holy Ghost, but rather that when they do, it comes from the Apostles, St. Peter is this instance, and therefore from the Church.
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Hmmmmm . . .
So, Christ came and died, shedding His Blood horribly so that we might have DIRECT UNFETTERED, UNHINDERED ACCESS TO DADDY.
And Christ then sent Holy Spirit to continue to facilitate WITHIN all such believers that DIRECT ACCESS WITH DADDY.
Yet, Roman doctrine contends that HS insists on their functioning as . . . well . . . not a middle man . .
a middle what . . . a, a, a, . . .
a bureaucratic fossilized MIDDLE-EDIFICE of cold lichen encrusted stones and of contentious factions pretending to be a homogeneous mass over many centuries but actually being a mess of contending political factions warring even with spears and arrows when the weapons of our warfare are not to be carnal???
And this is PROGRESS?
I fail to catch a glimmer of God being that foolish anywhere in reality and certainly anywhere in reality.
B-D: John 3:16, "And this is the way God loved the world, He gave His only Son to die for us...".
Amen. A better question would be why do the EO think God died for us? Whimsy?
I rather agree with you, Bro.
SOME of us wear a bolo tie cross when we feel especially sanctified.
The facts are: sola scriptura results easily in massive misinterpretation of scripture.
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From my perspective, I think 1600 years of rubber Bible political wind changes within the Roman system evidenced
quite MASSIVE MISINTERPRETATION of Scripture--far more than a lot of Protestants would be very comfortable with!
Without going in detail, Kosta, my opinion is that there is nothing in St. Paul's writing that in any way separates him from the other Apostles's writing.
Two groups try to separate him. One is a certain marginal nondenominational movement that looks for "authentic" or "historical" Jesus, and they sometime see in Paul somewhat of an impostor, someone who created organized or judaized religion out of a simple non-dogmatic ethical teaching, best described in the book of Matthew. The less we say of them the better.
The other is some currents of thought in serious Evengelical Christianity. They correctly see in St. Paul a different, more systematic and more theological kind of writer, someone who is convenient for their prooftexting. I have seen, for example, the view expressed (not by any of the posters here, although Blue Duncan seems to come close at times) that the parables of the gospels are something that was not addressed to us, and that the Epistles of St. Paul alone are sufficient to understand Christianity. If you look at St. Paul through such Protestant prism you will begin to separate St. Paul from the rest of the scripture. This is what your post reminds me of.
But I refuse the prism. St. Paul is different because his background is different. However, he teaches the same Orthodox Christianity as anyone else in the Church. In particuler, the notion that he somehow teaches the gospel of faith alone in contradiction to St. James is a myth. I once had a dispute with someone who was doing the familar couple-dosen quotes for Romans to prooftext for me that salvation is by faith alone. All I had to do was ask to read the same letter to Romans to the end. The myth was demolished by St. Paul himself.
And then when the shirts are very worn . . . one is doubly holy.
And Protestants actually believe they will find Him and not some mystical, amorphous imponderable.
The majority of the authentic books were recognized by the various churches in the late first century, almost 300 years before Constantine declared Rome to be the seat, thus consolidating his political and religious power.
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THIS ONE HISTORICAL FACT
undermines a long list of hogwash.
It's like we are to bow and scrape before tradition and history
EXCEPT where it contradicts the theological/political winds of the ruling moss encrusted edifice.
I think holiness is exuded when Hawaiian shirts have been starched and pressed.
A wrinkled Hawaiian shirt could be a sign of sloth, whereas a clean and pressed Hawaiian shirt could be seen as a sign of pride.
Oh, what to wear?
Then don't tell me anything in terms of theological absolutes. Stick to "I think that the scripture without the oral tradition or the institution of the Church is sufficient for understanding Christ"; "I think that faith alone is necessary for salvation", "I don't think praying to saints is a good idea", etc.
You become popes when you interpret the scripture personally but claim it to be the universally correct interpretation.
Of course, Diamond. I think it was clarified later. The objection is to the Father demanding the sacrifice, not to the fact that that is what it is.
I know what Kosta is saying and worse implying..
My personal experience with (good, my word) Roman Catholics is they trust in and even have faith in the Roman Catholic Church, rather than Christ himself.. Not all of them, be advised, but almost all of them.. Bad(my word) Roman Catholics don't even go that far..
AND when they say "church" they do not mean "A" CHURCH but "THE" Church.. Leaving me out in the cold.. To me transubstantiation is silly and could be heresy.. or worse blasphemy.. I have learned to stick with "silly".. I am not their judge..
The apostles chose Mattias to replace Judas, but God chose Saul/Paul personally, unless parts of Acts is a lie.... His letter to the Ephesians is probably the deepest thoughts ever penned by man, any man, in the annals of mankind's history.. excepting The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Rev ch1;1) scribbled down by John..
But when, as I mentioned earlier, the 16th century Anglicans and their successors say that Councils can err, what the Protestants are left with, and this is not to sneer or disparage, is simply throwing themselves on the Lord and His mercy. No reliable doctrine is between them and Him, and right belief can never be absolutely known or relied on, since if those pious people, met in the Name of the Lord and calling on His spirit, can err, how much more can we err? And how much more can those err who do not trust the Lord to keep them from error?
I think it comes down to an entirely different epistemology and approach to the tenets of the Faith.
Ecclesiology, considering the vaguely gnostic idea of the invisible Church, becomes fundamental in one's approach, if not to Jesus Himself, certainly to thinking about him.
We look to the promise of soundness in the Apostolic fellowship, and trust them to give us the trail markers and guide. If we question it's more, "Do I understand this?" They are asking, "Is this person right on this matter or not?"
Or so I guess.
True enough. My only comment is that we approach God on several levels. The Act of Contrition that we say in penance goes, in part, "I detest my sin because it offends you, Lord". My mental picture is that it is Christ being offended by my sin at His passion. However, it is innatural at this point to separate the Son from the Father, and so the penitent begins to think that he offended the Father. This view is perhaps theologically flawed but it nevertheless has a merit of allowing to concentrate on the penance and not on the workings of the Trinity.
I wonder if saying something like "The Father was offended through the Person of the Son" is incorrect.
I will study St. Anselm as soon as this thread dies down a bit.
Ah, I see my question raised by Mad Dawg, and answered.
Indeed, but considering the alternatives, which were the horror of every description of sin, where is the harm? Is it better for a child slain by Joshua to be with God or to grow up idolater?
Yes, but the requests are not such that only Christ can give. Most certainly your friend Steve can give you strength, and protect you, and if he does, you will experience it. The point remains that nothing the saints do for us comes from their putative divinity.
Frankly I'd opine that potestantism is an extension of anything Rome started.
Tsk tsk. Scripture, please. The generator broke?
A doctor exhorts us to "breath deeply," but does that mean we breath because we choose to breath or that we could hold our breath and still live?
We can choose to breath deeply or shallowly, hence the doctor exhorts us. We cannot choose not to breath, hence the doctor does not exhort people to simply breath. Now, the Gospel exhorts us to do good works, and links it to our judgement, because, just like that patient, we have a choice in the matter and the choice affects the judgement.
True, but not the point. The point is, the faithful received it from Christ through Peter in this instance.
When I show up on a Protestant thread telling them what their posture means and what is wrong with their faith, remind me.
Huh? Body of Christ is sometimes more pure, sometimes less, and sometimes of Satan? Scripture, please.
I question it because it is not in the scrupture anywhere. I am like the Bereans, checking...
He is not saying that through the scripture and outside of tradition we get eternal life, which was your original, mistaken, point.
Correct. The New Testament was written by individual apostles, and their disciples, Catholic clergy all.
I think you are touching on the (some) protestant doctrine of Dispensationalism.
There is no decree. The Lamb was the sacrifice and the Lamb, the Son of the Holy Trinity was from before the foundation of the world, but God the Father did not demand the sacrifice.
Roman Empire was largely Christian by 5c. Europe, including Russia, was largely Christian by 9c. The Americas were largely Christian when the Spanish got done with them; the two continetns are still majority-Catholic.
The world was Catholic and Orthodox before northern europe fell to Luther and Henry VIII.
And Greek and Latin were the universal language of the Church. They still are.
Scripture please. Your saying so does not make it so. I gave you scripture.
[God] will render to every man according to his works. To them indeed, who according to patience in good work, seek glory and honour and incorruption, eternal life: But to them that are contentious, and who obey not the truth, but give credit to iniquity, wrath and indignation.
by works a man is justified; and not by faith only
brethren, labour the more, that by good works you may make sure your calling and election
(2 Peter 1)
I like your honest appraisal of the "missionary" work of the Conquistadors.
In that passage Christ agrees with me, not with you: " I lay it down of myself". He received the power as the commandment of the father, not that the sacrifice is a commandment.
I have a feeling it is for the second time I explain that.
Take a deep breath. That part is not in the scripture anywhere.
I don't see where we disagree.