May 7, 2009
Vatican Newspaper: 'Angels & Demons' Harmless
L'Osservatore Romano calls upcoming film 'harmless entertainment'
It's not quite an endorsement from The Vatican itself, but Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano says Angels & Demons, which releases next week, is inaccurate in areas but otherwise "harmless" and not a danger to the church.
The movie, which had its world premiere in Rome on Monday, offers "more than two hours of harmless entertainment, which hardly affects the genius and mystery of Christianity," L'Osservatore's reviewer wrote. It's "a videogame that first of all sparks curiosity and is also, maybe, a bit of fun."
In a reference to Dan Brown's books, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, the L'Osservatore writer continued, "The theme is always the same in both novels: a sect versus the church, even though the parts of the good and the bad are distributed differently. This time, with 'Angels & Demons,' the church is on the side of the good guys."
A Hollywood publicist working the film to the religious press sent an e-mail Thursday noting the differences between some Christian responses to the film and what the Vatican paper is saying now. Here's the entire body of that publicist's e-mail:
Ted Baehr of Movieguide in a fundraising letter on Angels & Demons: "A clear anti-Christian message that not only are Christians evil and murderers but also that science has proven faith in Jesus Christ to be outdated! In the end, it is the highest echelon of the Catholic Church who is the villain!"
The official Vatican newspaper review of Angels & Demons:
"Two hours of harmless entertainment, which hardly affects the genius and mystery of Christianity."
There's an old Irish saying, "when everyone tells you you're drunk, you better sit down."
I'm not familiar with that Irish saying, or even exactly sure what it means, but I'll simply reiterate what's been said by many: Angels & Demons is fiction -- no more true than Wolverine or Star Trek or Terminator Salvation, the other big fiction flicks releasing this month -- and as Christians, there's really no need to join the angry mob and yell that it's a "smear" campaign or that Tom Hanks is a "pawn of Satan." Nobody's forcing anybody to watch the movie, or even believe anything that's being portrayed. If it's not your thing, skip it. If it is, then enjoy it for what the Vatican's newspaper is calling it: "harmless entertainment."
Jesus is still standing strong. The Rock ain't gonna budge.