Monday, December 10, 2007

Noelle

I briefly mentioned the movie in a post last week. It caused a bit of a stir in the combox discussion. I want to reiterate that I am not either pro or anti-Noelle. I am merely passing on the concerns of some others. I most likely won't see the movie, but that doesn't mean it isn't good for others. Most movies just really don't excite me too much. I might enjoy a good movie, but I don't get too reactive one way or another.

1 comment:

lil'flowerLili said...

Sadly, the movie Noelle closed in many theaters today. Sadly as well many Catholic bloggers were too quick to condemn this movie, which I had the pleasure of seeing tonight. The reactionary comments of critics like the Catholic League, left the impression that this movie had been made deliberately to shred the Catholic Church and our clergy.

Yes this movie was made by some Protestants that don't completely understand all of the teachings that they alluded to in the script.
Then again that has been the case forever in Hollywood. A few generations ago fine movies like, "I Confess", "Keys to the Kingdom", "Song of Bernadette" and so may like them were made and they weren't always correct on all the details of the RC Magisterium yet we accept them as good films.

This film was more challenging because it reminds us that the men and women in the Church are fallen people redeemed by the same gracious God that they themselves often reject or rebel against. There are priests like the ones in this story. We have all met them in our parishes.

There are up tight paper pusher priests and reckless or overly enthusiatic priests that lean away from true doctrine in favor of a naive "good feelings" set up. I have met and worked with them all as a women on various pro life activities and post abortion programs. There are lots of stories that go along with every vocation, believe me!

In the end this movie was all too true regarding the issues that many of our priests face. The most poignant moment to me was the confessional scene when the parishioners realized how they had taken Fr. Joyce for granted and had never offered any real friendship or gratefulness to him personally.

The issues that disturbed so many bloggers were often comments made by characters that were clearly supposed to be alienated or angry with their idea of the Church and faith in general. One realized that their words were not to present truth but only grist for the story line. Are we so afraid to hear people's pain in our own conversations or can we provide wisdom and compassion to someone with mixed up ideas?

This was a beautifully filmed movie. It was not perfect but it was not outright disrespectful either. The power of the Post-abortion pain, forgiveness and hope message was so true and needed to be told. Particularly in that it addressed men and their part in the story!

It's not syrupy sweet but it did touch my heart and even made me cry a little. Most of all it made me grow kinder toward our clergy. the last few years have not been kind to the good men of the Church but it has helped some of us to talk of greater understanding and perhaps greater charity for the men in the roman collars.

This movie might have been a good place to start some of those wise conversations. The laity and the clergy need to open their hearts to each other if His church is to be made in His image. "Be not Afraid, I am always with you."