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Country Bears, The

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Silly musical comedy in which an 11-year-old bear (voiced by Haley Joel Osment) who was adopted by a human family, runs away to Tennessee to find more folks like himself and reunite his favorite band, the Country Bears, for a benefit concert that could save the legendary venue where the band got its start. Inspired by the Country Bears Jamboree attraction at Walt Disney World, director Peter Hastings' film has several amusing laughs with a predictable plot that is secondary to the energetic musical numbers, but the jocular manner in which a kidnapping subplot is presented may put off chaperoning parents. Some mild menace, but likely suitable for older children. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences.

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First Martyrs of the Church of Rome: There were Christians in Rome within a dozen or so years after the death of Jesus, though they were not the converts of the “Apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 15:20). Paul had not yet visited them at the time he wrote his great letter in 57-58 A.D.. 
<p>There was a large Jewish population in Rome. Probably as a result of controversy between Jews and Jewish Christians, the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome in 49-50 A.D. Suetonius the historian says that the expulsion was due to disturbances in the city “caused by the certain Chrestus” [Christ]. Perhaps many came back after Claudius’s death in 54 A.D. Paul’s letter was addressed to a Church with members from Jewish and Gentile backgrounds. </p><p>In July of 64 A.D., more than half of Rome was destroyed by fire. Rumor blamed the tragedy on Nero, who wanted to enlarge his palace. He shifted the blame by accusing the Christians. According to the historian Tacitus, many Christians were put to death because of their “hatred of the human race.” Peter and Paul were probably among the victims. </p><p>Threatened by an army revolt and condemned to death by the senate, Nero committed suicide in 68 A.D. at the age of 31.</p> American Catholic Blog While the future may be uncertain to us, we can rest comfortably in the loving control and sovereignty of our Heavenly Father. We can trust his plan, and we can rely upon his fatherly design and control.

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