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Crime of Father Amaro, The


Source: Catholic News Service

Corrosive Mexican drama in which an initially idealistic rural priest (Gael Garcia Bernal), after realizing his complacent pastor (Sancho Garcia) is sleeping with the cook, begins a passionate affair with the cook's teen-age daughter (Ana Claudia Talancon), impregnates her and then pressures her to have a disastrous abortion. Director Carlos Carrera paints a vicious portrait of rampant priestly corruption including a mendacious bishop who excommunicates an earnest priest working with peasants and rebels, but the shallow characterizations only underline the film's biased perspective. Subtitles. Desecration of the Eucharist, depiction of priests breaking vows of chastity and accepting drug monies, a sexual encounter with fleeting nudity, an abortion, brief violence and intermittent rough language. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.

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Columban: Columban was the greatest of the Irish missionaries who worked on the European continent. As a young man who was greatly tormented by temptations of the flesh, he sought the advice of a religious woman who had lived a hermit’s life for years. He saw in her answer a call to leave the world. He went first to a monk on an island in Lough Erne, then to the great monastic seat of learning at Bangor. 
<p>After many years of seclusion and prayer, he traveled to Gaul (modern-day France) with 12 companion missionaries. They won wide respect for the rigor of their discipline, their preaching, and their commitment to charity and religious life in a time characterized by clerical laxity and civil strife. Columban established several monasteries in Europe which became centers of religion and culture. </p><p>Like all saints, he met opposition. Ultimately he had to appeal to the pope against complaints of Frankish bishops, for vindication of his orthodoxy and approval of Irish customs. He reproved the king for his licentious life, insisting that he marry. Since this threatened the power of the queen mother, Columban was deported to Ireland. His ship ran aground in a storm, and he continued his work in Europe, ultimately arriving in Italy, where he found favor with the king of the Lombards. In his last years he established the famous monastery of Bobbio, where he died. His writings include a treatise on penance and against Arianism, sermons, poetry and his monastic rule.</p> American Catholic Blog Jesus was never a careerist or a glory-monger; he did not demand to be hailed as a king or lauded as a hero. He came to live among us, to suffer with us, and to serve us from the heart. He came to teach us how to love.

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