Source: Catholic News Service
Problematic supernatural thriller about a maverick Catholic priest (Heath Ledger), who, while investigating his spiritual mentor's alleged suicide, travels to Rome in order to hunt down the sole remaining practitioner of an arcane medieval ritual known as "sin eating," a rite by which a person can receive absolution without recourse to sacramental confession. Wrapped in a convoluted story, the film, directed by Brian Helgeland, is full of egregious theological distortions and bogus stereotypes targeted at painting the church and its clergy as callous, corrupt and ultimately the root of all evil. A warped view of church doctrine, a shadowy sexual encounter with partial nudity, a suicide, recurring violence including ritual murder, and sporadic rough and crude language, as well as profanity. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.
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