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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Vera Drake

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Superbly written and acted period drama (circa 1950) of a lower-middle-class English housewife (Imelda Staunton) who, unbeknownst to her family, helps desperate women who have become pregnant by performing abortions, until a young woman nearly dies after Vera's ministrations, and the authorities apprehend her. Master filmmaker Mike Leigh's abortion theme will be troublesome for Catholic viewers, but his approach to the controversial subject leaves the moral judgments to the viewer. Staunton's performance is towering, and the human dynamics extraordinarily natural in the narrative of a woman who wants to help others, but who simply doesn't appreciate the consequences -- moral or physical -- of her actions. Abortion theme, and one sexual situation. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.



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Hilary of Arles: It’s been said that youth is wasted on the young. In some ways, that was true for today’s saint. 
<p>Born in France in the early fifth century, Hilary came from an aristocratic family. In the course of his education he encountered his relative, Honoratus, who encouraged the young man to join him in the monastic life. Hilary did so. He continued to follow in the footsteps of Honoratus as bishop. Hilary was only 29 when he was chosen bishop of Arles. </p><p>The new, youthful bishop undertook the role with confidence. He did manual labor to earn money for the poor. He sold sacred vessels to ransom captives. He became a magnificent orator. He traveled everywhere on foot, always wearing simple clothing. </p><p>That was the bright side. Hilary encountered difficulty in his relationships with other bishops over whom he had some jurisdiction. He unilaterally deposed one bishop. He selected another bishop to replace one who was very ill–but, to complicate matters, did not die! Pope St. Leo the Great kept Hilary a bishop but stripped him of some of his powers. </p><p>Hilary died at 49. He was a man of talent and piety who, in due time, had learned how to be a bishop.</p> American Catholic Blog True freedom lies in the ability to align one’s actions freely with the truth, so as to achieve authentic human happiness both now and in the life to come. Jesus promised, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31–32).

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