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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Blood Diamond

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Compelling action-adventure set in Africa's Sierra Leone as a mercenary (a superb Leonardo DiCaprio), a crusading U.S. reporter (Jennifer Connelly) and a frantic African fisherman (Djimon Hounsou) who's been separated from his family join forces against a backdrop of bloody civil war and plundering of the country's natural resources. Director Edward Zwick masterfully balances the action sequences with the more intimate ones. The film, though overly long, delivers on entertainment value, while imparting a worthy message about the immoral origin of conflict diamonds and the exploitation of child soldiers, and delivers a strong affirmation of family, while the DiCaprio-Connelly romance is refreshingly devoid of overt sexual elements. Much violence and bloodshed though admirably restrained in its presentation, murder, rough language and profanity, crude expressions, threat of rape, underage drinking and smoking. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.



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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 People are not perfect. But God does not only call upon great saints to reveal his love for the world. He also calls the broken and desperate. We are all called to act as God’s light in this darkening world.

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