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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Magdalene Sisters, The

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Fact-based but manipulative melodrama set in a 1964 Dublin Catholic-run Magdalene laundry where young women are sent by parents or guardians to work in atonement for alleged sins of the flesh, overseen by vicious nuns who physically beat and psychologically abuse them. Eschewing narrative or character development in favor of caricature, writer-director Peter Mullan presents an oversimplified, worst-case scenario that lacks meaningful insights about the religious and Irish culture of the time. The result is not greater understanding but a skewed depiction of the church as uniformly evil. An exaggerated theme of abusive nuns, brutal beatings, sexual violence including rape and forced oral sex with a priest, an extended scene of dehumanizing full female nudity, an attempted suicide, sporadic rough language and brief 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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Joseph Benedict Cottolengo: In some ways Joseph exemplified St. Francis’ advice, "Let us begin to serve the Lord God, for up to now we have made little or no progress" (<i>1 Celano, </i>#103). 
<p>Joseph was the eldest of 12 children. Born in Piedmont, he was ordained for the Diocese of Turin in 1811. Frail health and difficulty in school were obstacles he overcame to reach ordination. </p><p>During Joseph’s lifetime Italy was torn by civil war while the poor and the sick suffered from neglect. Inspired by reading the life of St. Vincent de Paul and moved by the human suffering all around him, Joseph rented some rooms to nurse the sick of his parish and recruited local young women to serve as staff. </p><p>In 1832 at Voldocco, Joseph founded the House of Providence which served many different groups (the sick, the elderly, students, the mentally ill, the blind). All of this was financed by contributions. Popularly called "the University of Charity," this testimonial to God’s goodness was serving 8,000 people by the time of Joseph’s beatification in 1917. </p><p>To carry on his work, Joseph organized two religious communities, the Brothers of St. Vincent de Paul and the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul. Joseph, who had joined the Secular Franciscans as a young man, was canonized in 1934.</p> American Catholic Blog The image of God! This is what it means to be human! We are not just a bunch of cells randomly thrown together by some impersonal forces. Rather, we reflect an eternal God who knew us from before we were made and purposely called us into being.

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