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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

September Dawn

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Standard-style Western but with a provocative theme as the love story of a Mormon boy (Trent Ford) and pioneer girl (Tamara Hope) unfolds against a backdrop of the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857, in which 120 men, women and children from Arkansas were slaughtered as their wagon train journeyed through Utah en route to California. Director and co-writer Chris Cain (with Carole Whang Schutter) purports that church leader Brigham Young gave the order and that Mormon extremists (Jon Voight plays a fictional elder here) incited the Indians to help them annihilate the party as revenge for the killing of prophet Joseph Smith. Much violence during the slaughter, shots of dead and wounded, polygamy, brief sexual reference and fratricide. 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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Gregory VII: The 10th century and the first half of the 11th were dark days for the Church, partly because the papacy was the pawn of various Roman families. In 1049, things began to change when Pope Leo IX, a reformer, was elected. He brought a young monk named Hildebrand to Rome as his counselor and special representative on important missions. He was to become Gregory VII. 
<p>Three evils plagued the Church then: simony (the buying and selling of sacred offices and things), the unlawful marriage of the clergy and lay investiture (kings and nobles controlling the appointment of Church officials). To all of these Hildebrand directed his reformer’s attention, first as counselor to the popes and later (1073-1085) as pope himself. </p><p>Gregory’s papal letters stress the role of bishop of Rome as the vicar of Christ and the visible center of unity in the Church. He is well known for his long dispute with Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV over who should control the selection of bishops and abbots. </p><p>Gregory fiercely resisted any attack on the liberty of the Church. For this he suffered and finally died in exile. He said, “I have loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore I die in exile.” Thirty years later the Church finally won its struggle against lay investiture.</p> American Catholic Blog In Christ, true God and true man, our humanity was taken to God. Christ opened the path to us. If we entrust our life to him, if we let ourselves be guided by him, we are certain to be in safe hands, in the hands of our Savior.

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