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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Religulous

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Comedian and TV host Bill Maher attacks spiritual beliefs and religion by traveling the globe interviewing officials and adherents of various faiths—Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Mormon, among them—subjecting all to ridicule. Ignoring both the good done by religious people and institutions and the millions murdered by militantly atheist regimes in the past century, he seeks out a parade of people who make all-too-easy targets, but does not grapple with the answers the great religions offer to the serious questions people face. His sneering dismissal of all religious beliefs as mere superstition makes director Larry Charles' documentary blatantly irreverent and journalistically spurious. A consistently irreligious, sometimes blasphemous, tone; rough language; crass expressions and some profanity; brief sexual references and imagery; and upper female nudity. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Gregory the Great: Coming events cast their shadows before: Gregory was the prefect of Rome before he was 30. After five years in office he resigned, founded six monasteries on his Sicilian estate and became a Benedictine monk in his own home at Rome. 
<p>Ordained a priest, he became one of the pope's seven deacons, and also served six years in the East as papal representative in Constantinople. He was recalled to become abbot, and at the age of 50 was elected pope by the clergy and people of Rome. </p><p>He was direct and firm. He removed unworthy priests from office, forbade taking money for many services, emptied the papal treasury to ransom prisoners of the Lombards and to care for persecuted Jews and the victims of plague and famine. He was very concerned about the conversion of England, sending 40 monks from his own monastery. He is known for his reform of the liturgy, for strengthening respect for doctrine. Whether he was largely responsible for the revision of "Gregorian" chant is disputed. </p><p>Gregory lived in a time of perpetual strife with invading Lombards and difficult relations with the East. When Rome itself was under attack, he interviewed the Lombard king. </p><p>An Anglican historian has written: "It is impossible to conceive what would have been the confusion, the lawlessness, the chaotic state of the Middle Ages without the medieval papacy; and of the medieval papacy, the real father is Gregory the Great." </p><p>His book, <i>Pastoral Care</i>, on the duties and qualities of a bishop, was read for centuries after his death. He described bishops mainly as physicians whose main duties were preaching and the enforcement of discipline. In his own down-to-earth preaching, Gregory was skilled at applying the daily gospel to the needs of his listeners. Called "the Great," Gregory has been given a place with Augustine (August 28), Ambrose (December 7) and Jerome (September 30)as one of the four key doctors of the Western Church.</p> American Catholic Blog The pierced, open side of Christ on the cross, which makes visible the Sacred Heart of the Son of God, remains “the way in” to knowledge of Jesus Christ.

 
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