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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Easy Virtue

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Glossy but ho-hum retread of an early Noel Coward play (1924), adapted by director and co-writer Stephen Elliott, wherein a landed young Englishman (Ben Barnes) brings home his vivacious new bride, a glamorous American widow (likable Jessica Biel) with a "past," who clashes with her husband's stodgy mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) and sisters, though winning the admiration of his more bohemian father (Colin Firth). The colorful period and background tunes are enjoyable, but performances are generally flat and the dated and unconvincing story is further sabotaged by a couple of morally problematic plot additions. Unconventional view of marriage, divorce, assisted suicide, nongraphic sexual marital encounters, brief rear and partial nudity, some crass language and heavy smoking. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13—parents strongly cautioned; some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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Oliver Plunkett: The name of today's saint is especially familiar to the Irish and the English—and with good reason. The English martyred Oliver Plunkett for defending the faith in his native Ireland during a period of severe persecution. 
<p>Born in County Meath in 1629, he studied for the priesthood in Rome and was ordained there in 1654. After some years of teaching and service to the poor of Rome he was appointed Archbishop of Armagh in Ireland. Four years later, in 1673, a new wave of anti-Catholic persecution began, forcing Archbishop Plunkett to do his pastoral work in secrecy and disguise and to live in hiding. Meanwhile, many of his priests were sent into exile; schools were closed; Church services had to be held in secret and convents and seminaries were suppressed. As archbishop, he was viewed as ultimately responsible for any rebellion or political activity among his parishioners. 
</p><p>Archbishop Plunkett was arrested and imprisoned in Dublin Castle in 1679, but his trial was moved to London. After deliberating for 15 minutes, a jury found him guilty of fomenting revolt. He was hanged, drawn and quartered in July 1681. 
</p><p>Pope Paul VI canonized Oliver Plunkett in 1975.</p> American Catholic Blog God had a plan even before he created Adam and Eve. God is never caught off guard. He knows all. He sees all. And he is working all things together for the good of his children. Nothing can stop his plan of mercy and love.

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