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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Saw VI

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service

The blood flood continues in the predictably gruesome horror sequel "Saw VI" (Lionsgate), director Kevin Greutert's needless extension of a noisome franchise.

This attempt at social relevance would be laughable if the results were not so grisly.

The latest victims in the sadistic life-or-death games initiated by the deceased psychopath Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), and now being secretly carried on by police detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor)—even as he pretends to investigate the crimes—include two predatory real estate lenders and William (Peter Outerbridge), a coldhearted health insurance executive.

For the bulk of the 90-minute running time, we witness William enduring a gauntlet of torturous tests by which his bones are crushed, his hands mangled and his body scalded. In between, Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan's script resurrects Jigsaw via a series of flashbacks and at least one hallucination so he can engage in ponderous moral mutterings about teaching people to value life by forcing them to confront death.

But such philosophical window dressing can hardly disguise the true nature of this callous descent into gratuitous cruelty.

The film contains pervasive gory violence, including graphic torture and mutilation, a half-dozen profanities, at least 40 uses of the F-word, and some crude and crass language. 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.

****
 Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.




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Athanasius: Athanasius led a tumultuous but dedicated life of service to the Church. He was the great champion of the faith against the widespread heresy of Arianism, the teaching by Arius that Jesus was not truly divine. The vigor of his writings earned him the title of doctor of the Church. 
<p>Born of a Christian family in Alexandria, Egypt, and given a classical education, Athanasius became secretary to Alexander, the bishop of Alexandria, entered the priesthood and was eventually named bishop himself. His predecessor, Alexander, had been an outspoken critic of a new movement growing in the East—Arianism. </p><p>When Athanasius assumed his role as bishop of Alexandria, he continued the fight against Arianism. At first it seemed that the battle would be easily won and that Arianism would be condemned. Such, however, did not prove to be the case. The Council of Tyre was called and for several reasons that are still unclear, the Emperor Constantine exiled Athanasius to northern Gaul. This was to be the first in a series of travels and exiles reminiscent of the life of St. Paul. </p><p>After Constantine died, his son restored Athanasius as bishop. This lasted only a year, however, for he was deposed once again by a coalition of Arian bishops. Athanasius took his case to Rome, and Pope Julius I called a synod to review the case and other related matters. </p><p>Five times Athanasius was exiled for his defense of the doctrine of Christ’s divinity. During one period of his life, he enjoyed 10 years of relative peace—reading, writing and promoting the Christian life along the lines of the monastic ideal to which he was greatly devoted. His dogmatic and historical writings are almost all polemic, directed against every aspect of Arianism. </p><p>Among his ascetical writings, his<i> Life of St. Anthony</i> (January 17) achieved astonishing popularity and contributed greatly to the establishment of monastic life throughout the Western Christian world.</p> American Catholic Blog Suffering is redemptive in part because it definitively reveals to man that he is not in fact God, and it thereby opens the human person to receive the divine.

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