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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Glee The 3D Concert Movie

By
Joseph McAleer
Source: Catholic News Service

One of the more popular television programs of recent years leaps to the big screen with "Glee The 3D Concert Movie" (Fox), a documentary-style look at a live-performance tour by the show's ensemble that comes complete with backstage drama, screaming fans and some very loud music.

While its overarching message of love and tolerance may be well-intentioned, however, as directed by MTV veteran Kevin Tancharoen, "Glee" takes its hallmark "anything goes" attitude to moral excess by its endorsement of the homosexual lifestyle.

On the surface, the film, like its TV counterpart, appears to be innocent karaoke, with fresh-faced "teens" (most of them, in reality, well past high school age) expressing their inner angst and searching for acceptance by singing cover versions of popular songs by everyone from the Beatles to Barbra Streisand, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.

More disturbingly, interspersed with the musical numbers are profiles of dedicated fans, called "Gleeks," whose lives have supposedly been transformed and given meaning by the show. These include a gay teen who is cruelly outed by his school fellows, and a perky dwarf cheerleader whose small stature proves no bar to becoming prom queen.

For Gleeks, we learn, "Glee" is their religion, a politically correct gospel of universal acceptance. Anyone can be a Gleek, regardless of race, gender, disability or sexual orientation. No one is a loser; everyone wins and takes center stage in life.

While obviously not a substitute for real faith, this credo could be, within proper limits, a good ethical message to instill in impressionable young people. But the inclusion of homosexuality among the categories by which teens are to be both defined and affirmed blurs the line between upholding the dignity of the individual and recognizing that certain sexual behavior must be rejected as immoral since, by its very nature, it detracts from the fullness of that same dignity.

While insisting on compassion and support for those with same-sex attraction, and condemning discrimination against them as individuals, the Catholic Church, in its faithfulness to Scripture and tradition, cannot condone—much less celebrate, as this movie does—the misguided choice to follow through on such an attraction.

The film contains explicit endorsement of the homosexual lifestyle as well as some provocative lyrics and dancing. The Catholic News Service classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG—parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.



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John Paul II: “Open wide the doors to Christ,” urged John Paul II during the homily at the Mass when he was installed as pope in 1978. <br /><br />Born in Wadowice, Poland, Karol Jozef Wojtyla had lost his mother, father and older brother before his 21st birthday. Karol’s promising academic career at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University was cut short by the outbreak of World War II. While working in a quarry and a chemical factory, he enrolled in an “underground” seminary in Kraków. Ordained in 1946, he was immediately sent to Rome where he earned a doctorate in theology. <br /><br />Back in Poland, a short assignment as assistant pastor in a rural parish preceded his very fruitful chaplaincy for university students. Soon he earned a doctorate in philosophy and began teaching that subject at Poland’s University of Lublin. <br /><br />Communist officials allowed him to be appointed auxiliary bishop of Kraków in 1958, considering him a relatively harmless intellectual. They could not have been more wrong! <br /><br />He attended all four sessions of Vatican II and contributed especially to its <em>Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World</em>. Appointed as archbishop of Kraków in 1964, he was named a cardinal three years later. <br /><br />Elected pope in October 1978, he took the name of his short-lived, immediate predecessor. Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. In time, he made pastoral visits to 124 countries, including several with small Christian populations. <br /><br />He promoted ecumenical and interfaith initiatives, especially the 1986 Day of Prayer for World Peace in Assisi. He visited Rome’s Main Synagogue and the Western Wall in Jerusalem; he also established diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel. He improved Catholic-Muslim relations and in 2001 visited a mosque in Damascus, Syria. <br /><br />The Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, a key event in John Paul’s ministry, was marked by special celebrations in Rome and elsewhere for Catholics and other Christians. Relations with the Orthodox Churches improved considerably during his ministry as pope. <br /><br />“Christ is the center of the universe and of human history” was the opening line of his 1979 encyclical, <em>Redeemer of the Human Race</em>. In 1995, he described himself to the United Nations General Assembly as “a witness to hope.” <br /><br />His 1979 visit to Poland encouraged the growth of the Solidarity movement there and the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe 10 years later. He began World Youth Day and traveled to several countries for those celebrations. He very much wanted to visit China and the Soviet Union but the governments in those countries prevented that. <br /><br />One of the most well-remembered photos of his pontificate was his one-on-one conversation in 1983 with Mehmet Ali Agca, who had attempted to assassinate him two years earlier. <br /><br />In his 27 years of papal ministry, John Paul II wrote 14 encyclicals and five books, canonized 482 saints and beatified 1,338 people. <br /><br />In the last years of his life, he suffered from Parkinson’s disease and was forced to cut back on some of his activities. <br /><br />Pope Benedict XVI beatified John Paul II in 2011, and Pope Francis canonized him in 2014. American Catholic Blog Lord, may I have balance and measure in everything—except in Love. —St. Josemaría Escrivá

 
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