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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

The Debt

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

"The Debt" is a U.S. version of the 2007 Israeli film "Ha-Hov." It tells the story of three young Mossad agents (played by Jessica Chastain as Rachel, Marton Csokas as Stefan, and Sam Worthington as David and later by Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson and Ciarán Hinds) who are sent to East Berlin to capture a Nazi war criminal, Dieter Vogel (Jesper Christensen) and bring him to Israel to stand trial for war crimes.
 
They succeed in capturing him but he escapes after a very tense and dangerous effort to sneak him out of the city. Stefan convinces Rachel and David to agree to tell their superiors that they killed Vogel. They agree. Stefan and Rachel marry while David resigns from the Mossad and disappears – only to return.
 
“The Debt” is an interesting title. Whose debt is it? The three spies who lie are indebted to the truth? Vogel must pay his debt to humanity for his crimes?
 
Ultimately, the toll taken on Rachel and David in particular, is too much to bear and each, in their own way, resolve a dilemma that Stefan takes in his stride, as long as it does not reveal that he is amoral. Or is he a patriot?
 
This is a very provocative film and though the subject explores the deepest and darkest recesses of the human heart and our own inhumanity to one another, the film has substance, it is interesting and extremely well acted and directed.


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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 Loving trust and total surrender made Our Lady say yes to the message of the angel, and cheerfulness made her run in haste to serve her cousin Elizabeth. So much in our lives, too, is saying yes to Jesus, and running haste to serve him in the poorest of the poor.  –Mother Theresa

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