"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Pre-Oscar buz! This just in ... The Catholic League Rant on 'Philomena'.

Debunking 'Philomena'...

Turns out it really is an anti-Catholic film after all...  Really?

Bigoted hi-lights from The Catholic League:
[A] film crafted by the English - The film smears the Irish Catholic Church
Coogan, Sixsmith, Dench, and Frears are all English, and Lee long ago adopted England as her home. Some things never change.
The gist of the story:
Philomena Lee got pregnant as a teenager and was sent to a convent...
Philomena, was tight lipped: she swore herself to secrecy, never telling her children what happened when she was a teenager. 
Alcohol changed that
(The author of Philomena) Sixsmith does not say whether Philomena was also bombed when they first met, though he says it was at a New Year's Eve party that same year. Lucky for her, she found an atheist willing to buy her tale.
Consider what happened: In 1952, a teenage girl with her illegitimate child gives him up for adoption because she cannot care for him. She does so of her own volition. In fact, the adoption papers clearly state, right below her signature, that she exercised her free will.
Just remember ...
The nuns were not tending to the cream of the crop.
But who cares about the facts when the goal is to smear the Irish Catholic Church? 
Philomena's son became a lawyer working for the Republican Party. But he lived a life of reckless drinking and sex, and died of AIDS
There was no meeting between him and his mother. 
Because he died.

Read the entire review debunking the film here.  Donohue does a good job placing the blame and shame right back where it belongs - on Philomena Lee:  "Those girls have nobody to blame except themselves." (Made up lines at the end of the film - which was not a documentary BTW.)

The real Philomena meeting Pope Francis.
Not that it makes any difference.

UPDATE 3/2/14

Put aside everything you have read about the film Philomena and please read this review on Catholic Commentary: Thoughts On "Philomena".  It is wonderful.  I picked up the following on the blog, a quote from Frank Duff on allowing unwed mothers to keep their babies "Thus began a revolutionary system for assisting lone mothers to keep their children.":
The depth of Frank Duff's feelings in favour of enabling single mothers to successfully keep the care of their children is revealed in a letter written in 1970, forty years after the opening of the hostel, (the Regina Coeli hostel operated in Dublin by the Legion of Mary), a letter which has earlier recognised the opposition to its work.
"I find it a little difficult in my own mind to make a broad differentiation between the determined separating of the unmarried mother from her child and the relieving of the unmarried mother from her unwanted child by way of abortion. Deep down it seems to me that those two processes have an identical root. This root would be the denial of the fact that a spiritual relationship of the supremest order exists between a mother and her child, inclusive of the unborn child." - CC


  1. I reviewed this film somewhat differently when it was showing here in the UK. As well as reading my original post, you need to read my last contribution among the comments to gain a full idea of my response to the film.http://rccommentary2.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/thoughts-on-philomena.html

    As you will realise, I think it is important to recognise a representative character in the film; and this makes it distinctly unhelpful to simply go for Philomena as being anti-Catholic.

    1. Thanks Joe - you have covered it well.

      I also think people should be aware that when the film was screened at the Vatican - I believe in anticipation or somehow connected to the synod on the family the actor and Philomena were well received and were not condemned.

      My point in mentioning the film was not a documentary but rather a dramatic portrayal based upon real events is important to keep in mind with such films.

      Thanks for your excellent blog.

    2. I just want to ad that your citation of Frank Duff is very interesting. He should be made a saint along with Adele Quinn and dear Matt Talbot.

    3. "He should be made a saint along with Adele Quinn and dear Matt Talbot."

      ...and Alfie Lambe. I keep thinking that since Pope Francis is Argentinian, and Alfie is buried in Argentina, where he died as a Legion of Mary envoy/missionary to South America (and just look at how big the LOM is down there now--much more than it is in North America)...maybe he'll be recognized as a Venerable soon --and maybe that would get Frank and Edele canonized as full Saints, too! (please God!)

      Matt was such a humble man who lived a life of penance--so devoted to Jesus and His Mother--what a great Saint for our times he'd be!

  2. WOW --

    "just remember

    The nuns were not tending to the cream of the crop."

    Well "just remember" Jesus Christ did not come to us to "tend the cream of the crop" either.

    1. Yes - Mr. Donohue has a way with words.

  3. I should have mentioned that I believe the worst sort of anti-Catholicism comes from within. The scandals and cover-ups, the scandal of Catholic higher education not teaching in accord with Catholic teaching, the inclusion of the New Age spirituality in religious communities and retreat houses, the influence of groups such as New Ways Ministry in Catholic primary schools, and so on. Then of course there is the criticism of Pope Francis among traditionalists as well as condemnation of Vatican II and the Novus Ordo.

    We Catholics have a log in our own eye we need to deal with first.

    1. We Catholics have a log in our own eye we need to deal with first.

      Ain't that the truth.

      Mea culpa.


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