National Catholic Register


National Media Watch

BY John Lilly

April 3-9, 2005 Issue | Posted 4/3/05 at 10:00 AM


Bishop Apologizes for Barring Catholic Funeral

SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, March 21 — The head of the Diocese of San Diego apologized to the family of homosexual nightclub owner John McCusker, less than a week after decreeing that McCusker couldn’t have a Catholic burial because his business activities “were contrary to sacred Scripture and the moral teaching of the Church,” according to the California daily.

Bishop Robert Brom also promised to preside at a Mass in memory of McCusker at The Immaculata Catholic Church on the campus of the University of San Diego. The bishop had ordered The Immaculata to cancel McCusker’s funeral, declaring that no parish within the diocese could hold a Catholic funeral for him.

Bishop Brom’s refusal was similar to action by the Archdiocese of New York, which refused Catholic funerals for convicted mobsters Paul Castellano in 1985 and John Gotti in 2002.

Actually, Sex Doesn’t Sell in the Movies

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, March 21 — The old adage “sex sells” no longer applies to the movies, the Tinseltown trade paper reported.

“Sex will not make something that is otherwise not entertaining sell,” producer Tom Pollock said. “Movies work because they make you laugh, cry or (be) scared. Audiences won’t go to a movie because of sex.”

But not even great reviews and a robust Oscar campaign helped “Closer.” Even with such marquee names as director Mike Nichols and Julia Roberts, the sexy R-rated relationship movie grossed just $36 million, far less than predicted.

Last year, five of the Top 10-grossing movies were PG. Of the top 25, only four were rated R. “Increasingly, if a movie is rated R,” said producer John Goldwyn, “audiences won’t go.”

Boston Women Get Feet Washed

THE BOSTON GLOBE, March 19 — Boston Archbishop Sean O’Malley was to wash the feet of both women and men during this year’s Holy Thursday foot-washing ritual, The Globe reported.

Archbishop O’Malley consulted with the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship, which advised him that although the “liturgical requirement is that only the feet of men be washed at the Holy Thursday ritual,” he could make whatever decision he thought was best for Boston, said Ann Carter, a spokeswoman for the archbishop.

The report said foot washing has been part of Holy Thursday liturgies since the 13th century. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal uses a Latin word for man (viri) when describing participants in the foot-washing ceremony. But the U.S. bishops’ conference in 1987 declared that it had become customary for both sexes to participate.

A March 20 column in the Register cited that the practice, while approved by the U.S. bishops, has yet to receive approval from the Holy See.