Media Watch

Alfred Hitchcock and the Confessional

THE MONTREAL GAZETTE, Feb. 25 — A controversial film shot in Montreal, Quebec, returned to the city as part of an exhibit on Alfred Hitchcock's work, the Montreal daily reported.

I Confess was made in 1952, starring Montgomery Clift as a Catholic priest. Clift hears a murderer's confession — and is framed for the murder. He must decide whether to prove his innocence by breaking the seal of the confessional.

The film was dogged by problems with the two stars and with the Archdiocese of Quebec, which required cuts in the movie that left Hitchcock disgusted. The film flopped, largely because many non-Catholics found it impossible to believe that a priest would lose his life to preserve the seal of the confessional.

A Spy's Piety, a Paper's Bias?

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE, Feb. 26 — As reporters search for motives behind Robert Philip Hanssen's alleged treachery, the online magazine warned that one newspaper seemed to delight in finding an example of Christian hypocrisy to confirm its own biases.

National Review's writer charged, “One of the cultural Left's articles of faith is that religious people are really hypocrites,” and used as evidence the New York Times Feb. 25 front-page analysis, “Much Piety But Not Polish from Spy Suspect.”

Hanssen was well-known to colleagues as a regular churchgoer and strong anti-Communist. The Times story also reported that Hanssen and his family were “adherents of Opus Dei, an elite conservative Catholic order.”

Asked the National Review, “Could one imagine the paper doing a large take-out on Jonathan Pollard's commitment to Judaism?” Pollard, a former civilian U.S. Navy analyst, was convicted in 1986 of spying for Israel and is serving a life sentence.

Church Battles Seattle's New Environmental Rules

SEATTLE TIMES, Feb. 23 — Seattle Archbishop Alex Brunett has vowed to take his campaign against county environmental laws that would restrict church construction “all the way to the Supreme Court,” the Seattle daily reported.

The laws set size limits for all non-residential buildings in rural areas. The archdiocese wants to add three new churches that would violate the restrictions.

Denver Seminaries Overflow

DENVER CATHOLIC REGISTER, Feb. 7 — The Archdiocese of Denver, with more than 75 men in formation for the priesthood, is facing financial strains, the Catholic weekly reported.

The archdiocese pays each student's tuition, room and board. It has launched an “Adopt a Seminarian” program, in which individuals, organizations and parishes donate the costs of educating one seminarian. Meanwhile, the archdiocese's Radical Awareness of Discipleship program, which offers high school boys a weekend at a seminary, drew a record 45 young men considering the priesthood.

President Donald Trump during his speech at a "Thank You" Tour rally held at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.

President Trump: ‘Faith in God’ Helps Unite Nation

In an apparent reference to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and months of demonstrations and civil unrest across several U.S. cities over racial justice issues, Trump said that faith was an important support for civil and national unity.