Media Watch

A Passion Play Set Amid Glasgow's Poor

INDEPENDENT CATHOLIC NEWS, March 1 — Readers probably haven't heard about it in the United States, but there's a new film adaptation of the life of Christ — a transposition of Jesus' passion to the slums of Glasgow, Scotland, an economically depressed industrial town.

The film is called Man Dancin, and it opened Feb. 18 in Britain. It was created by Christian film and television director Norman Stone.

Set in a Catholic neighborhood in Glasgow, the movie follows a young man recently released from a Northern Irish prison who goes home and tries to “go straight.”

The protagonist struggles not to relapse into his former criminal ways, in part by applying theater skills he learned in prison to help a parish priest put on a Passion play. Independent Catholic News described the film as redemptive, a positive example of presenting the Gospel message in contemporary style.

Writer and director Stone has previously made a film telling the life story of C.S. Lewis and a dramatic series for the BBC during Holy Week.

Clerics Seek Expertise to Resolve Zimbabwe Crisis

THE ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENT (Harare), Feb. 27 — Christian leaders trying to revive peaceful dialogue between the repressive government of Zimbabwe and opposition groups have turned to international experts for help, according to the Zimbabwe Independent.

The clerics traveled to Italy in February to meet with Vatican officials, the paper reported. Bishop Trevor Manhanga of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, Catholic Bishop Patrick Mutume and Father Brian McGarry met with Vatican officials who had helped broker a peace settlement in Mozambique in 1993, ending a decades-long civil war.

Upon their return from Italy, the African clergymen requested a meeting with Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, which has not yet been granted.

Another church delegation traveled to South Africa to meet with that country's Council of Churches, seeking its involvement in resolving Zimbabwe's intractable conflict, which centers on the confiscation of land from productive white farmers and its distribution to poor blacks, who frequently lack the capital and expertise to exploit the land.

A famine has resulted, with the Zimbabwean government denying food to its political opponents.

Pro-Life Film for Schoolchildren Shocks Croatia

REUTERS, Feb. 24 — Pro-life activists in Croatia have been showing a graphic film depicting an actual abortion to teen-agers to the outrage of pro-abortion groups and some parents, Reuters reported.

The movie, made in the 1980s in the United States, was shown in a Zagreb high school during the week of Feb. 17 as part of a voluntary religion class.

The daily paper Novi List criticized the film, quoting “children's ombudsman” Ljubica Matijevic-Vrsaljko, who said, “If the same logic applied, we should show the dead bodies of drug addicts to pupils to teach them about dangers of drug consumption … or mutilated bodies of those killed in traffic to teach them to respect traffic rules.”

Croatian education minister Dragan Primorac promised to review the film and assess its suitability for teen-agers.

Local Church officials in the 90% Catholic country did not comment on the film.

Pope Francis waves to pilgrims during his Angelus address August 30, 2020.

Pope Francis: The Path to Holiness Requires Spiritual Combat

Reflecting on Sunday’s Gospel, the pope said that “living a Christian life is not made up of dreams or beautiful aspirations, but of concrete commitments, in order to open ourselves ever more to God's will and to love for our brothers and sisters.”