Vatican Notes & Quotes

Hollywood vs. the Vatican?

BOSTON PHOENIX, Nov. 5-12—The papacy is under attack—at the movie theater. An article in the weekly alternative Boston paper noted that “anti-papism and priest-bashing seem on the cinematic rise,” citing as recent examples a new horror movie and another about Queen Elizabeth I.

“By far the biggest offender is Vampires,” it added, but said that the movie was so bad that Catholics probably wouldn't notice or mind the offensive references to the Vatican, the home of the story's vampire hunters.

Catholic League President William Donohue agreed. The Vatican and the Catholic Church are “treated in a rather insulting manner in John Carpenter's Vampires,” Donohue told the Philadelphia Inquirer Nov. 5. “But the reviews were so horrendous, the movie sounds so vile—the gore, the violence—I can't imagine anyone in their right mind thinking it will have an impact on culture.”

Expert Defends Pius XII, in New York Times

NEW YORK TIMES, Nov. 5—Father Vincent LaPomarda knows all about efforts by the Vatican to address the Holocaust—both those made during World War II, and after it ended. The priest is coordinator for the Holocaust collection at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts.

He didn't waste any time correcting a New York Times report. In a letter to the editor printed Nov. 5, he wrote: “A Nov. 4 news item about the Holy See's request to be involved in discussions over Jerusalem's future includes a quote in some editions from Aharon Lopez, Israel's Ambassador to the Vatican, seeking publication of all Vatican records concerning the attitude of Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust ‘to eliminate any doubt’ about his character before his beatification.

“Such a request, apart from being irrelevant to the issue of Jerusalem's future, overlooks the fact that the Holy See under Pope Paul VI opened its archives to historians and published 11 volumes of documents. This was perhaps a more comprehensive publication than that of any other prominent international agency or state for that tragic period of history.

“It appears that few authors critical of Pope Pius XII have used this collection, which documents the help the Roman Catholic Church gave to Jews during the Holocaust.”