Belief Beat

The most entertaining religion story of the week was the speculation over the role that Mark Wahlberg’s religious mentor, the Rev. James Flavin, has had in helping him choose roles — steering him away from playing one of the gay cowboys in “Brokeback Mountain” (RIP Heath Ledger), for example.

The news, which I learned about from a Religion News Service blog post by my editor Kevin Eckstrom (who happens to know the priest in question), comes from a National Enquirer story (not such a dubious source these days, given the tabloid’s recent Pulitzer Prize nomination for breaking the John Edwards/Rielle Hunter affair). The RNS blog notes that it’s questionable whether the Catholic priest would have approved of Wahlberg’s career-making turn as porn star Dirk Diggler in “Boogie Nights,” however.

P.S. I wrote this post on Wednesday, because I’m now traveling until May 16, and I felt confident that this was a safe bet for the most entertaining religion news of the week. Feel free to correct me in the Comments section, if this turns out to have been outdone by some other news in the meantime — perhaps Sandra Bullock’s baby adoption glow has prompted Jesse James to get saved?

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