Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Vatican Media No Fans of ‘Avatar’

The Associated Press reports that L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s newspaper, and Vatican Radio are giving ‘Avatar’ two thumbs down, way down. The outlets are not only are criticizing James Cameron’s magnum opus, which opens this Friday in Italy, for having a simplistic and derivative storyline, but also for “flirting with modern doctrines that promote the worship of nature as a substitute for religion,” according to the AP.
A Vatican spokesman told the AP that the reviews hold “no theological weight,” but he did acknowledge that they reflect Pope Benedict XVI’s “views on the dangers of turning nature into a ‘new divinity.'” (Or not so new as nature worship was one of the earliest forms of religious systems known to man.)
Now I can’t help but agree with the first criticism: seriously, the biggest CGI-gasm in the world will not keep me from recognizing the fact that it doesn’t take two hours and thirty minutes to tell “Dances with Wolves” meets “The Lion King.”
But while it’s a given that the media outlets of the Catholic Church will, and should, take a particular theological stance on any bit of pop culture that may get reviewed in their pages or on their airwaves, I can’t help but think, “Really? Neo-pagan nature worship is a real sticking point here?” What about the fact that human bodies no longer hold special significance, that human consciousness can be transferred into genetically-crafted empty vessels, Na’vi avatars, manufactured through a means of asexual, gene-manipulated reproduction, “matured” on a spacecraft and then decanted? And that’s just one example. To worry about pantheism, and that a 3-D movie might inspire a little too much tree-hugging, just seems so antiquated, so very early Church, especially in a world full of poverty, war, and challenging scientific questions.
What do you think?

  • Kauko

    Yeah, I’m not so much with the Vatican on their theological problems with the movie, but I do agree with their criticisms of the movie’s specious and cliche storyline and lack of real emotion behind it.

  • Boni

    I am so sick of the Vatican’s opinion on just about every damn thing. Who cares?

  • Me

    The catholic church is done, they should stick to what they know best, Bingo.

  • jules

    It looks like the Catholic Church would like to revive its age old fight against paganism. I bet they thought they had won this battle long ago, after purging paganism, animism, and shamanism from Europe and the Americas.

  • http://intentionallives.blogspot.com/ Susan

    You know what? It’s just a movie. A fantasy story. It is dealing with a fictional world, a fictional species. Come on. The bigger flaws in character development and lack or original story line outweigh any pagan leanings. And if there are pagan leanings, so what. Are we not allowed to tell a story with pagan leanings?

  • caroline

    I am a Christian Catholic and I have my faith that cannot be changed. But i have to disagree with the Vatican’s opinion. Indeed, Avatar does “promote the worship of nature,” but in the situation we are facing in our planet today it is what we should be doing. Humans have to start giving more importance to nature and to the planet if we want to live in the earth longer than 50 years. I know that the movie never relates to global warming or anything alike. However, if you look deep into it, the subliminal message is an eyeopener for everybody, which is in my opinion, how we humans are willing to do anything in order to get what we want. Humans didn’t care about destroying the Na’vis, their land and everything they believed in to get the stone they were looking for.

  • http://www.deacondanwright.org Dan

    There’s so much anti-Catholicism being expressed here that one might think he or she had inadvertently clicked on bigotrynet.com
    This blog post reveals a poor understanding of the Catholic Church, its activities in the world concerning environment, poverty, war, and science, as well as the history and theological reasons for the positions it takes.
    Given the sentiment here I’d say the Catholic Church is anything but done. The dead rarely have the power to inspire such visceral intolerance.

  • Alec

    The Vatican newspaper calls Avatar, quote, “a simplistic and sappy tale.” Well, there are some who might consider a tale about a virgin birth, a guy who walks on water, or an eternal battle between a celestial good fairy (God) and a subterranean hobgoblin (Satan) to be a simplistic and sappy tale as well. Of course, those who have told the tale for over 2000 years might disagree … as well as those who believe the tale.

  • George Seal

    This website and its comments, with the exception of Dan, have nothing to do with Jesus. I’m going to unsubscribe.

  • Zvink

    Once again we humans end up aruging about our beliefs rather than focusing on healing the problems our beliefs have created. Avatar left me with an overwhelming feeling of sadness for what I (We) am doing to this planet, the effects of which are clearly disturbing the natural balance of All Life. If we were to dwell on our feelings a little more I believe our actions would become more attuned to healing rather than being contradictory as they are now. Wishing everyone all the best with their own intuition in these matters.

  • Carolina Lyon

    I have to agree with Zvink. One of the messages the creator of avatar tried to convey was what we are doing to our planet and how we have destroyed it to find our ways. However, not everybody who has seen the movie has realized this.
    And yet, they did go against the tales and beliefs of the Catholic church, but I don’t think that was main idea of the movie. With Avatar I could only imagine humanity going in the same direction and getting into such war for survival and power that would only kill us and this planet.
    So next time you people see Avatar, don’t go after and read a bible, go out and see how this planet is being destroyed.

  • http://discussions.pbs.org/viewtopic.pbs?t=28529 psikeyhackr

    What was the Vatican saying about “simplistic and sappy” when Spanish conquistadors were sending gold from South America back to Spain? How much of that went to the Church? If AVATAR is looked upon as an allegory for the last 500 years of Earth history then how much of that bloody history can be lain at the feet of the Catholic Church?

  • David Walz

    Life would be so much easier if it was the 14th, not the 21st, century. The Pope could rule the poor, uneducated, terrified, gullible masses with fear and an iron fist. We, those uneducated masses, have developed, learned, and grown over the past 700 years. But, the Pope and the Catholic Church are still stuck in the 14th century. That’s why the Vatican sees “Avatar” as a threat.

  • Carolina Lyon

    For them is either black or white. They haven’t realized that we are not in the 14th century anymore and that they should be growing with the world. Yes, they have very strict views of the world and humanity, but those views should be accustomed to the world in the 21st century. And if they refuse to do so, every day more catholics will be growing apart from the Vatican rules and their Catholic beliefs.

  • http://mediaspin.com/blog Hank

    Why are there no bylines to the articles on this blog?

  • Exed

    Umm this is retarded. Avatar is a movie. Its entertainment. Nothing major. Get over yourselves.

  • http://yieapxo.com/qoqa/5.html Pharmc107

    Hello! feffggg interesting feffggg site!

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