MORAL PHILOSOPHY: “Pope Francis Just Dropped the Mic on the Death Penalty” / John Iadarola ☮

Pope Francis just laid down the law on the death penalty, saying that it fosters vengeance in the hearts of crime victims, not justice. This is just the latest in a long line of liberal positions the Pope has laid out. (He ain’t perfect though)

THE INTERNATIONAL CHILD RAPING ORGANIZATION, CATHOLIC CHURCH: “Catholic Church Sex Abuse is ‘Scandalous’ Betrayal – Pope Advisor” / The Lip News / Elliot Hill and Sasha Kai Parker ☮

Top Pope Francis advisor Cardinal George Pell admitted that the Catholic Church has made “enormous mistakes” in dealing with sexual abuse allegations as he testified at a public hearing of an Australian investigative commission in Rome. Was Pell complicit in the church’s cover up of the sexual abuse of thousands of children by priests over centuries? We look at the Vatican’s lack of transparency.

THE INTERNATIONAL CHILD RAPING ORGANIZATION, CATHOLIC CHURCH: “How the Catholic Church Changed the Movies” / Religion Dispatches / Patricia Miller ☮

Brigitte BardotWith this [year’s] big Oscar win for Spotlight, an unsparing look at the Catholic Church’s cover-up of clerical sex abuse, it’s hard to fathom that Hollywood once lived in fear of the Catholic Church and its movie watchdog, the National Legion of Decency.

The Legion of Decency was founded in 1934 as part of a campaign for the “purification of the cinema,” the church’s response to the growing popularity of movies—especially gangster pictures that glorified violence and the widespread portrayal of the free-and-easy sexual attitudes of the Roaring 20s. Catholics were urged to pledge to “remain away from all motion pictures except those which do not offend decency and Christian morality.”

At the same time, a handful of influential Catholics—including Joseph Breen of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, Fathers Daniel Lord and FitzGeorge Dinneen (both Jesuit priests), Father Wilfrid Parsons, the editor of America, and Martin Quigley, editor of the Motion Picture Herald—created a code for motion picture standards. It was designed to self-police the industry and turn popular entertainment into an “ally” of “basic teachings of the church,” according to Gregory Black in his 1996 book, Hollywood Censored.

The code they designed became the Motion Picture Conduct Code, popularly know as the Hays Code after it was adopted by William Hays, a Presbyterian elder who was hired by the major studios to help clean up the industry’s image after it was rocked by a series of scandals. The code, says Black, “was a fascinating combination of Catholic theology, conservative politics and pop psychology—an amalgam that would control the content of Hollywood films for three decades.”

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