Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hollis 'canonises' dissident film director

Briefing and comment: Independent Catholic News carries the extraordinary sermon Bishop Hollis of Portsmouth gave at the funeral of the film director Anthony Mighella, who made 'The English Patient' and other films. The association with this practically pornographic film, which also glorifies adultery, treason and euthanasia, might have given Hollis pause for thought, but perhaps the fact that Minghella directed the Labour Party's 2005 election broadcast was enough to show that his heart was in the right place.

In fact Hollis' words would not be appropriate at the funeral of any Catholic - not even one about to be really canonised. For until canonisation we cannot be sure that the deceased is in heaven; we hope he or she is in purgatory rather than hell, and on that basis pray for his or her speedy release from the cleansing fires.

Some highlights:

So, let us console one another with words of faith and we have heard suchwords of consolation in that first reading from the Book of Wisdom. "Thesouls of the virtuous are in the hands of God" even if, to those outside thefaith, Anthony's death seemed like disaster and annihilation. Our Christianfaith tells us that Anthony is with God - and why can we say this with suchassurance? Because Christ himself tells us in the Gospel that has been readthat "All that the Father has given me, will come to me and I will not turnhim away because my Father's will is that I should lose nothing (or anyone)of all that he has given me and I shall raise him up on the last day."

This appears to be a denial of even the possibility that a baptised Catholic can fail to be saved. Whatever Hollis really meant this form of words is going to cause confusion and scandal.

All talents and gifts, at their best, are for others and it is certainly true that, literally, millions of people have been touched and blessed - and, I dare say, changed - by Anthony'sgifted life.

Apparently an endorsement of Minghella's profoundly un-Catholic ouvre.

That Anthony is now with God, we can be sure and, although we feel poorerfor his leaving us, it is not too fanciful to think that God and the courts of heaven are richer.

We remember one who was given huge talents and he never buried them in theground. He used them, developed them, shared them with us and enjoyed them.In our remembering today, we come before God with thanksgiving for him whowas "God's work of art." In our praying today, we are confident that already he will have heard those wonderful words of the Lord, spoken to the faithful steward, "Well done, good and faithful servant, come now and enjoy yourmaster's joy.

The idea that heaven's infinite glory is enriched by Minghella's presence is bizarre beyond words. Hollis also appears to have arrogated to himself God's right to judge the dead.

1 comment:

Londiniensis said...

As "Anthony is now with God" we obviously don't have to pray for the repose of his soul. So that's all right then. One less to worry about.

Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen