Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Blame America, fight the Church

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Sep 09, 2009

American movie stars may fawn over liberal politicians, and contribute millions of dollars to Democratic candidates, but they've apparently met their match-- at least-- in the radical-chic habitués of the European film scene.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez got a standing ovation as he arrived at the Venice Film Festival Monday.  

Chavez is a leftist strongman who has used the machinery of power to bulldoze his domestic opponents. You might compare him with Fidel Castro, except that Castro, when he came to power a) had overthrown a corrupt dictator and b) had shown flashes of wit and charisma. Chavez is less colorful: a humorless, plodding autocrat. So what makes him so attractive to the film crowd?

Chavez blames the problems of Venezuela-- indeed of all Latin America-- on American imperialism. That in itself makes him popular with folks who love to hate the society that has enabled them to live in luxury. But there's more: Chavez is engaged in a cold war with the Catholic Church. So are the glitterati of filmdom.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Retired01 - Jun. 25, 2018 12:34 PM ET USA

    The 2002 scandal was about the abuse of minor males, that is why is was covered by the press. The McCarrick scandal is about homosexual relations between a member of the hierarchy and adults. There is little that is known about homosexual relations among members of the hierarchy and religious order, because these relations are not illegal. That may explain why the press is not interested. I have the suspicion, however, and I have no evidence for this, that this is a big problem.

  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Jun. 23, 2018 8:46 AM ET USA

    "What else do they know and about whom?" The question arises: Will the priests ordained by McCarrick now be investigated to determine if they also are promoting the homosexual agenda in the ranks of the clergy? Some of them may now be bishops who, in turn, are pestering seminarians for their favors. This cancerous growth of homosexual influence in the Church will destroy our faith if it is not rooted out completely. The edict of Pope Benedict in 2005 must be obeyed, and homosexuals excluded.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Jun. 23, 2018 8:07 AM ET USA

    Thank you, Phil for your ongoing courage. It is certainly all the more difficult for one who desires simply to be a docile servant of the Church, not a critic of her leadership. This problem runs very deep. For decades there has been an effort among leaders in the Church to throw off the past and to prove a kinder gentler Church. And the cross? The hard things have been put aside;rigidity made to bend. And in the end, we find that without the Cross of Christ always central there is no love.

  • Posted by: Oedipus Tex - Jun. 22, 2018 7:17 PM ET USA

    This layman did not know, and am disgusted by those who knew and did nothing. What else do they know and about whom?