FRI-SAT-SUN     February 11-13, 2000    vol. 11, no. 30    SECTION ONE

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SECTION ONE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • Third and Final Installment of the HEALING FRUITS OF LOURDES
  • CATHOLIC PewPOINT editorial: Let's return to a renaissance of reverence
  • MOVIES & MORALS - What Hollywood doesn't want you to know by Michael Vincent Boyer
  • APPRECIATION OF THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH: Installment 108 - One God in Three Persons


  • The Healing Waters of Lourdes part three

        In honor of Friday's feast of Our Lady of Lourdes we conclude this special three-part series on the events that transpired there with the final installment today which is also World Day of Prayer for the Sick. This piece also replaces for this week only Sister Mary Lucy Astuto's column. She is in the midst of a move and will resume next Friday with her popular column. We will resume our regular rotation of the 2000 YEAR VOYAGE ON THE BARQUE OF PETER next Wednesday, February 16th. For the final installment on Lourdes, see LOURDES

    THE HEALING FRUITS OF LOURDES Part Three
    Next Wednesday: Installment Thirty-six -
    THE 2000 YEAR VOYAGE ON THE BARQUE OF PETER: A new battlefront: the Crusades.

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    What we need to heal an ailing liturgy is to return to a renaissance of reverence!

       In this weekend's editorial, we address the theme of this weekend - World Day of Prayer for the Sick in acknowledging that the liturgy in America is very ill and needs resuscitation; not drastic surgery as ultra conservatives would call for with a an unyielding return to the Tridentine Mass, but at least an infusion of common sense toward the moderate by returning to exactly what the Vatican II Council Fathers and Pope Paul VI intended when they approved the Novus Ordo Mass. In other words, we need to return to a renaissance of reverence! For today's editorial Bring back the old New Mass!, see CATHOLIC PewPOINT

    Bring back the old New Mass!

    Michael Cain, editor

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    MOVIES & MORALS

    Value Manipulation: a clever scheme Hollywood doesn't want you to know!

       In lieu of providing reviews of the top ten movies for the week which really only promote the movies, regardless of bad reviews by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, we have decided to merely list the ten top movies with a link to the Bishop's page that provides reviews and devote this column to something with much more substance. Within the next few weeks we will be establishing a special column by the author of this piece today - Michael Vincent Boyer, the 42 year-old Catholic editor and publisher of the new monthly Goodbye, Hollywood tabloid which truly tells it like it is for Catholics to consider and act upon. We will have much more on Michael in the coming weeks and want to promote his excellent publication for it is badly needed as he exposes Hollywood for what it is - the disciple of the devil. For more, see MOVIES AND MORALS

    What Hollywood doesn't want you to know

    The coarsening of values: "Value Manipulation" emerges as Hollywood Strategy

          The term "coarsen" has risen in usage lately due to the increasingly negative effects of demoralized entertainment coming out of Hollywood. Elected officials, psychologists, sociologists, columnists, and the general public have used the term more frequently in efforts to make the entertainment industry aware of its impact and to clean up its act. Instead, corrosive behavior is promoted with multi-million dollar ad campaigns as "entertainment." What Hollywood doesn't want you to know is that it really doesn't care.

          The industry has embarked on a campaign to change your values based on Beverly Hills qualifications. While its not talked about openly, a few major power brokers can't help but foam at the mouth when criticized for peddling sleaze. Critics of coarsened values perpetuated by the Disney Company were called "nuts," foolish," and "like Hitler" by none other than Disney Chairman Michael Eisner. Just ten years ago you would not have heard such comments from the head of an entertainment conglomerate - especially Disney.

          Webster's New World Dictionary defines the word coarse: rough, harsh, vulgar, crude, gross, lack of culture and good taste. That definition now applies to many entertainment titles in feature films, television, videos, and video games, as well as music; with notable exceptions in all categories. It's the notable exceptions that Hollywood rarely applauds. In fact, many movie critics find coarsened values in entertainment as the sign of a "serious work of art." Is Hollywood playing to the movie critics or to the movie-going public?

          The coarsening of values began quickly after the start of the ratings system instituted by Jack Valenti in 1968. And Hollywood has been raising the bar even higher for at least 30 years, but moreso in the decade of the 90's. Its appearance covers all genres from comedy, drama, and especially horror films with such recent films as the "Scream" series by Disney's own Miramax division. [In fact, "Scream 3" garnered nearly 35 million over the weekend while playing in 3,467 theatres nationwide. Consider that it is rated "R" - restricted to those under 17 - and yet the majority of those paying at the box office are teens under 17. More evidence that the current ratings system is a dismal failure and needs overhaul.]

          The industry has managed to eliminate the harsh term "horror" in favor of what they call "fright films" where the main theme is fear. What Hollywood doesn't want you to know is that they are promoting fear as "fun" to increasingly younger audiences. The roots of this fear can be traced back to the original "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th." For the first time, mainstream studios were marketing an extreme form of violence as "fear and fun films." But, each passing year saw more graphic depictions of decapitations, bloody stabbings, bodily dismemberment, shattered skulls, and exploding human bodies. New Line Cinema and Miramax, long recognized as irresponsible filmmakers, have been leaders in this pack.

          "The harmful effect is the cumulative impact," according to Professor Greg Smith of Dickinson College. Constant exposure to "frightening images of destruction or harm" doesn't always lead children to imitate what they see, but it does have a coarsening effect that makes children and even adults "more callous toward one another." And television has not escaped "coarsened values" with Fox being among the leaders. Writing about the Fox series "Action," columnist George Will wrote that the show "is evidence of how frantically producers now strain in search of something that can startle - never mind shock - America's desensitized audiences." He adds, "Some mediocre and even some excellent entertainment that is not offered on the four major networks seems to tempt those networks toward coarseness. Over-the-air [broadcast] television is lurching deeper into vulgarity to compete with limited access TV, such as HBO, that properly feels freer to depict sex and violence." In fact, HBO largely marketed itself as showing movies and shows "you won't see on regular TV" and has been dropped by many former subscribers because of its foray into softcore pornography and profanity after midnight with shows like "Real Sex" and "Chris Rock."

          Value manipulation and its resulting coarse values is the insipid campaign now being waged by the entertainment industry. It is the secret that Hollywood doesn't want you to know!

    Michael Vincent Boyer

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    Appreciation of One God in Three Persons

        Today we continue with our new series in the search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith. This weekend we present a brief catechesis on the essence of the Holy Trinity with One God in Three Persons. For the 108th installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    installment 108: ONE GOD IN THREE PERSONS part one

          There is only one God. "I am the first, and I am the last, and besides Me there is no God" (Isaiah 44:6). There can be only one God, because only one can be supreme, all-powerful, and independent of all. In God there are three Divine Persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

          In speaking of the "persons" in God, we do not use the term in exactly the same was we use it when speaking of people. We use it only for lack of a word to show our meaning better. In speaking of a man as a "person," we mean that he is an intelligent being, acting individually for himself. The acts he performs belong to him and he is responsible for them-he himself, not his tongue, nor his mind, nor his whole body even, but the whole of himself.

          We speak of three "Persons" in God because to each belongs something we cannot attribute to any other: His distinct origin. From all eternity the Father begets the Son, and the Son proceeds from the Father. From all eternity the Father and Son breathe forth the Holy Ghost, and He proceeds from Them, as from one Source. By the Blessed Trinity we mean one and the same God in three divine Persons.

          The Father is God and the First Person of the Blessed Trinity. Omnipotence, and especially the work of creation, is attributed to God the Father.

          God the Father could have created millions of beings instead of you yourself; but He chose you out of a love wholly underserved, saying, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3). Let us then cry in thanksgiving, "Abba, Father!" (Romans 8:15). Let us show our gratitude by avoiding all that could displease God the Father, by trying to please Him with virtue, by trying for greater perfection, in obedience to that injunction of Our Lord's: "You therefore are to be perfect, even as your Heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48).

          The Son is God and the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. To God the Son we ow our redemption from sin and eternal death; by His death He gave us life. For us God the Son debased Himself, taking the form of a servant,"becoming obedient to death, even to death on a cross" (Philippians 2:8). In Holy Communion we are united with Him, for He Himself said: "He who eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, abides in Me and I in him" (John 6:57). In return we should be "other Christs," and, as the Apostle urged, "walk even as He walked."

          The Holy Ghost is God and the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. He manifests Himself in us particularly in our santification. The word "Ghost" applied to the Third Person means "Spirit."

          At our Baptism God the Holy Ghost purifies us from all sin and fills our souls with divine grace, so that we become truly children of God, sons and heirs, and co-heirs with Jesus Christ. By Baptism we become living temples of the Holy Ghost: "Or do you not know that your members are the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you?" (1 Corinthians 6:19).

          In return for such benefits we should make our body the instrument for the glory of God, keeping it from all stain of sin, adorning it with virtues. "Glorify God and bear Him in your body" (1 Corinthians 6:20). Let us keep our souls a sanctuary for the Holy Spirit, that God may be happy to dwell in us.

      Monday: One God in Three Persons part two

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    February 11-13, 2000     volume 11, no. 30
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