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Offline Incredulous

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"Silence" MOVIE REVIEW
« on: January 31, 2017, 12:27:26 AM »
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  • Why Catholics Cannot be Silent about Scorsese’s ‘Silence’
    January 11, 2017 | John Horvat II



    Why Catholics Cannot be Silent about Scorsese’s ‘Silence’In the history of the Church, many martyrs died for the Faith. Starting with Saint Stephen the Protomartyr shortly after the Resurrection, they were the first to be remembered, venerated for their public witness and raised to the altars with the title of saint. There are also those who denied the Faith under pressure. They are forgotten and buried in the dark recesses of history.

    The modern world has a problem with martyrs. People cannot understand the glory of their witness for Christ. Modern man would rather try to find some justification behind the anguished decision of those who deny the Faith.

    Such is the case of Martin Scorsese’s latest film “Silence.” It is a tale about this second category of non-martyrs—of whom Our Lord said: “But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 10:33).

    Curiously, early reviews of “Silence,” have been negative—even by liberal media hostile to the Church. The consensus is that Scorsese’s attempt to propose for general admiration one who outwardly denied the Faith has fallen flat.

    Perhaps it is because human nature finds such denials distasteful.
    Even the director’s talents, Hollywood special effects and media publicity cannot overcome it. Scorsese’s tortuous attempt to justify his tormented protagonist proves tedious and unconvincing.

    Hollywood’s Teaching Authority

    “Silence” is based on a 1966 novel of the same name by the Japanese author Shusaku Endo. The plot revolves around the fictional character of a Portuguese Jesuit priest in seventeenth century Japan at the time of a violent anti-Catholic persecution. The film represents a “struggle of faith” in which the priest must choose between the lives of his flock and his Faith. In the face of his trials, he finds God is silent to his entreaties, hence the film’s title. Finally, Christ Himself supposedly breaks the silence by interiorly telling the priest that he might outwardly deny the Faith by trampling upon His image to save his flock.

    Such a shallow story so contrary to all Church teaching would usually pose no threat to Catholics who are firm in their Faith. However, Hollywood has tragically assumed the role of a teaching authority to countless American Catholics. Thus, the principal lesson taught by the film—that outwardly denying the Faith can sometimes be justified and even desired by God—does pose a danger to the many uncatechized that might mistake Hollywood script for Scriptures. Any silence about “Silence” might be misconstrued as consent.

    It is not the case to review the film or explore its convoluted plot and subplots. Such films are nothing new; they are simply means to reinforce certain false premises that undermine the Faith. It is far better to address the false premises themselves and, especially as it applies to modernity’s woeful misunderstanding of martyrdom.

    Martyrdom Is Not Defeat


    The first false premise is the modern assumption that life is the supreme value. This is a terrible premise since if there are no values worth dying for then there is no real reason worth living for. In a materialistic world that adores life and its enjoyment, martyrdom represents failure. Those who renounce the Faith and martyrdom are winners. Those who don’t are losers.

    The message of fictional accounts like “Silence,” is that life is to be worshipped to such extent that even God must be made complicit in inspiring the apostasy that saves the lives of the faithful. However, such accounts are indeed fiction; they ignore the historical reality of what happened.

    A Denial of the Historical Record
    The historic record of the Japanese martyrs is one of the most glorious in Church history. It is a burning rebuke of modernity’s idolization of life. Tens of thousands suffered or died at the hands of cruel executioners. If tales are needed to inspire authors, let writers tell of the courage, heroism and constancy of these Japanese martyrs, young and old, male and female, religious and secular, who joyfully gave their lives for Christ and earned for themselves the crown of eternal glory. If villains need be found for their stories, let them find them in the cruel governors and judges who condemned the Christians to death.



    Saint Alphonsus de Liguori

    In 1776, Saint Alphonsus de Liguori wrote the book, The Victories of the Martyrs, which has one large section that tells incredible stories of the Japanese martyrs. He speaks of a Japanese Christian named Ursula, for example, who upon seeing her husband and two young children martyred, cried out: “Be Thou praised, O My God! For having rendered me worthy to be present at this sacrifice, now grant me the grace to have a share in their crown!” She and her youngest daughter were then beheaded.

    Indeed, any priest who would renounce his Faith to save the lives of his flock would be reviled by the Japanese faithful for both his denial and depriving the flock of the crown of martyrdom.

    If there is any silence in Scorcese’s “Silence,” it is that silence which ignores the dauntless courage and supernatural joy found in the Japanese martyrs and missionaries whose witness was so superior that their enemies were defeated by their arguments and resorted to killing them. Their martyrdom was their victory, not their defeat.

    Acts Have Meaning

    A second premise is that outward acts have no meaning, or can  mean whatever the person determines them to be. Such a premise is typical of postmodern thought that would “deconstruct” acts from their natural meaning and context.

    Thus, any benefit or inspiration can justify an act that signifies the denial of the Faith, since acts have no fixed meaning. Indeed, the theme of the film shrouds the outward denial with the good intentions of the protagonist’s concern for the safety of his flock.

    Again, this shows a profound misunderstanding of the idea of martyrdom. The word martyr itself means witness—an external manifestation of Faith to others. The postmodern interpretation of the martyr’s dilemma questions the notion that there can be witnesses that are so firmly convinced of the truths of the Catholic religion that they gladly suffer death rather than deny it. The “meta-narrative” of the great deeds of the martyrs is no longer valued. Even the idea of truth is relative. All must be reduced to the level of personal experience.

    Again, such an interpretation runs contrary to the historical reality that was centered on the notion of objective truth. Those who persecute the Church hate this truth and the moral law taught by Christ and His Church. They especially hate the public witness given by Christians because this witness denounces them for their sins and wickedness. All they asked of their victims was an outward sign of denial. For this reason, persecutors often preferred to force Christians to deny the Faith than to take their lives.

    Historically, that is why those who persecute the Church are always willing to offer honors, offices and benefits to those who renounce the Faith. They will always give Christians an excuse to stop being witnesses. This includes those “good intentions” to diminish the sufferings of family, relatives and fellow Christians. However, this is only a pretext. Indeed, what they want to destroy is the witness that haunts them and calls them to virtue. They want renegade Christians to make their denial public to discourage the witness of others.

    Thankfully, their efforts are often frustrated by the constancy of faithful Christians that moves others to conversion. They do not understand Tertullian’s encomium that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church,” (Apologeticus, Ch. 50).

    The God of Silence


    The final false premise comes from a naturalistic understanding of the world in which people do not grasp how God works in souls. The secular world assumes God’s natural position is one of silence. When secular writers are forced to imagine the action of God upon their characters, they portray it as a purely personal matter based on feelings and emotions inconsistent and outside the logic of divine law.

    This is perhaps the greatest misunderstanding of the Faith. Modern authors create their own god of silence and believers outside of the life of grace.

    Such a combination leads to absurd characterizations like that of “Silence.” Martyrdom cannot be based on emotion or feeling since it involves surrendering man’s greatest natural gift—life. This is something so difficult that it is beyond human strength to achieve. Martyrdom must entail grace, which enlightens the intellect and strengthens the will to allow Christians to do that which is beyond human nature. God’s grace would never allow a person to deny Christ before men.

    The Christian Martyrs of Nagasaki, Japan

    God’s grace would never allow a person to deny Christ before men. Indeed the merits of the martyrs lie in being the effects of God’s grace and their cooperation with grace.


    Christian Martyrs of Nagasaki. 16th-17th century Japanese painting. Artist unknown.
    Martyrdom—The Fruit of Grace

    That is why Saint Alphonsus states that it is a matter of Faith that, “Martyrs are indebted for their crown to the power of the grace which they received from Jesus Christ; for he it is that gave them the strength to despise all the promises and all the threats of tyrants and to endure all the torments till they had made an entire sacrifice of their lives.”

    Saint Augustine further states that the merits of the martyrs lie in being the effects of God’s grace and their cooperation with grace.

    In other words, God cannot be silent in the face of martyrdom as Scorcese’s “Silence” film affirms. His justice will not allow a person to be tempted beyond their capacity to resist. He is intimately involved in those facing martyrdom. He gives them grace—a created participation in divine life itself. Facing martyrdom without grace is impossible. While God may allow for trials, He is never silent.

    Catholics Cannot Remain Silent


    And that is why faithful Catholics cannot remain silent in the face of Scorcese’s “Silence.” Scorcese’s film is a tragic denial of God’s grace in a world in dire need of it. In these days when Catholics are being martyred, Catholics need to know that God is never silent. They will never be put in a situation where God betrays Himself. He will always be there when needed.

    The secular worldview is so narrow-minded and asphyxiating, but alas so prevalent. Today’s obsession with self permeates the culture to the exclusion of God. It is little wonder that so many would think there is “silence” on the other side of martyrdom. It is largely because they find emptiness in their own lives. They cannot imagine the action of God and His grace.

    Amid the frenetic intemperance of the times, the agitated crowds ironically do not seek out God where He is always found—in the silence of their own souls


    TFP Link





    "Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it underfoot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor but a destroyer."  St. Francis of Assisi

    Offline Capt McQuigg

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    "Silence" MOVIE REVIEW
    « Reply #1 on: January 31, 2017, 12:44:05 PM »
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  • Scorsese must be an atheist.  I can't imagine putting blasphemous words into the mouth of Our Lord.  

    A non-atheist movie director may just make a derogatory movie about nuns or priests by having at least one of the nuns or priest to be holy while others are evil or so dopey that they seemed to fall off the set of a teen comedy movie but in none of the movies that engage in mockery does the director put insulting and blasphemous words into the mouth of either Our Lord or Our Lady.

    Except one.  Scorsese did it twice in his career.  There was that idiotic movie he directed in 1988 which is really a forgettable and hard to watch movie anyway.  Nonetheless, Scorsese did it two times.  And several decades apart so it can't just be a bad hair day or something like that.  It's a deep seated belief of his to mock Our Lord.  



    Offline Kephapaulos

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    "Silence" MOVIE REVIEW
    « Reply #2 on: February 08, 2017, 12:33:45 AM »
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  • I read the synopsis of the movie, and it makes a mockery of the virtue of perseverance.
    "Non nobis, Domine, non nobis; sed nomini tuo da gloriam..." (Ps. 113:9)

    Offline Arsenius

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    "Silence" MOVIE REVIEW
    « Reply #3 on: February 08, 2017, 12:43:34 AM »
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  • I saw the movie. Wouldn't watch it again, but it didn't offend me as a Catholic. If your faith is endangered by watching a movie that is based on true events (to a certain extent), you have serious problems...

    There was a number of Jesuit priests who apostatized, married, became Buddhist clergy, and persecuted Christians in Japan. It's history. It's not pretty. Deal with it like a Catholic man, not an emoting wuss (I found the main character in the film to be way too emotional to be taken seriously as a Catholic priest mature enough for mission work).
    “We seek and we pray for our return to that time when, being united, we spoke the same things and there was no schism between us.” ~ St. Mark of Ephesus

    "It is only when something very good is broken that you will pay almost any price to restore it" ~ Fr. Alexander Schmemann

    Offline Neil Obstat

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    « Reply #4 on: February 09, 2017, 12:16:35 AM »
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  • Any Catholic who is not offended to see Our Lord utter outright lies and blasphemies in a movie (being depicted as a "true event") ought to have a second look in the mirror.

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    Offline Neil Obstat

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    « Reply #5 on: February 09, 2017, 12:19:47 AM »
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  • Quote from: Kephapaulos

    I read the synopsis of the movie, and it makes a mockery of the virtue of perseverance.


    That pretty much sums up the whole topic.

    "He who perseveres to the end shall be saved."  -- Something to contemplate!

    .--. .-.-.- ... .-.-.- ..-. --- .-. - .... . -.- .. -. --. -.. --- -- --..-- - .... . .--. --- .-- . .-. .- -. -.. -....- -....- .--- ..- ... - -.- .. -.. -.. .. -. --. .-.-.

    Offline Neil Obstat

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    « Reply #6 on: February 09, 2017, 12:22:47 AM »
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  • He who is called to sublime sanctity will not be saved without it. - Pope St. Gregory I

    How about a movie that is centered on that theme?

    .--. .-.-.- ... .-.-.- ..-. --- .-. - .... . -.- .. -. --. -.. --- -- --..-- - .... . .--. --- .-- . .-. .- -. -.. -....- -....- .--- ..- ... - -.- .. -.. -.. .. -. --. .-.-.

    Offline JezusDeKoning

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    "Silence" MOVIE REVIEW
    « Reply #7 on: February 09, 2017, 12:34:11 AM »
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  • Quote from: Arsenius
    I saw the movie. Wouldn't watch it again, but it didn't offend me as a Catholic. If your faith is endangered by watching a movie that is based on true events (to a certain extent), you have serious problems...

    There was a number of Jesuit priests who apostatized, married, became Buddhist clergy, and persecuted Christians in Japan. It's history. It's not pretty. Deal with it like a Catholic man, not an emoting wuss (I found the main character in the film to be way too emotional to be taken seriously as a Catholic priest mature enough for mission work).


    Yes. I have not seen the movie, but clergy are only human.
    Tío Samuel, ven pa 'aca


    Offline Spera in Deo

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    "Silence" MOVIE REVIEW
    « Reply #8 on: February 09, 2017, 08:17:33 AM »
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  • TIME/Melissa Locker/Nov. 30, 2016

    "Acclaimed film director Martin Scorsese met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday to discuss his latest movie, Silence ...............................
    Scorese and his family had a brief but "very Cordial" meeting with Pope Francis where they discussed Shusaku Endo's 1966 novel the inspired the film and exchanged gifts................."

    Francis suggested (hopefully joking) to Scorsese that the leading actor, Andrew Garfield, should become a priest.  Sadly, once again, people will flock to see a movie that they most likely will believe, but won't investigate, to be actual true Catholic history.  :sad:

    Offline Disputaciones

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    « Reply #9 on: February 09, 2017, 11:05:47 AM »
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  • Is John Horvat related to Marion Horvat from TIA?

    Offline Arsenius

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    « Reply #10 on: February 09, 2017, 02:50:59 PM »
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  • Quote from: Neil Obstat
    Any Catholic who is not offended to see Our Lord utter outright lies and blasphemies in a movie (being depicted as a "true event") ought to have a second look in the mirror.




    The movie and the novel (written by a prominent convert) does not glorify apostasy or make light of martyrdom. There is nothing glorious, from a human perspective, about being burned alive or being tied upside down in a pit of feces. You are raising up strawmen and bashing on your own ignorant misinterpretations/preconceptions.

    So much for restoring Western high culture. If you can't handle some ambiguity and complex/thought provoking themes, you should throw out Shakspeare and the rest of the Western canon while you're at it. Wake up, serious literature isn't for people with the emotional/intellectual level of second graders.
    “We seek and we pray for our return to that time when, being united, we spoke the same things and there was no schism between us.” ~ St. Mark of Ephesus

    "It is only when something very good is broken that you will pay almost any price to restore it" ~ Fr. Alexander Schmemann


    Offline Incredulous

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    « Reply #11 on: February 09, 2017, 05:51:49 PM »
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  • Quote from: Arsenius
    Quote from: Neil Obstat
    Any Catholic who is not offended to see Our Lord utter outright lies and blasphemies in a movie (being depicted as a "true event") ought to have a second look in the mirror.



    The movie and the novel (written by a prominent convert) does not glorify apostasy or make light of martyrdom. There is nothing glorious, from a human perspective, about being burned alive or being tied upside down in a pit of feces. You are raising up strawmen and bashing on your own ignorant misinterpretations/preconceptions.

    So much for restoring Western high culture. If you can't handle some ambiguity and complex/thought provoking themes, you should throw out Shakspeare and the rest of the Western canon while you're at it. Wake up, serious literature isn't for people with the emotional/intellectual level of second graders.



    Arsenius, I like your spunk, but I think you are misguided about the true agenda for the "Silence" book and movie.

    Besides dismissing the glory of 250,000 Japanese Catholics martyrs over a 400 year period, both Endo and Scorsese promulgated a new religion.

    Endo was well known "catholic" writer who used the subtlety of doubt, mockery and a touch of existentialism to promote his heresy.  Right at the time of Vatican II.  

    For example, his comical traitor, Kichijiro, mocked the Sacrament of Confession. The reference to the "bad breath" of the miserable faithful during confession, was an existentialist touch he probably copied off of Jean Paul Sarte.

    Scorsese, the "ex-illumanti high priest of Hollywood", who made the Last Temptation of Christ, took it to a whole new level.  

    He was brilliant in casting a perfidious, emotional jew actor as Father Rodrigues, who babbled over the Japanese countryside with his yukata and man-bun.



    And his genius to add the "ecumenical conciliarization" of Father Rodrigues body, by showing a scene of his Buddhist wife, placing a small crucifix in his palm.

    I will admit, Liem Nielson, a career lackey to the jews and a traitor to his gentile race, was cast perfectly as Fr. Ferreira, a traitor to the Catholic Faith.



    But there's more.
    Catch the my next topic post with a 29 min video by E. Michael Jones on the movie.
    It's the best review yet!
     :wink:

    "Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it underfoot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor but a destroyer."  St. Francis of Assisi

    Offline Capt McQuigg

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    « Reply #12 on: February 13, 2017, 01:27:38 PM »
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  • Quote from: Arsenius
    Quote from: Neil Obstat
    Any Catholic who is not offended to see Our Lord utter outright lies and blasphemies in a movie (being depicted as a "true event") ought to have a second look in the mirror.




    The movie and the novel (written by a prominent convert) does not glorify apostasy or make light of martyrdom. There is nothing glorious, from a human perspective, about being burned alive or being tied upside down in a pit of feces. You are raising up strawmen and bashing on your own ignorant misinterpretations/preconceptions.

    So much for restoring Western high culture. If you can't handle some ambiguity and complex/thought provoking themes, you should throw out Shakspeare and the rest of the Western canon while you're at it. Wake up, serious literature isn't for people with the emotional/intellectual level of second graders.


    Are you missing the point on purpose, Arsenius?

    Every single person on this forum lives in a world where abortion is legal, homosexual behavior is glorified, Novus Ordo priests are saying that other religions have the means of salvation and there isn't a single Traditional Catholic Kingdom the whole globe over so ALL of us are as tough as nails regarding our Catholic Faith.  The issue at hand is that this movie puts words of blasphemy in the mouth of Our Lord.  

    That's the issue.  A short recap:  The highly offensive part is the scene where Our Lord utters blasphemies.  

    Also, this is the second movie in this director's long career where he did this.  

    Offline Prayerful

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    « Reply #13 on: February 14, 2017, 05:52:13 PM »
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  • Quote from: Capt McQuigg
    Quote from: Arsenius
    Quote from: Neil Obstat
    Any Catholic who is not offended to see Our Lord utter outright lies and blasphemies in a movie (being depicted as a "true event") ought to have a second look in the mirror.




    The movie and the novel (written by a prominent convert) does not glorify apostasy or make light of martyrdom. There is nothing glorious, from a human perspective, about being burned alive or being tied upside down in a pit of feces. You are raising up strawmen and bashing on your own ignorant misinterpretations/preconceptions.

    So much for restoring Western high culture. If you can't handle some ambiguity and complex/thought provoking themes, you should throw out Shakspeare and the rest of the Western canon while you're at it. Wake up, serious literature isn't for people with the emotional/intellectual level of second graders.


    Are you missing the point on purpose, Arsenius?

    Every single person on this forum lives in a world where abortion is legal, homosexual behavior is glorified, Novus Ordo priests are saying that other religions have the means of salvation and there isn't a single Traditional Catholic Kingdom the whole globe over so ALL of us are as tough as nails regarding our Catholic Faith.  The issue at hand is that this movie puts words of blasphemy in the mouth of Our Lord.  

    That's the issue.  A short recap:  The highly offensive part is the scene where Our Lord utters blasphemies.  

    Also, this is the second movie in this director's long career where he did this.  


    The special viewing for Pope Francis and the identity of the Director suggested the film would contain rank blasphemy, so it just met realistic expectations.

    Offline OldMerry

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    « Reply #14 on: February 14, 2017, 09:18:34 PM »
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  • I have seen where Scorsese is supposed to be a Satanist.  Nothing he does is therefore surprising.




     

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