Author Topic: Catholic Churchs view of theatre, acting etc.  (Read 1329 times)

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Offline Arvinger

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Catholic Churchs view of theatre, acting etc.
« on: February 09, 2016, 11:23:01 AM »
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  • Traditionally the Catholic Church had negative opinion on theatre and acting. Many Church Fathers had explicitly negative views of this form of art since it was mostly associated with ancient theatre deriving from pagan traditions. But we find this view also much later in Church history, for example the Catholic Church in France refused the actors sacraments and Christian burial (Adrienne Lecouvreour, a famous 18th century actress, was refused a Catholic burial due to her profession, the Catholic Church also very reluctantly agreed to give burial to Voltaire).

    As we all know, today the Church does not have such a negative view of acting, theatre etc., and I suppose most of us enjoy watching a good movie or play at theatre (personally I'm a great fan of opera). John Paul II in his Letter to Artists from 1999 wrote explicitly that those who have "artistic vocation - as poet, writer, sculptor, architect, musician, actor and so on feel at the same time the obligation not to waste this talent but to develop it, in order to put it at the service of their neighbour and of humanity as a whole."

    Now, we know that a wide-scale development of cinema and its influence emerged more or less at the same time as modernism arose in the Church and found expression in Vatican II and following pontificates of modernists. Therefore, I wonder whether the current permissive (if not openly positive) attitude of the Church towards film, theatre, acting etc. is:

    a) result of modernist aggiornamento and Church's opening to the world, similar as in the cases of false ecumenism, religious liberty, de facto acceptance of divorce through bogus "annulments" etc.?
    b) or is it rather is it a genuine recognition of positive aspects of these forms of art by the Church within time, which to some extent modifies historical negative Catholic view on these subjects?

    Offline Disputaciones

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    Catholic Churchs view of theatre, acting etc.
    « Reply #1 on: February 09, 2016, 05:46:58 PM »
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  • A)

    Just look into the history of the Legion of Decency to see what happened.


    Offline songbird

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    Catholic Churchs view of theatre, acting etc.
    « Reply #2 on: February 09, 2016, 08:57:59 PM »
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  • I like good stage performances, plays.  BUT in our area of Phoenix there are theaters; stage performances with dinner.  Sounds so nice, BUT I looked into who supports the theaters and found Planned Parenthood and those who are in the same band wagon.  And Federal dollars get their agenda on stage.  One was a young student as a homosexual being bullied.  Another theater had almost nudity.  Can you imagine people on stage in their underwear.  So, I refuse them.

    Offline LaramieHirsch

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    Catholic Churchs view of theatre, acting etc.
    « Reply #3 on: February 09, 2016, 10:35:53 PM »
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  • Very interesting OP.  
    .........................

    Before some audiences not even the possession of the exactest knowledge will make it easy for what we say to produce conviction. For argument based on knowledge implies instruction, and there are people whom one cannot instruct.  - Aristotle

    Offline MariaCatherine

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    Catholic Churchs view of theatre, acting etc.
    « Reply #4 on: February 10, 2016, 09:00:29 AM »
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  • Quote from: LaramieHirsch
    Very interesting OP.  

    I think so too.

    I understand why acting could be condemned, yet we have St. Vitus as the patron saint of actors and dancers, without, as far as I'm aware, any condition that they be penitents.
    What return shall I make to the Lord for all the things that He hath given unto me?


    Offline The Penny Catechism

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    Catholic Churchs view of theatre, acting etc.
    « Reply #5 on: February 10, 2016, 12:04:27 PM »
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  • Quote from: Disputaciones
    Just look into the history of the Legion of Decency to see what happened.

    The list of films condemned by the Legion of Decency (LOD) in the 1930’s doesn’t scream out ‘repugnant!’ to my post-Christian benchmarks. I do recognize that is a problem with my reference; not theirs. Beneath the surface veneer of appearing oppressive their point of view can still be appreciated. Compare the cinematic concerns that the LOD were trying to prevent from unsuspecting Catholics back then to today’s films; and amazing how low the goal posts standards are to make the previously unacceptable; now acceptable.

    In Vigilanti Cura, (1936) Pius XI placed hopeful anticipation of the LOD to become a counter to Hollywood’s 16 mm shrine of worldliness, amorality, and seductive ‘stardom.’ In somber tones approximating Mirari Vos;  PPXI tried to organize support for the LOD purporting they could help with the failed ‘Office of Inspection’ to object against cinematic immoral and vice ridden films from having exposure to societies prone to concupiscence and weakness of will. As PPXI warns: ‘spectators who are sitting in darkened theatres, and whose mental faculties and spiritual forces are for the most part dormant…the influence they exercise and the power they weld over our daily life is very great.' #23





    Quote from: Arvinger
    ...Now, we know that a wide-scale development of cinema and its influence emerged more or less at the same time as modernism arose in the Church and found expression in Vatican II and following pontificates of modernists. Therefore, I wonder whether the current permissive (if not openly positive) attitude of the Church towards film, theatre, acting etc. is:

    a) result of modernist aggiornamento and Church's opening to the world, similar as in the cases of false ecumenism, religious liberty, de facto acceptance of divorce through bogus "annulments" etc.?
    b) or is it rather is it a genuine recognition of positive aspects of these forms of art by the Church within time, which to some extent modifies historical negative Catholic view on these subjects?

    = a) (given a Trad forum's influence). In Miranda Prorsus, PPXII (1957), had a perspective that modern inventions (motion pictures, television, etc.) could be used to accentuate and improve the Catholic standard, but only if the people themselves are essentially leading lives of grace and virtue; in particular if used as peripheral aids for our final end (Heaven). Admitting that fallen human nature will pull that momentum towards a happiness on earth instead; these same Modern influences can become our ultimate detriment. He warns of (actors) to avoid being desirous of being idolized and careful to avoid scandalous behavior given the numbers they can influence. Overall, this historical document (to me at least) doesn’t carry a tenor suggestive of modernist aggiornamento; but instead towards the greater responsibility to use technologies for virtue rather than enhancing exponentially, the ability to sin.  




    Quote from: Arvinger
    ...John Paul II in his Letter to Artists from 1999 wrote explicitly that those who have "artistic vocation - as poet, writer, sculptor, architect, musician, actor and so on feel at the same time the obligation not to waste this talent but to develop it, in order to put it at the service of their neighbour and of humanity as a whole."

    JPII’s letter to artists (1999) was written with somewhat of a ‘poetic’ flare. However, the timing of it encapsulates the arrogance of Rome not to look at objective reality. Most likely ignoring statistical indexing of Catholic beliefs and practices that should have instead; sounded fire alarms in the Vatican. Revealing a crisis where millions of Catholics worldwide have embraced beliefs that are irreconcilable with holding the Catholic Faith. Immorality a central cause; influenced heavily by pop culture, movies, and music. Instead of conveying an ‘all hands on deck,’ admonishing Catholic artists to avoid scandal and strive for heroic virtue given the lateness of the hour; he instead, takes an oddly relaxed approach. Given his extreme popularity and potential influence, yet Catholicism's continued steep moral decline, an a posteriori, alien religious ideology, I believe motivated him.


    Offline Graham

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    Catholic Churchs view of theatre, acting etc.
    « Reply #6 on: February 10, 2016, 01:16:19 PM »
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  • OP, I think you can find most of the answers you want in these two Catholic Encyclopedia articles:

    The Theater

    Miracle Plays and Mysteries

     

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