Roman Catholic Church slams film about panic-prone Pope

April 20th, 2011 - 7:35 pm ICT by ANI  

London, April 20 (ANI): The Roman Catholic Church has slammed a film about a panic-prone Pope who has unwittingly been thrust into the papacy and has to hire a psychiatric assistant to help him.

Traditionalists said that ‘Habemus Papam’ (We Have a Pope), by acclaimed Italian director Nanni Moretti, is “an instrument of Satan” and is particularly offensive as it has been released in the approach to Easter, reports the Telegraph.

Bruno Volpe, the Catholic lawyer, has launched suit for defamation against Moretti and the producers under the terms of the Lateran Pact, which extends the same protections to the prestige of the pope as to the Italian president.

Volpe said though the film never mentioned the current Pope by name, it was clear that it was a parody of Pope Benedict XVI and dishonoured the figure of the Pontiff in general.

Salvatore Izzo, a Vatican expert, branded the work disrespectful and boring in an open letter to Avvenire, the Catholic bishops’ newspaper.

He said Catholics should boycott the film, which opened in Italy on Friday and will be in competition at Cannes.

“Why should we support financially that which offends our religion?” he asked, admitting he had not seen the film.

Antonio Vacca, the bishop of Alghero, described Moretti as “an instrument of Satan for separating man from God”.

Gerardo Pierro, archbishop of Salerno, said the launch of a similar film in an Islamic country would have led to the burning of cinemas and attempts to kill the director for blasphemy.

“I think many people take advantage of the traditional meekness of Catholics, which is often confused with foolishness or resignation,” Pierro said. (ANI)

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