A Protestant film company is releasing a movie that trivializes the Sacraments, dishonors the Virgin Mary, and depicts Catholic priests and nuns in a belittling fashion, says the Catholic League.
Gener8Xion, the studio that also created the movie One Night with the King, will release the film Noëlle on December 7. Claiming to be “a parable of forgiveness and grace,” the movie features two laughable priests who are in love with the same woman.
The film company’s synopsis describes the character Jonathan Keene as “a young Catholic priest seemingly devoid of genuine human emotion” whose job is “to do what he does best: shut down a failing parish.” The other clerical character is described as “the child-like Fr. Simeon Joyce, a faithful but disillusioned priest who blatantly disregards church regulations, uses church monies to pay an old fisherman’s medical bills and spends most of his time drinking at the local pub.”
“Both priests are portrayed as losers,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.
Describing the plot, Donohue said the young priest, Father Joyce, only became a priest because he felt guilty for fathering a child by a woman and pressuring her to have an abortion. Father Joyce tells Father Keene he wants to marry a woman named Marjorie so he can help raise her child, who was born out of wedlock. “But Fr. Keene, a first-class klutz, is also in love with the same woman: he is shown bolting in the middle of Midnight Mass to be with her, knocking over a filled chalice and ripping off his vestments,” Donohue said.
Donohue summarized the Catholic League’s objections: “Throughout the film, confession is trivialized, celibacy is ridiculed, the Virgin Mary is disrespected, nuns are belittled, last rites are mocked, and priestly vocations are caricatured. In short, that which is uniquely Catholic is trashed.”
But he also minimized the importance of Noëlle: “the plot and the acting are so deliriously absurd that it is impossible for us to get too worked up about this flick.”
Donohue suggested the filmmakers’ interest in dealing with hypocrisy should be directed towards stereotypes of misbehaving Protestant ministers, such as those who preach the so-called “Prosperity Gospel.”