Catholic League president William Donohue commented today on the new Warner Brothers film, “Constantine,” which opens tomorrow:
“Those who like Marilyn Manson and professional wrestling should be drawn to ‘Constantine.’ The movie is not only spiritual junk food for religious illiterates, it’s another example of the way Hollywood rips off Catholicism.
“The plot centers on a chain-smoking, bummed out, demon-hunting detective who’s been to hell and back. Constantine’s pursuit of demons is not, however, altruistically driven: because he once tried to kill himself, he thinks he’s doomed to go to hell unless he can earn enough chips to get into heaven. Lucky for him, he becomes adept at performing exorcisms. Along the way he meets a policewoman who’s determined to prove that her deceased Catholic sister didn’t commit suicide, and thus can be given a Christian burial. And, of course, he meets a priest, who just happens to be an Irish drunk.
“We hate to spoil the party, but the Catholic Church does not teach that everyone who commits suicide is destined to go to hell. Nor does it teach that those who do so must be denied a Christian burial. (It did at one time, on the grounds that suicide violated the Fifth Commandment.)
“So what does this tell us about Hollywood? First, the fact that the producers of this trash literally tried to induce evangelical Protestants to market this movie for them tells us volumes about the way these guys view Christians. Also telling is the answer that Francis Lawrence, the director, gave to the question of his own faith: ‘I’m a skeptic, myself. For all I know, you die and rot in a box and that’s it.’ Either that or you rot someplace else.
“It looks like Hollywood could use an exorcism of its own. Maybe they can find a sober Irish priest willing to do it.”