On March 24, Miramax, which is owned by Disney, will release the movie “Priest” in New York and Los Angeles; it is scheduled for release nationwide on April 14, which just happens to be Good Friday. The movie portrays five priests, all of whom live tortured lives. One is having an affair with the housekeeper and another is having sex with a male friend. There is a priest who is a drunkard, a country priest who is a madman and a bishop who is simply wicked. The point of the movie is to show that all of the priests-whether victim or villain-find themselves in their depraved condition as a direct consequence of Church teachings.
Those members of the media who would like to see the full ten-page statement that the Catholic League presented at its March 23 news conference in New York should contact the League at once.
Commenting on the movie is Catholic League president William A. Donohue:
“The movie ‘Priest’ is an invidious portrait of Catholic priests and the religion to which they belong. The fact that not one priest is depicted as well-adjusted and faithful to the Church is not without meaning. Indeed, had such a priest appeared in the movie, it would have made inexplicable the film’s theme of blaming the institution of the Church for the maladies of its priests.
“The comments that director Antonia Bird and writer Jimmy McGovern have made to the press about the Catholic Church make it unmistakably clear that they have an animus against the Catholic Church, and it certainly finds expression in the movie.
“It is not for nothing that the film is scheduled to be released nationwide on Good Friday. This in-your-face move is intended to put salt in the wounds of Catholics and that is why the Catholic League will not take this lying down.
“If it is legally possible for the chairman of Disney, Michael Eisner, to stop the release of ‘Priest’ after its New York and Los Angeles showings, that is what should be done. At the very least, we would like to see a statement from Disney dissociating itself from this movie. To do nothing is to invite a protracted battle, one that risks blackening Disney’s ‘Snow White’ reputation, to say nothing of triggering a stockholder revolt.”