“End of Days,” which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, opened in theaters today. Reviewing it for the Catholic League was research analyst Dennis Nilsen. Here are his comments:

“The gory scenes of violence and torture are sickening, but what is most troubling is the crass misappropriation of Catholic themes and imagery. Moreover, several priests are brutalized—even to the point where a would-be killer priest is crucified on a ceiling by Satan. There is a vacuous pope, pathetic-looking cardinals, lay Catholic thugs in rebellion against the Vatican, Satanic worshippers, etc. Suffice it to say that the film is tortuous in more ways than one.”

Catholic League president William Donohue offered his thoughts on a related matter:

“The Nilsen-rating that I was given is pretty lousy, but I have a different bone to pick with ‘End of Days.’

“The film’s director, Peter Hyams, classifies his movie as ‘pro-religious.’ This, of course, is exactly what advocates for Andres Serrano have been saying for years about his ‘Piss Christ’ contribution. It is what the fans of Terence McNally have said when challenged about the playwright’s ‘Corpus Christi.’ It is what the supporters of the Brooklyn Museum of Art exhibition, ‘Sensation,’ have been saying for weeks about Chris Ofili’s ‘The Holy Virgin Mary.’ And it is precisely what Kevin Smith offers when questioned about ‘Dogma.’

“This dishonesty suggests that it is better to be labeled a con-man than a bigot. Why they don’t come out of the closet and expose themselves for what they are is distressing. Perhaps the Catholic League should stage a coming-out party for these guys. The problem is we’d probably have to rent the Los Angeles Coliseum.”

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