In last month’s Catalyst, we stated our objections to the scene in the Neil Jordan movie, “The Butcher Boy,” which has Sinead O’Connor voicing the “F-word” while playing the Virgin Mary. Readers might like to know that the Irish Voice wasn’t at all upset with this, though it did get bent out of shape observing that the Catholic League and the Ancient Order of Hibernians raised objections over it. The newspaper explained away its objections to the scene by saying “it’s important to note that ‘The Butcher Boy’ is not a film about Our Lady or the Holy Family but rather about a troubled young boy….” Okay, we get the point: blasphemy and vulgarity are okay just as long as its expression is incidental to the flick.
Neil Jordan’s comment was priceless: “I can’t imagine anyone could get too upset about it if they actually saw the film for themselves.” Well, Mr. Jordan, meet Rick Hinshaw. He saw it and felt repelled. So would most people, save those who see no evil.
Readers should know that a film critic for the U.S. Catholic Conference Office for Film and Broadcasting said that “some Catholics may understandably be offended” by this scene, but she made it clear that she wasn’t among them. Indeed, she argued that the scene “can be seen in a positive light as she [Our Blessed Lady] is a loving and calming figure in the midst of all of Francie’s [the young boy who experiences the apparition] horrific imaginings.” How compassionate.