Cardinal urges technical aid by clergy and laity
FILMS—and how to get better ones from the professionals and improve those made by Catholics—were the subject of a speech by Cardinal Griffin on Monday.
"It is strangely true that even today it appears to certain people incongruous that Bishops should bother about films and television and novels," said the Cardinal at the annual meeting in London of the Catholic Film Institute.
"Yet if our religion is to be our life. if it is to be more than a suit of clothes which we don for Sunday Mass. then the Bishops must concern themselves with every influence affecting the welfare and salvation of the people entrusted to their pastoral care."
He recalled the Holy Father's encyclical letter dealing with films and said : "Our salvation cannot be separated from any action at any moment of our life and as recreation should form a part of our life, then even that recreation must be directed towards our salvation.
"It is very much easier to say this, however, than to take action in such matters. In this country, even if it were desirable, which I doubt, it would not he possible for ecclesiastical authorities as such to enter the motion picture business.
"Rather have we to ensure that the films which are produced arc in accord with Christian moral principles.
"Our whole approach to these things must be positive. It is no use our just sitting back and condemning what others have produced.
"We must be willing to offer practical assistance and advice to those whose business it is to produce films and 1 regard it as one of the hopeful signs of recent years that the help of priest-advisers is increasingly being sought by the film industry. "Occasionally our people will cry out in horror at some inaccuracy which fcflccts upon the Church and the practice of our Faith.
"More often than not, however, there is no question of ill will on the part of the film producers. It is merely ignorance, and if priests or competent laymen were available to help with advice, then these errors would not occur.
"On the other hand we need not pretend that certain films do appear at regular intervals which are offensive to Christian morality.
"Whilst we can rely upon our people to avoid bad films. there must he the means available to them of knowing whether a film is dangerous.
'-'Herein, briefly, lies the reason for the existence of the Catholic Film Institute. Herein also lies the reason for its excellent little production Focus.
"I often see this magazine in our schools. but we need not pretend that it could not enjoy a much wider circulation.
"Our Catholic newspapers also can do much in their reviewing of current films to enlighten the faithful in such matters. It is one of their responsibilities and on the whole I think they do it very well."