It’s a lazy post Hurricane Dorian afternoon and now back in my rectory in Richmond Hill, I am watching my favorite television network, Turner Classic Movies (TCM).
The movie is a 1956 classic named Baby Doll. It was so controversial in 1956, that the Catholic Church condemned it and tried to thwart its success and did so quite successfully!
Was the Church’s involvement in condemning movies and other cultural aberrations the beginning of the advancement of the nones we know so well today? Do rank and file lay Catholics find it annoying that the Church is constantly condemning everything a modern culture produces?
Was it wrongheaded, in retrospect, for the Church not to find good in movies that depicted sin and evil as well as human sexuality? Note below, in the Wikipedia description of this movie and its controversy and how the Episcopal Bishop of New York treated Baby Doll, compared to the New York Cardinal.
This movie reminds me a great deal of the writing of the Catholic author Flannery O’Connor. Should Church leaders see these kinds of movies as a parable and heed the advice of Episcopal Bishop Pike of New York back in 1956?
What say you?
This is from Wikipedia :
was released in the United States on December 18, 1956, although the film had begun garnering controversy within the weeks before its release due to a promotional billboard on display in New York City, which depicted the now-iconic image of Baker lying in a crib, sucking her thumb. Baker received a phone call from a journalist on a Sunday morning, saying "Your film has been condemned by the Legion of Decency and Cardinal Spellman has just stepped up to the pulpit and denounced it from St. Patrick's Cathedral. What have you got to say?"