"No Pinky! We can't do it! It's a mortal sin!"

"One more won't hurt." Classic. It has to be asked whether the great Catholic novel died after Vatican II. After all, not many Bishops and Priests talk about mortal sin anymore...

I can't wait to see this, but Dicky Attenborough will be hard to beat.


Left-footer said…
Mortal sin, eh?

Archbishop Nicholls, he is said to have laid flowers on a heathen altar in Willesden, has laid that one to rest.

The old language – of mortal sin, for example – was, he says, a misguided attempt to motivate the faithful. (I quote from D.Telegraph.)

"Fear is never a good motivation. The whole point of the Catholic journey is that it is a journey, and we try to hold together high ideals and understanding. That is the same for people who struggle in whatever way with their sexuality. It's an aim."

Good news for sinners like me, eh? No more time-wasting examniation of conscience or confession.

I've got ideals. I've got feelgood Catholicism! Yay!
Pachomius said…
Left-footer, first of all, what the hell does that have to do with Brighton Rock? That interview is months old, and has no relevance to the film at all. Yes, all right, you don't like +Nichols, and you feel his words aren't Catholic. Fine. Write a blog on it. Please don't gibber about it on blogs which are nothing to do with that topic.

On the topic: Having seen the 'original' film of Brighton Rock, this one actually looks like it may get closer to the meat of the book. Hopefully it actually conveys Greene's deeply ambivalent mood. Too often adaptations descend into meaningless schmaltz (see: Bright Young Things)or else completely rewrite the narrative to a new theme (see: Brideshead Eviscerated).

On the question of Catholic authors... there's been a decline in literary culture generally in the last 50 years, probably due to the "global village" business. The disappearance of the Catholic writer can probably be put down to a combination of that and the decline in Catholicism in the West.

There is also, of course, simply the fact that we often don't see the luminaries of a time until after their death. For a long time, people didn't treat Waugh very seriously as a writer, and some still refuse to accept that Dickens is literature.
I concur with Left-footer.

You know when things are bad when even an Archbishop downplays the gravity of mortal sin, and places it in a calm sea of good and evil.

All these platitudes, like 'it is a journey, an aim'. The effects on the ground of VII, or the 'spirit of VII' as interpreted by most in the Church, were effects of rupture. Mortal sin ruptures our relationship with God. The only remedy is Confession.

So many are under the Archbishop's influence. He needs to be clear, charitable, yes, but truthful and faithful to the Gospel.
Left-footer said…
Pachcomius - glad you mentioned Hell - it has to do with the suggestion by Lawrence that the loss of a sense of mortal sin has meant the end of the catholic novel.

So the Archbishop's remarks are months old - so what? They have not been retracted, as far as we know, and they lie around to influence the unwary.

Please choose words carefully. I didn't gibber, but wrote.

And as it happens, I posted on this subject on my blog, about an hour ago.

God bless!
Jacobite said…
I haven't seen the original film, but Greene thought it was good. "I think it is the first time I have seen one of my books on the screen with any real pleasure." After watching the trailer, I don't think that this new version it's going to be an improvement: Pinkie and Rose are much older (in the book they are around 17), the action has been moved to the 60s, the "fish and chips" atmosphere seems to have disappeared, and I do not think that they are going to get "the Catholic thing" right.

This is what Graham Greene said to the director of the film of the 40s: "I am very pleased at the way in which Rattigan has tried to keep the central theme of the book: that is to say, the difference between Ida who lives in a natural world where morality is based on Right and Wrong, and the boy and Rose who move in a supernatural world concerned with good and evil, but I feel this is sometimes a little over-emphasised (a small example is the play on the name of the horse Satan Colt), and in a more important place under-emphasised- that is to say I think somehow we ought to insert in the film after Pinkie's death the notion expressed in the book by the anonymous priest in the confessional of "the appaling strangeness of the mercy of God".

And this is what Greene has to say about a stage production of Brighton Rock: "The removal of the last scene -& the priest's speech about- "the appaling strangeness of the mercy of God" - makes the play more than ever pointless. Has this been removed in order to shorten the play - a case of Hamlet being shorter without the Prince of Denmark? We must have an explanation about this - I made an explicit condition of approving the script that the ending should be unchanged - & I am quite prepared to seek an injuction if I am not satisfied with Linnit's explanation".

I might be completely wrong, but I bet that one of the changes in the new film will be the ending. There will be no priest telling Rose in the confessional: "You can't conceive, my child, nor can I or anyone the... apalling... strangeness of the mercy of God".

At least, the film will mean that more people read the book.

Sorry for my bad English.