Sunday, December 6, 2009

A couple of weeks ago Twitter was aghast at a statement made by the Vatican's Monsignor Franco Perazzolo, of the Pontifical Council of Culture. This week Gil Birmingham who plays 'Billy Black' in the Twilight series weighed in on the controversy in an exclusive interview with's Twitter Entertainment Examiner.

"The theme of vampires in Twilight combines a mixture of excesses that as ever is aimed at young people and gives a heavy esoteric element. It is once again that age-old trick or ideal formula of using extremes to make an impact at the box office. This film is nothing more than a moral vacuum with a deviant message and as such should be of concern." ~ Monsignor Franco Perazzolo, Pontifical Council of Culture, The Vatican

According to the Pontificium Consilium de Cultura website, The Pontifical Council of Culture directly assists the Pope in the matter of addressing pop culture issues as well as other matters involving religious indifference and unbelief. The site states in part:

The Pontifical Council for Culture is that department (Dicastery) of the Roman Curia which assists the Pontiff in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the benefit and service of the universal Church and of particular Churches concerning the encounter between the saving message of the Gospel and cultures, in the study of the weighty phenomena of ; the rift between the Gospel and cultures; indifference in matters of religion; unbelief.

Birmingham provided this response:

I have not read the entire press release from Monsignor Franco Perazzolo, only quotes in articles, and I’m always reluctant to comment on things without reading the original statement in its entirety.
However, if the statements are correct and not published out of context, it would appear that the Monsignor and the Catholic Church have failed to look past the stereotype of Vampires and Werewolves, and have missed some very important themes in the film, such as true love, friendship, acceptance of all people (even Vampires and Werewolves) for who they are, pain and dealing with grief, immortality and the loss of soul.
These are literary concepts that show up in literature throughout the ages. It is a love story between two characters from two warring tribes. Shakespeare called them Montagues and Capulets; Stephenie Meyers calls them Cullens and Blacks (and humans).



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