The Cardinal


#1

Does anyone here remember the 1960’s movie, “The Cardinal”?
It was about a young priest moving up through the ranks of the hierarchy and his journey of faith

I watched it last night and there was something that caught my eye. It’s ridiculous, I know, but - here goes:
One of the “explanations” the non-Catholics have against the Church and her being “evil” and the Pope being the Anti-Christ is in the color of the garments worn by the bishops and cardinals - that being the red garments. (Harlot’s color).
I never gave it much thought before as the color red usually reminds us of the “blood of the martyrs” and is only worn at certain times and not as the main color of their garments.

A good portion of the movie was set at the Vatican and I noticed that there was ALOT OF RED being worn by the cardinals. It was the MAIN color being worn for ceremonies and official things and even the cassocks worn were red.

I usually don’t watch movies having to do with the Church / Vatican done by Hollywood or other secular groups because they tend to make the Church look as bad as possible and I get really upset at the portrayal but all in all, I didn’t find that in this movie. The teaching of the Church was given and explained correctly and I couldn’t detect much “anti stuff”, which surprised me.

Can anyone give some info on the Vatican’s use of the color red and the seemingly “over-use” of the color (at least in this movie) or was the movie just using “artistic license”?


#2

this movie?

http://cover09.cduniverse.com/MuzeVideoArt/07/203207.jpg


#3

Heck I always wanted to see that one. Was it on cable? What network?


#4

Read the book! It’s far better than the movie. :thumbsup:

I first encountered it as an impressionable Anabaptist teenager and was mezmerized by the Catholic rituals, litanies, theology and hiercharchical structures described therein. I think I can point to The Cardinal as the first push I received down the “slippery slope” to Catholicism! I was baptized into the Church several years later.


#5

[quote=maendem]Read the book! It’s far better than the movie. :thumbsup:

I first encountered it as an impressionable Anabaptist teenager and was mezmerized by the Catholic rituals, litanies, theology and hiercharchical structures described therein. I think I can point to The Cardinal as the first push I received down the “slippery slope” to Catholicism! I was baptized into the Church several years later.
[/quote]

It was a wonderful book and far better than the movie. Same with Shoes of the Fisherman. But my all time favorite is Keys of the Kingdom with Gregory Peck. Another fabulous book with really deep spiritual underpinnings is Magnificent Obsession - the movie was an absolute travesty of a wonderful book. Lloyd C, Douglas wrote with such deep understanding of “grace” as received and exercised.


#6

Hmmmm. Remember that the Church uses a lot of Latin. The English word “cardinal” is often used to mean “Of foremost importance; paramount.” Thus we speak of a “cardinal rule” or a “cardinal sin” or a “cardinal virtue.”

The word is from a Latin word that means “serving as a hinge.”

For reasons that seem lost to history, the term has also become associated with a vivid red color (the North American finch called a “cardinal” was not the source, but the object of this association).

This “red” association was not present in the Latin usage, but has become fairly common. So what color would a “cardinal” person be? Why, red, of course!

The fact that this color is ALSO associated with harlots (for completely different reasons) hardly matters. In the US, the color red is also associated with fire engines, but nobody supposes that Catholic Cardinals go out and fight fires.


#7

[quote=DavidFilmer]The fact that this color is ALSO associated with harlots (for completely different reasons) hardly matters. In the US, the color red is also associated with fire engines, but nobody supposes that Catholic Cardinals go out and fight fires.
[/quote]

Ahh, colors!

Red is also the color of wedding dresses in some Asian countries, (while Americans use white for their weddings).

MC


#8

When a priest is consecrated bishop, he is reminded by the pope or the bishop consecrating him that he is to be loyal unto the shedding of his own blood for the faith. So bishops robes are red or black w/red piping and buttons both as a sign of this and to tel them apart from other groups.

When one becomes cardinal, he also wears the royal purple - that is he becomes a prince of the church and so the “royal” color on some of his clothing.


#9

[quote=HagiaSophia]When a priest is consecrated bishop, he is reminded by the pope or the bishop consecrating him that he is to be loyal unto the shedding of his own blood for the faith. So bishops robes are red or black w/red piping and buttons both as a sign of this and to tel them apart from other groups.

When one becomes cardinal, he also wears the royal purple - that is he becomes a prince of the church and so the “royal” color on some of his clothing.
[/quote]

Just the reverse actually. The primary color for bishops is purple. The primary color for cardinals is red.

Although cassocks in the appropriate color are available and used by some - its more common to see black with piping in either purple or red. The purple or red is also the color of their zuchetto

(White, of course, is used by the Pope.)


#10

a key plot element in the movie is that the young priest’s niece got pregnant out of wedlock, had complications during delivery, and the doctors wanted to kill the baby to save the mother. the priest of course had to advise his relatives this was wrong, and they left the decision to him and the doctors berated him, but the mother died and the baby lived. This teaching was a favorite point of attack against Church moral teaching, and the debate is back today as we battle partial birth abortion.


#11

[quote=davidc2]Just the reverse actually. The primary color for bishops is purple. The primary color for cardinals is red.

Although cassocks in the appropriate color are available and used by some - its more common to see black with piping in either purple or red. The purple or red is also the color of their zuchetto

(White, of course, is used by the Pope.)
[/quote]

You’re absolutely right - I simply reversed them when I typed - grrr!


#12

**DavidFilmer ** wrote:

In the US, the color red is also associated with fire engines, but nobody supposes that Catholic Cardinals go out and fight fires.

They do!

Have you watched Cardinal Ratzinger dousing “fires” here in the U.S. recently? :smiley:

Amado


#13

a key plot element in the movie is that the young priest’s niece got pregnant out of wedlock, had complications during delivery, and the doctors wanted to kill the baby to save the mother. the priest of course had to advise his relatives this was wrong, and they left the decision to him and the doctors berated him, but the mother died and the baby lived

.

I haven’t seen the movie all the way through but I’ve read the book a dozen times–in the book, it was Stephen’s sister Mona who became pregnant and had complications and died; her daughter Regina (adopted by another sister and her husband) and thus Stephen’s niece, became an extremely talented pianist.


#14

Wow! Thanks for all the great information! Someone asked if the movie was on TV - sorry, no, it wasn’t - my husband bought the DVD. As much as he disagrees with the Catholic Church on almost everything - he loves this movie - go figure!

I never associated the color red with anything evil - it’s just that my husband is not Catholic and he takes his shots at the Catholic Church whenever he can.
Like the scene in the movie where Steven is teaching catechism to the children in the church. At the end of the lesson there was discussion on non-catholics going to heaven - whether they would or not because they were not Catholic and Steven tried to explain why they would go to heaven. Then one child asked, “then why be Catholic, Father?” At that point, my husband’s remark was “because Catholics teach salvation by deeds”. Ugh!!!

So, my question came form all the Protestant propaganda about the Pope being the Anti-Christ, etc. I figured alot of non-Catholics vehemently opposed to the church would’ve jumped on the color thing!

Sorry I haven’t answered before now, but after I posted the question I got slammed at work and still am. I just took a minute to check all your wonderful responses. Some great topics have come up in the last week and I am anxious to get time to review them all.

Thanks All!


#15

By the way - I love the fire engine reference!! Cardinal Ratzinger certainly does put out fires!

Thanks for the review on the book. I may just go get it and read it - books are always better.

Thanks again!


#16

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