I haven’t read the book yet, but the movie was profoundly anti Catholic. I can’t believe there are so many Catholics who are saying it is good. A lot of historical inaccuracies. For example the type of torture employed in the movie was never done by the Church. When “torture” (again not the devices used by secular authorities which are the ones which are always portrayed) was used it could not exceed 15 minutes, it could not cause gross bodily harm, and only rarely was someone allowed to be subjected to such enhanced interrogation methods more than twice. In fact the rules set by the Church were more severe for the Inquisition than the rules set by the U.S. Government in its war on terror, and the reason why the Church employed them was far more of an important than just protecting people’s material lives from terrorists. So whether you agree with the U.S gov’s use of enhanced interrogation methods or not, understand the Church used even less drastic means and this occurred in a different age when secular authorities really were using the awful torture devices you see in movies like The Name of the Rose.
Now that is not to say that secular powers didn’t co-opt their local inquisitions, but never by an Inquisition under the direct authority of the Vatican as the movie portrays.
In fact it suggests that if one gets in trouble with the Inquisition enlightened secular emperors may be able to help if they have the power. In reality the situation was reversed. The original Inquisition was set up to give people some protection from secular authorities and mob violence. The worst Inquisition the one that everyone thinks of when they think of Catholic abuses was the Spanish Inquisition, however even here the abuses were all carried out at the behest of the State and not the Church.
But we all know that if a lie is repeated enough times it starts to take on the weight of truth, and this movie is yet one in a long line of Hollywood’s frequent and incessant repetition of such lies. Implanting into people on an unconscious level a predisposition to hold a bias that then allows them to go and swallow even bigger lies directed at the Church without resistance.
I focus on the Inquisition but there are many other falsehoods subtlety portrayed in this movie, such as the Church really having nothing better to do than sit around an argue about whether Jesus “owned the clothes on his back” while the populace starved. All of these are modern myths and falsehoods. Lies that have been repeated enough for long enough that people are too comfortably convinced they are true to investigate the reality for themselves.
The Church has never been against reason or laughter, and Scholastic theologians didn’t really sit around an argue how many angels could fit on the head of a pin. In fact I would assert that laughter and reason are the most Christian things in the world and one only finds their deepest effect in the Church. Any Catholic who believes this film is good just demonstrates how little they know of our faith and should get better Catechized.
I know Umberto Eco is an atheist himself but he is also an historian so I am interested to see if themes were as prevalent in his book as they were in the movie or if Hollywood added their anti-Catholic perspective to more balanced and historically accurate book.
Evil is allowed in the world by lukewarm Catholics, and it so it was so terribly sad to reminded exactly how many lukewarm “Catholics” there are in the world. Why are so many Catholics so completely ignorant of their own faith?