Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Family

Why Fear Going to Confession?
By Daniela Delvescovo

Movie Review of
The Family
Director: Luc Besson
Cast: Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianna Agron

“Some call it organized crime. Others call it family.”

The Family is a modern day Mafia movie, which follows a Mafia family after they have ratted out their mobster brothers and are placed in the Witness Protection Program. The only problem is, they have a hard time letting go of their old ways; they are on the road to exposing their true identities.

This movie is rated R, and while it is one of the tamer R-rated movies I have seen, I wouldn’t recommend it for children or younger teens. It contained a lot of violence and sexual content. Also, the language was very offensive.

Personally, I didn’t enjoy this film. I thought the plot moved too slowly and that a lot of its sexual content wasn’t needed. It was funny, and I laughed, but I don’t think it was worth the eleven dollars I spent on a movie ticket.

During the film, there were also references to the Catholic faith. During one scene, the mother of the family (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) went to the Sacrament of Confession. After her confession though, the priest had a dumbfounded look on his face, which was meant to be comedic.  Then the next time she went into the church, the priest kicked her out, saying she was “the devil”.

As an active Catholic, this scene offended me. It stereotyped us Catholics wrongly, and it contributes to the media's tendency to influence people negatively about our faith. Who knows how many people watching the film are now turned off by the idea of Confession?

A priest would never judge someone for their sins, no matter how bad they might be, because we are all sinners, and God is our only judge. The role of the priest is to lead us to forgiveness and provide us with a penance. This however, was not depicted in the film.

This leads me to my point: Sadly, many people are afraid that if they go to Confession, what happened to the mom in the film will also happen to them. The priest will look at them differently, or judge them. This is not true.

Jesus gave us Confession as he told us to help us seek forgiveness for our sins. It is a way to cleanse our souls. Priests know this and just want to help.
“Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin, all hope consists in confession; in confession there is a chance for mercy.” - St. Isidore of Seville
As St. Isidore said, Confession is a beautiful thing. It gives us a chance to seek mercy. When was your last Confession?

Questions for youth groups, families, and other small group discussions (please feel free to post comments below):

  1. Why do we go to Confession?
  2. Why do we believe we must confess our sins?
  3. When was your last Confession? How did you feel afterwards?

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