My Dear Parishioners,
There is a new movie out in theaters that I have not seen yet, but I hear that it is an important one for our times. I wouldn’t normally speak about a movie I haven’t seen yet, but I am afraid that it will quickly be removed from theaters and the opportunity will pass. The movie is called Unplanned. It is the story of Abby Johnson, a woman who had two abortions of her own and also worked for Planned Parenthood, thinking that she was doing the right thing, until she witnessed firsthand what happens during an abortion and it changed her life. The movie is rated R. In a letter in Catholic Philly, Johnson writes to explain the rating. In part she says,
“So why the R rating? For two scenes. Two scenes that the movie team was determined to re-create accurately, at my insistence, because they are important for people to see. The first is a CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) recreation of what I saw on the ultrasound screen when I assisted in the abortion procedure that convinced me of the humanity of the unborn. You will see what I saw: a baby on an ultrasound screen in black and white 2D. You will see the abortion instrument, which looks like a big straw in real life and like a dark line on the ultrasound, introduced onto the screen. You will see the baby struggle against it. You will see the baby first slowly, then quickly disappear into the instrument as it does what it is designed to do. It is important for you to know that this was a CGI recreation and NOT footage from a real abortion. But it sure looks like what I saw. I think this scene is so important for teenagers and older children to see because it tells the truth about what our culture keeps trying to insist is a “right” and a “freedom.” No one will be able to see this scene and then say they “don’t know” the truth about abortion.
The second scene that was cited as a reason for the R rating is a scene that re-creates my awful experience with the abortion pill. Ashley, the actress who plays me, did a fantastic job capturing both my physical pain and my fear. I won’t lie to you; that scene shows some blood. In real life I hemorrhaged so badly I thought I was going to die. The movie captures that without being gratuitous or gory. I think the producers walked that line well.
The rest of the film is not as intense as those two scenes. It will make you laugh, make you cringe, gasp, cry and cheer — all the things a good movie should. The difference with “Unplanned” is that it has the potential to change and save lives in the process.”
I hope you will consider seeing this important movie.
Easter is almost here. This week a group of young adults from our CCD program are presenting the Living Stations of the Cross, accompanied by music from our Contemporary Music Group, led by Mr. Bill Monaghan. The Living Stations help us to remember that Jesus truly suffered in his humanity. We have a tendency to treat the way of the cross as “a necessary evil on the way to our salvation.” We take this opportunity to recall that Jesus was not acting out some part of a Divine Play, he was a real human being and he responded to his suffering and those around him in a truly unique way, a way that has something to teach us. Our musicians and students worked hard on this presentation and I recommend making it a part of your Lenten spiritual preparation; it is a nice way to put yourself in the footsteps of Christ. The Living Stations will be on Friday, April 12th at 7:30 p.m. in the church.
God Bless You,