Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Romancing Vampires?

Recently we have seen a tremendous stpatincrease in interest in vampires in contemporary culture.  Particularly the four Twilight series vampire-themed fantasy romance novels by American author Stephenie Meyer, and their movie spinoffs The Twilight Saga (film series).

A recent newswire reports,  “many religious scholars see the vampire as a mirror of Christianity. He is Christ's evil twin, stealing ideas and imagery from the faith's miraculous tale and twisting them into a sinister parable.” 

The Church has consistently treated the existence of vampires as superstitious folklore. In pagan environments such as early fifth century Ireland we read that, “A Christian who believes that there is a vampire in the world . . . ” is to be anathematized (Canons of the Synod of Patrick, 16). 

On the other hand, if we move to the realm of fantasy, the Catholic Church embraces the visual and literary arts.  It is not that fantasy is condemned but that a particular fantasy may contain elements which are contrary to the dignity of the human person.  In the case of modern vampire books and movies they may be demeaning to women or contain violent or deviant sexual fantasies.  Are the themes in these novels what you want your teenage daughters meditating on?

Recently in 2009, Monsignor Franco Perazzolo, of the Vatican, Pontifical Council of Culture condemned the vampire movie New Moon.  He is reported to have said, “This film is nothing more than a moral vacuum with a deviant message and as such should be of concern.”  Msgr. Perazzolo is not condemning all fantasy or even vampires specifically but the moral qualities of this specific film.  Though I must admit it is hard to the see the positive moral qualities of vampires. :)  The anti-mirror of Christ is Satan in Christian tradition.  We must not, of course, confuse God and creature, as to their being and stature, as if they were somehow equals.  God is infinite in power, while Satan is limited and a creature.

On the Feast of St. Margaret of Scotland,


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