With no attempt to disguise his enjoyment of the movie, Greydanus describes the film as being about “the sexual awakening of a young man in Italy in the 1980s in a relationship with an older man.” The palpable, excited delight Deacon Greydanus takes in describing the pederastic film is extremely unnerving. In addition to praising the “exquisite” quality of the “bucolic Italian setting” as well as “delectable” Italian meals in the film, Greydanus even describes the actors as being “attractive.”
It is difficult to guage why a deacon of the Roman Catholic Church world deliberately use such sensuous imagery with such gusto and why he would need to comment on the good looks of the actors.
In fact, in Deacon Greydanus’s excited words, the film’s lush sensuality is a result of the director’s desire to “seduce the viewer,” something director Luca Guadagnino seems to have accomplished with Steven Greydanus.
Perhaps prepared for criticism of his review, Greydanus assures his viewers, the film is “not like Brokeback Mountain, a polemic against heteronormativity.” Thus, Greydanus protests, the film is not a politicizing of pederasty but rather an aesthetic tribute to love between a boy and a man. Greydanus assumes his viewers will be reassured that the film is a “decadent ode to desire” and a “celebration of male beauty.”
As the short video winds down, slyly smirking as if he knows some big secret, Greydanus warns that there are graphic “heterosexual” impure moments, but the gay sex scenes are toned down to “avoid alienating too many straight viewers.”
Finally, Greydanus leaves the viewer with the assurance that the movie has a positive message for young and old alike, and the director of the film wants to impart “a tolerant, seize the moment moral.”
Setting aside the fact that the carpe diem Epicurean philosophy of the film has been condemned by the Church (and all right thinking philosophers) since antiquity and even ignoring the fact that a Catholic deacon and contributor to the conservative Catholic newspaper, The National Catholic Register, is promoting a movie that endorses activity that is contrary to Catholic teaching, we should first and foremost recognize that a Catholic deacon is praising a movie that glorifies sexual acts that are often illegal due to consent laws.
Secondly, Steven Greydanus’s attempt to assure viewers that the movie is not politicized or preachy reveals the marks of the tactics of Fr. James Martin SJ, and it is sadly apparent that Deacon Greydanus is another victim of the “who am I to judge?” and “building a bridge” movement of the Francis Church. In this movement, as long as one claims that he or she is respecting “official church teaching” and has the blessing of powerful clerics, then that person can subtly promote the LGBT agenda through soft propaganda, or, in the case of Deacon Greydanus, soft pornography.
As diocese after diocese files bankruptcy and homosexual and pederast scandals continue to rock the Catholic Church, it is deeply upsetting to see a Catholic deacon promoting this behavior as “art.”