To add to their use of napkins (see my post for a definition) at high-profile events like Corpus Christi processions, the débacle of hosting the launch for Jeffrey Archer's so-called Gospel of Judas, and then the kerfuffle over Taverner's 99 Beautiful Names, they now add another faux pas.
The sequel to the awful film Elizabeth is due out later this year. It will be screened in Canada in September, and over here some time after that. Elizabeth was bad enough: the myths about "good" Queen Bess were perpetuated and a whole bunch of lies about the Catholic Church (including the presentation of a Jesuit priest as a murderous assassin) were presented as absolute fact. The sequel, called The Golden Age, promises to be even worse: it continues with the idea that the Catholic martyrs of the Reformation period were all bloodthirsty murderers, and asserts that the Armada was bringing the Spanish Inquisition along with it (with the implication that this would be a bad thing...)
And now for the rub: they couldn't use the Escorial (not entirely sure why... perhaps the Spanish felt rather more strongly about the lies being perpetuated by the film) so they needed to find a suitable "stand-in." And yes, they picked Westminster Cathedral...
Monsignor Langham actually seems to be pleased about this. And he can't plead ignorance of what was going to be portrayed in the film. The post on his own blog, Solomon, I Have Surpassed Thee, makes this quite clear...
"The trailer is now available; from it one gleans a thrilling, if distorted, version of historical events, and it does appear to perpetuate the myth of 'killer priests'. However, it does look spectacular and evocative, and is a 'must see' for the autumn!"
Oh, right... it distorts the truth and brings the Catholic priesthood into further disrepute among ordinary non-Catholics who don't actually know any history and believe everything they hear on the BBC and read in the papers... but if it's a good film, then it doesn't matter... oh, well, that's okay then...!
Twitch of the mantilla to Carpe Canum.