Catholic activists start petition to ban film about lesbian nun ‘Benedetta’

The film is released on Good Friday

A Catholic activist group is petitioning a cinema in Belfast for showing lesbian nun film Benedetta on Good Friday.

The film, directed by Paul Verhoeven, is based on the real-life 17th-century nun Benedetta Carlini, and is released this Friday (April 15).

“This movie is a fraud and nothing more than a blatant attack on the Catholic faith,” Damien Murphy, a spokesman for the Irish Society for Christian Civilisation told Belfast Telegraph.

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Paul Verhoeven
Paul Verhoeven at the ‘Benedetta’ press conference during the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival on July 10, 2021. CREDIT: Pool/Getty Images

Despite the film being released across Ireland and the UK this Friday, Murphy pointed at the Queen’s Film Theatre in Belfast, saying: “To launch this film on Good Friday is a calculated insult to Christians everywhere.

“And shame on the Queen’s Film Theatre in Belfast for permitting this showing at any time, but especially on this highly significant religious occasion.”

The petition, addressed directly to the film’s producer and to MUBI, the distributor, reads: “I strongly oppose and condemn your distribution and promotion of Paul Verhoeven’s film Benedetta. It offends God, and countless Catholics all over the world.”

They go on to hit out at the fact that the film “blasphemously” features “several Jesus-on-nun intense ‘make outs’”, “a statuette of Mary Most Holy used as a sex-toy”, and “voyeuristic lesbian nuns’ ‘pornography’”.

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Last year, Verhoeven hit out at critics who took aim at the sex scenes in Benedetta.

“I don’t really understand how you can really blaspheme about something that happened, even in 1625,” he said.

“You cannot change history, you cannot change things that happened, and I based it on the things that happened. So I think the word blasphemy in this case is stupid.”

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