Flop in America: Father Amaro Meets Protest and Prayer

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Father Amaro Meets Protest and Prayer
Prayer, protest and cancellations have marked the screening of The Crime of Father Amaro.

The highly-offensive movie The Crime of Father Amaro was supposedly a success in Mexico but it seems to be falling flat in America. Everywhere it goes it is meeting with protests, prayer and…cancellations.

The Crime of Father Amaro portrays a priest who has relations with a 16 year-old girl under a robe of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Among other objectionable scenes is one where an alley cat gobbles a Communion wafer spat on the floor by a churchgoer.

Here are the latest updates on TFP-sponsored protests nationwide:

Trendy Mall Cancels: Don’t Show Me in St. Louis

Protesters in St. Louis are proud to be Catholic.
Protesters in St. Louis are proud to be Catholic.

Local Catholics did not protest at the Frontenac Shopping Center as planned on December 13. After an intense campaign of email protests and letters, Landmark Theaters decided to cancel the showing at the trendy and crowded mall.

The film was switched to the less popular Tivoli Theater downtown. Local TFP supporters also switched locations.

“We saw firsthand how protesting is effective in generating plenty of negative publicity,” Mr. Mark Serafino of New Haven, Mo. said, “but it also says a big NO to offending God and His Holy Church.”

Over 35 protesters crowded the cold and windy sidewalk for the event. They were honored with the presence of Father Joseph Begue of St. Agatha parish. The protesters gathered under a large banner which galvanized those beneath it and made them stand tall and proud to be Catholic. As one participant observed, “When the banner was unveiled and we stood beneath it, I suddenly felt important.”

Protesters brought their own signs.
Protesters brought their own signs.

The program included the full rosary and Catholic hymns. Fox news carried the story interviewing protesters and moviegoers. Mr. Serafino estimated only twenty-five people may have attended the premier.

The protest was not without controversy, Counter-protesters would shout something vulgar or irreverent before scurrying off down the sidewalk. The most lively activity came from a young, long haired, misguided college boy who claimed to be a Catholic. When asked if, as a Catholic, the thought of having the Host spit onto the ground and devoured by a cat was offensive to him, he had no answer but to shout and scream incoherently.

Several hippy type people walked by and expressed agreement with the campaign. Protesters handed out many fliers to young curious people at the scene. The event ended with prayers and hymns and deep sense of satisfaction that local Catholics had stood tall and proud while defending the honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Holy Mother Church.

In Sacramento Downpour Redoubles Protestors Spirit
by Michael Jordan

Rain and strong winds did not keep almost 50 Catholics from joining the TFP protest of the film, The Crime of Father Amaro at the landmark Tower Theater in Sacramento, Calif. On December 15, local Catholics were even joined by a few America Needs Fatima members who drove from Los Angeles to defend the sacred honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Under pouring rain, protesters raised the 18-foot TFP standard as a signal to start the event. Young boys attending with their families stood in awe as they watched the tall red and golden TFP standard flapping in the strong wind and rain.

“Everyone naturally came under the TFP standard and huddled around it as they prayed the Rosary in the rain,” said Michael Jordan, local representative of the TFP’s America Needs Fatima campaign.

Philip Calder, a founding TFP member, traveled through a violent storm to lead the rally. “These local protests are important parts of a nationwide crusade against the movie The Crime of Father Amaro,” he said, “I believe that is why we are seeing the movie canceled in other cities.”

While most America Needs Fatima members prayed the Rosary and sang hymns to Our Lady, others distributed flyers and spoke with people leaving the nearby stores nearby. Some passersby even joined the rally. One lady rolled down her car window to take a leaflet. She said: “I still know how to pray the Rosary in Latin. I didn’t know the movie was here, but I’m glad that someone is doing something about it.”

One man was leaving the theater as a TFP volunteer handed him a leaflet against the movie. The movie-goer said: “I went in to see that movie.” The protester then asked: “Did you enjoy it?” The man said nothing, put his head down in shame and walked away.

Many people coming from the theater were surprised to see all the banners and signs outside the theater. Some came over to the protest and asked for flyers, while others drove away honking their horns and making ugly faces.

Protestors returned home tired, happy and thoroughly soaked. Their spirits were never higher, for they had stood up and defended the honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe against blasphemy. This jubilant spirit was well expressed in the words of an enthusiastic young boy who told his father “I wish we could do this everyday. I feel like we’ve been on a crusade.”

And indeed, he had.

No Time, No Problem ANF Members Turnaround Protest in 24 Hours

Lightning protest in Bakersfield turn screening into controversy.
Lightning protest in Bakersfield turn screening into controversy.

No lukewarmness there! America Needs Fatima rapid response anti-blasphemy team in Bakersfield, Calif. needed only 24 hours to prepare a full fledged protest against the blasphemous movie The Crime of Father Amaro. The film premiered December 7 at the Pacific Theater at Valley Plaza, the city’s largest mall.

America Needs Fatima volunteers only found out the time and place of the showing the morning before the event. They immediately went into fervent action preparing a rally of reparation for the next night.

On Friday morning, the volunteers divided into teams taking invitations to all the morning and noon Masses. They also got on the phones and called friends and family, urging them to come to the rally. Local radio and television stations were also advised.

News spread fast. Many expressed a great desire to come and even changed their schedule to make the last minute protest. Manuel and Elizabeth Ortega, for example, not only pledged to be at the rally, but they also called all their friends to attend, many of which are Hispanic and very devoted to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

A parishioner of St. Philip’s received an invitation at the morning Mass and emphatically said “I’ll be there!” Not all Catholics, however, were receptive. One lady, for example, from Our Lady of Guadalupe parish, handed back the invitation with disdain. “I think this needs to be known,” she said.

Ramon and Pat Diaz brought their entire family to the protest. Mrs. Diaz said: “This is the most important thing going on in Bakersfield tonight. I won’t miss it for anything.”

When all was aid and done, over 50 people turned up for the 7:00 p.m. protest. The event began with Catholic slogans in English and Spanish. The Hispanics present participated with their usual dash and gusto. The Rosary was then recited in both languages with devotion and heartfelt love. Between each mystery, participants shouted “Viva Cristo Rey!” and “Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!” growing in intensity and volume with each cry.

“We’re doing this for God and the Blessed Mother,” said Patty Gaskin, the protest coordinator. “We know He sees us and we want to please His Holy Mother.”

Reactions varied from indifference to great interest. Some teenage girls approached the demonstration with great interest, they agreed the movie was evil and joined the crowd and even knelt for the Rosary.

Towards the end of the event, security guards asked the protestors to leave the mall and continue the rally outside the mall. The protesters took advantage of this request to make a long procession from the theater to the sidewalks outside.

Once on the street, participants sang hymns and the final prayers. Our Lady’s Pilgrim Statue of Fatima was then processed back to the car.

Not happy with one protest, the following Saturday another group of ANF members and volunteers went back to the mall to continue their act of reparation.

Baltimore Rally A Phantom Protest

Local Catholics were all prepared to protest the Sunday matinee showings of The Crime of Father Amaro outside the James Theater in downtown Baltimore the December 15. The only problem was there were no showings.

The 2:30 rally was cancelled when five of the six showings were suddenly cancelled. Only a late 9:30 p.m. showing remained.

The above protests were among many coordinated by supporters of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) with its America Needs Fatima campaign. Nearly 80,000 Catholics have been asked to sign and send protest postcards to the film’s American distributor.

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