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Steven Greydanus on “Call Me By Your Name”

Novus Ordo Deacon gives Cheery Review of Movie that glorifies Sodomy

Steven D. Greydanus is a name that is probably familiar to most who have been dabbling in the “conservative” American wing of the Vatican II Sect for a few years. A permanent Novus Ordo deacon in Orange, New Jersey, Greydanus is married and has seven children.

The biography posted at Catholic Answers tells us the following about “Deacon” Greydanus:

Steven D. Greydanus is the creator of the Decent Films Guide, Steven is film critic for the National Catholic Register and writes regularly for Christianity Today, Catholic World Report and other venues. He is a member of Online Film Critics Society.

Steven has contributed several entries to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, including “The Church and Film” and a number of filmmaker biographies. He has also written about film for the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy.

His work has appeared in Image Journal, Our Sunday Visitor, This Rock and elsewhere. He has also written for the Office of Film and Broadcasting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and

Steven co-hosts the cable TV show Reel Faith (NET TV) with former USCCB critic David DiCerto. Steven also appears weekly on Morning Air with Sean Herriott and the Son Rise Morning Show with Brian Patrick. He is a regular guest on Kresta in the Afternoon and Catholic Answers Live, and has contributed periodically to Life on the Rock on EWTN television.

Steven has a BFA in Media Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and an MA in Religious Studies from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, PA.

Steven is a diaconal candidate [he has since been “ordained” — N.O.W.] in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. He and his wife Suzanne have seven children.

(Source: Catholic Answers; italics given.)

With these solidly conservative/mainstream Novus Ordo credentials, you wouldn’t expect Greydanus to radiate Catholicism, but you would expect him to at least condemn a movie that glorifies homosexuality and related filth. But, as Sacred Scripture advises, “Put not your trust in princes” (Ps 145:2), much less in Modernist pseudo-deacons.

In an episode for his Reel Faith program published on Feb. 5, 2018, Greydanus reviews the recently-released movie Call Me By Your Name, which is centered on a “romance” between a teenager and his adult same-sex lover. The movie is so extremely perverted that even the USCCB — officially the “United States Conference of Catholic Bishops”, but more appropriately the “Underlings of Satan Creating Chaos for Bergoglio” — that even the USCCB has judged the flick to be morally offensive!

Written by John Mulderig, the USCCB review concludes:

The film contains a misguided outlook on human sexuality, strong sexual content, including brief graphic underage activity, aberrant acts, as well as upper female and rear nudity, a mild oath, several rough and at least one crude term. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

(We will give the source link further below, after an important disclaimer.)

The secular movie review site Kids in Mind rates movies by assigning stars from 1 to 10 in the categories of sex & nudity, violence & gore, and profanity, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest in terms of severity or frequency. Call Me By Your Name has a rating of 8 in sex and 5 in profanity. Each rating is explained and backed up with detailed descriptions of what is shown in the movie. We are going to refrain from quoting any of it is because it is too filthy.

Common Sense Media is another movie review site that uses a similar rating system, although it only assigns a maxium of 5 stars, not 10. It gives Call Me By Your Name as many as 4 out of 5 stars in the category of sex and 3 for language. And no wonder, because the description makes clear just how immoral this film really is.

And now, let’s watch the review Mr. Greydanus gives to the filthy sodomite flick Call Me By Your Name.

[Update 22-FEB-2018: This video clip is no longer found at its original location. It was removed by Greydanus after intense backlash.]

What did you think of this review? Keep in mind that this is a Reel Faith production, and Reel Faith claims to “offer a Catholic perspective on the latest Hollywood releases” (source). Did you get a Catholic perspective on Call Me By Your Name? …Didn’t think so.

Let’s go ahead now and review the review.

Greydanus’ demeanor reaches from neutral to almost gleeful. He does not give the slightest hint of a warning, much less a condemnation, of the grossly immoral content found in this motion picture but rather acts as if he were reviewing The Song of Bernadette. After gushing over the “exquisite” Italian landscape and “delectable” meals, he speaks of “attractive and often winsome” actors, which obviously include the two main actors, who play a sodomite couple. “This is a film that wants to seduce the viewer”, Greydanus says — but certainly not with any indication of warning or disapproval.

For those who might be shocked at his rather carefree way of presenting a movie that displays homosexuality as acceptable, normal, and downright beautiful, Greydanus provides immediate relief: “It’s not like Brokeback Mountain, a polemic against heteronormativity”, he assuages the concerned viewer. “…Instead, it’s a decadent ode to desire and celebration of male beauty”, the Novus Ordo deacon happily explains. So, you see, love between male and female still remains the “ideal situation”, to use Amoris Laetitia lingo. How conservative of him! And how is male and female love shown in Call Me By Your Name? As fornication, of course! Less than ideal, even according to Francis, but still fine, apparently. At least it doesn’t seem to bother “Deacon” Steve: “Self-indulgent and wish-fulfilling in the manner of countless heterosexual romance novels and cinematic equivalents, it’s also more explicit in the heterosexual encounters than the same-sex ones to avoid alienating too many straight viewers.” Isn’t that consoling! Because most people would be turned off by explicit sodomy, the movie chooses to restrict itself in its explicit content to mere fornication. Good to know — we wouldn’t want to watch anything immoral, now would we?

Let’s be clear: If this kind of a film review came from “Fr.” James Martin, it would still be outrageous, but many people would say it’s par for the course. But look at the Rev. Mr. Greydanus: He wears a St. Benedict Cross, operates the “Decent Films Guide”, works as a Novus Ordo deacon, writes for the National Catholic Register, and is considered to be part of the more conservative branch of the Novus Ordo Church.

On Feb. 7, Greydanus published a Facebook post in which he takes issue with Pewsitter‘s entirely reasonable labeling of his review as “glowing”:

So Greydanus claims that in substance his review “is simply descriptive and objective”. Sorry, Reverend Mister, but that doesn’t cut it. Reel Faith claims to review movies from “a Catholic perspective”, and there is only one thing to say for a Catholic: Stay away from this grossly immoral movie, which glorifies as beautiful a sin that is destructive to souls and cries to Heaven for vengeance; it is a mortal sin to watch it. That’s not exactly the impression one gets from Greydanus’ “Catholic” presentation, however.

The simple truth is that here one cannot be “neutral”. If reviewing movies from a Catholic perspective is to have any meaning, then Greydanus cannot simply neutrally describe things. He must condemn what ought to be condemned, especially something so manifestly gravely wicked as sodomy and explicit fornication. His failure to do so creates in the minds of his viewers an impression of approval. If he truly does not recommend that people watch this movie, he should have said so. But even simply not recommending is not enough here; it must be condemned in no uncertain terms — regardless of the beautiful landscape.

In fact, to list any beautiful aspects of the movie, such as topographical and culinary delights, is foolish, dangerous, and a typical trait of Liberalism. We are talking about souls here and their eternal salvation or damnation. Heed the wise words of Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany, whose book against Liberalism (Modernism) received the approbation of the Holy See under Pope Leo XIII. In the following excerpt, the good Fr. Sarda speaks of evil literature and heresy, but the same principles are no less applicable to evil motion pictures and immodesty/impurity:

What difference does it make whether a book be excellent in a literary sense or not, if its effect be the loss of souls and not their salvation? What if the weapon in the hands of the assassin be bright or not, if it be fatal? Though spiritual assassination be brilliant, it is nonetheless deadly. Heresy under a charming disguise is a thousand times more dangerous than heresy exposed in the harsh and arid garb of the scholastic syllogism– through which the death’s skull grins in unadorned hideousness. Arianism had its poets to propagate its errors in popular verse. Lutheranism had its humanists, amongst whom the elegant Erasmus shone as a brilliant writer. Arnauld, Nicole, Pascal threw the glamour of their belles lettres over the serpentine doublings [tricks, artifices] of Jansenism. Voltaire’s wretched infidelity won its frightful popularity from the grace of his style and the flash of his wit. Shall we, against whom they aimed the keenest and deadliest shafts, contribute to their name and their renown! Shall we assist them in fascinating and corrupting youth! Shall we crown these condemners of our faith with the laurels of our praises and laud them for the very qualities which alone make them dangerous! And for what purpose? That we may appear impartial? No. Impartiality is not permissible when it is distorted to the offense of truth, whose rights are imprescriptible [inalienable, absolute]. A woman of bad life is infamous, be she ever so beautiful, and the more beautiful, the more dangerous.

(Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany, Liberalism is a Sin, trans. and adapted by Conde B. Pallen [reprint by TAN Books, 1993], pp. 90-91; italics given; underlining added.)

Such are the clear and stern words of a real Catholic cleric, filled with a love for God and the true Faith and a zeal for souls! He is only too happy to let you know exactly where he stands, and he has no interest in advertising the delectable cuisine depicted in a movie that glorifies debauchery.

And now for the links. The following source material was used in assessing the content of this film.
CAUTION! Extremely disturbing explicit material of a sexual nature (words only / images suggestive but not explicit)

Greydanus’s review of Call Me By Your Name is reminiscent of “Fr.” John Zuhlsdorf’s endorsement of the filthy movie The Lives of Others a few years ago — and no less troubling.

True Catholics know the importance of the virtue of purity and the danger inherent in motion pictures and television. The following resources are helpful in this regard:

By the way, on its promotional page Reel Faith claims that it provides “film reviews you can have faith in.”

If only it were funny.

Image source: YouTube/Facebook (screenshots)