Pure Flix aims to bring ‘culture of Christ’ to the film industry

David A. R. White and Michael Scott fell in love with movies at Church. Both grew up as pastor’s kids (or PKs as Scott likes to call it) and had regular movie nights at their respective churches, enjoyable nights that brought the whole community together.

Frank Underwood just dissed God. Would a real president do that?

All presidents beseech God to bless the United States of America. Many pray for divine aid for themselves or their policies. Some can only wonder at the inscrutable ways of the Almighty.

Then there’s Frank Underwood, who spits in God’s face.

Not just pretty pictures: Church art is catechetical storybook of faith

VATICAN CITY - Having so much world-famous art housed in Rome's churches and chapels has risked turning the city's sacred spaces into sightseer circuses. A hushed prayerful atmosphere for the faithful is often broken by clicking cameras and tourists exchanging guidebook details.

Comic-book reissue of St. John XXIII's life improves on the original

NEW YORK - Forget the Avengers. The coolest Marvel-related character this year is Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, better known to the world as St. John XXIII.

Higgins the scholar is undoubtedly a Merton fan

The Unquiet Monk, Thomas Merton’s Questing Faith, by Michael Higgins (Novalis, 126 pages, $14.95).

Heroes matter. Which is not to say that our heroes define us. Superman has many admirers, but few who fly or fight crime. Despite the ways each of us falls short, every hero we admit into our personal halls of fame, whether starting pitcher or saint, gives us an opportunity to aspire as well as admire.

Romero biography suffers through identity crisis

Oscar Romero: Love Must Win Out by Kevin Clarke (Novalis, 164 pages, softcover, $14.95).

The life and death of Archbishop Oscar Romero raises questions as relevant to Catholics today as they were when Romero’s native El Salvador was struggling through years of violence and injustice. How and when should Church officials take sides in the political affairs of nations? What brings a person of privilege to a radical change of heart? How can such a person come to be in solidarity with the poor?

Oscar's got nothin' on us: The real best movies, family films of 2014

NEW YORK - The year just past saw the release of a number of films whose celebrated cinematic quality was not matched by moral merit.

Lent is about spiritual commitment to Christ

Sacred Journey: Daily Reflections for Lent 2015. By Krystyna Higgins. (Novalis. 49 pages. $2.50).
40 Days, 40 Ways: A New Look at Lent. By Marcellino D’Ambrosio. (Servant Books, an imprint of Franciscan Media. 127 pages. $14.99). Sacred Silence: Daily Meditations for Lent. By Phyllis Zagano. (Franciscan Media. 132 pages. $9.99).

Lent is upon us and it’s time to make some room for change. This year, will Lent pass us by as little more than 40 days of good intentions or will it become a life-changing journey? These three books remind us that it’s not enough to give up chocolate or some other vice — although sacrifice does have its place. Authors Krystyna Higgins, Marcellino D’Ambrosio and Phyllis Zagano remind us each in their own way that Lent is about renewing our spiritual commitment to Christ and hopefully going deeper and maturing in our relationship with Him.

Fifty Shades of Grey 'direct assault' on marriage, morality

WASHINGTON - The new movie Fifty Shades of Grey is "a direct assault on Christian marriage and on the moral and spiritual strength of God's people," Cincinnati's archbishop told pastors in his archdiocese.

Ewan McGregor pulls off a convincing Jesus in ‘Last Days in the Desert’

PARK CITY, Utah - Publishers discovered a long time ago that Jesus sells magazines, so it should be no surprise that one of the hottest tickets here at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival was the premiere of “Last Days in the Desert,” directed by Rodrigo Garcia and starring Ewan McGregor as both Jesus and Satan.

‘Troublemaker’ Hughes finally gets her due

Radicals and deviants have to fight their way into the history books. Ninety years after her death, Katherine Hughes is finally winning that battle.

The revolution of the pill: controversial to this day

The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution by Jonathan Eig (W. W. Norton & Company, 409 pages, $32.95 in print, $16.05 on Kindle).