- (Photo: Reuters/Stefano Rellandini)
The latest installment of the James Bond movie franchise is getting good press from an unexpected source: the Roman Catholic Church.
L'Osservatore Romano, the newspaper of Vatican City, did five articles on the soon-to-be-released "Skyfall" on Tuesday, including an interview with the latest Mr. Bond, Daniel Craig.
According to Philip Pullella of Reuters, the Catholic paper considered "Skyfall" one of the best of the 23 Bond films in large part for making the famous fictional agent with a license to kill more human.
"If anyone thinks the Vatican newspaper is still a staid broadsheet that publishes only religious news and harsh papal edicts, consider this: On Tuesday it ran not one but five articles about the new James Bond film," wrote Pullella.
"In the main article, titled '007 License to Cry,' the newspaper says the latest incarnation of the world's most famous spy is a rather good one because it makes him less of a cliché, and 'more human, capable of being moved and of crying: in a word, more real'."
This would not be the first time that a part of Christianity looked positively towards the James Bond franchise. Back in 2008, United Methodist Reverend Ben Pratt wrote a work meant to be a James Bond themed Bible study.
Entitled Ian Fleming's Seven Deadlier Sins and 007's Moral Compass, Pratt's book touched upon the allegory of the Seven Deadly Sins found in Bond author Fleming's literature.
"Here's a book that will open your eyes and fascinate you with the many guises of evil in our times. It's also a book that will usefully disturb you, as you find these evil processes at work in your own life," reads the book's description on Amazon.
"Ultimately, it's a book that will reward your efforts as you look at evil through the eyes of Ian Fleming's James Bond. Like bond, you too might be roused to take on the dragons of evil in our midst."
According to Al Stefanelli of the website "God Discussion," the apparent amity towards the Bond series is a change from how L'Osservatore Romano once regarded graphic entertainment.
"The Vatican newspaper had enough influence to cause [La Dolce Vita] to be banned in Spain until 1975, when the censoring was lifted upon the death of Francisco Franco," wrote Stefanelli.
"That was back in 1960, and the arrival of senior editor, Italian professor Gian Maria-Vian has resulted in L'Osservatore widening its horizons."
L'Osservatore Romano is the official newspaper of Vatican City and has been in publication for 151 years. It presently has a circulation of about 15,000.