National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Russell Crowe meets Pope Francis but leaves without a 'Noah' endorsement

 | 
Vatican City

Russell Crowe, who plays the title character in the new Hollywood blockbuster "Noah," lobbied hard for a personal audience with Pope Francis. What he got Wednesday instead was a blessing.

Crowe used social media in recent weeks to try to cajole Francis to watch "Noah," which has drawn fire from religious groups that say the film takes too many liberties with the biblical story of Noah's Ark and the great flood. Crowe also asked for a private audience with the pontiff.

The Vatican's chief spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, quashed both ideas; he said Francis would not watch the film and Crowe would not be granted a private audience.

But Crowe, along with director Darren Aronofsky and some studio officials, were in the invitation-only section of St. Peter's Square on Wednesday, where they reportedly met the pope briefly and received a blessing.

"Pope Francis' comments on stewardship and our responsibility in the natural world are inspirational," Aronofsky, who was nominated for an Oscar four years ago for "Black Swan," said via social media. "When the opportunity to hear him speak (arose) ... I couldn't miss the chance to listen and learn."

Crowe called his participation in the audience "a privilege."

Some backers of the film tried to cast Wednesday's encounter as a kind of tacit endorsement for the movie, but Vatican officials made it clear that was not the case.

Still, the brief meeting is likely to draw new attention to the film, which will go into wide release March 28. It hits Italian cinemas April 10.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

September 12-25, 2014

09-12-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.