One of the reasons the "Twilight" phenomenon is frightening has little to do with vampires, and more to do with the fierce passion of it's devotees. Good Catholics whom I respect have come at me, hammer and tongs, excoriating me for my negativity about the series, in a way which surprises even me, a veteran of the perenially unpopular pro-life movement.
I knew that I was taking an unpopular stand with my review, but even on this lonely island I have created for myself, there are some friends.
Fr Larry Gearhardt, author of Eyes of Faith, has quoted my review from "Catholic Online" in agreement. Thank you, Father, your solidly orthodox opinion means more to me than mere popularity. Now I can take a beating knowing that I just might be right to warn people about this series which has commandeered the imagination of our young women.
Editor Tom Hoopes has this quote of Steve Greydanus' review of the Twilight Series on the website of the National Catholic Register.The virtues claimed for the story are chiefly respect for family and abstinence — in this case the vampire’s abstinence from consuming the blood of the girl.
Greydanus makes the good point that
“vampirism makes a sickly, twisted metaphor for sexuality. Nothing like mutual complementarity can exist between humans and vampires — at least, not without completely rewriting vampire nature somehow. Vampires have nothing to give and everything to take; humans have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Humans may complete vampires, but vampires don’t complete humans, any more than a lion completes an impala.”
In the end, Hoopes decides his 15 year old daughters will stick with Austen.
Good dad, that Tom Hoopes!
Fr Z chimes in on this debate, praising the excellent reviews of Spes Unica, with some fascinating links in the comments.
Catholic fiction writer Michael O'Brien has some comments on the Harry Potter series which apply here.
"Books and films which three generations ago would have been instantly recognized as unhealthy for our children, are now considered acceptable, and those who oppose them alarmist or “hysterical.” Why is this so? Why are threats (recognized for thousands of years as real threats) to our children’s well-being now being interpreted as harmless? To what degree have our judgments been influenced by the pagan worldview — possibly affected to the core? To what degree have we mistaken the assimilation by paganism for legitimate inculturation? What, precisely, is a legitimate adaptation of non-Christian culture? Can we really “baptize” the symbols and activities of the realm of darkness (vampires)without negative effects? These are particularly urgent questions, because we are no longer the early Christians cleansing a classical pagan temple and consecrating it as a church. We are “Late Western Man,” to use C. S. Lewis’s term, and we are in the midst of a social revolution that is assaulting the truly sacred and degrading it at every turn. "
Fr Euteneuer, on his recent interview with Raymond Arroyo on "The World Over" predicted an upsurge in exorcisms in the next ten years, thanks to books lik e"Harry Potter" and "Twilight". Here are some comments he made on this subject.