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Vatican Calls The Blues Brothers “Catholic”

June 18, 2010 - 7:08 AM | by: Greg Burke

The Vatican newspaper has celebrated the 30th anniversary of the release of The Blues Brothers by calling it a “Catholic” film.

The John Landis film has a bit of a cult following in Italy, which may part of the reason the paper, the Osservatore Romano, decided to single it out.

The movie stars John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as Jake and Elwood, both of them on a “mission from God.”

They have to get their rhythm and blues band back together for a benefit concert to save the Catholic orphanage they grew up in.

The Blues Brothers doesn’t appear especially spiritual on first glance, and is more of a musical comedy. The music is extraordinary (or is that heavenly?) with the likes of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and James Brown belting them out.

The film is a blast, with Belushi at his best, but why is it Catholic? It’s a far cry from The Ten Commandments or The Passion.

“Of course it’s Catholic,” said one Vatican official. “It’s two guys saving a Catholic orphanage and being chased by a bunch of Nazis. What could be more Catholic than that? It’s just a different kind of Catholic than The Passion.”

The Osservatore argues that The Blues Brothers deals with the theme of the prodigal son – Jake has just been let out of jail – and of “redemption obtained by sacrifice.”

The newspaper notes how Elwood “even renounces an adventure with a fascinating young woman (played by Twiggy) for the mission from God.” Sacrifice indeed, as the Bluesmobile speeds by the lovely model so Jake and Elwood can make the tax payment in time to save the orphanage.

While the paper may be stretching the Catholic angle a bit, one of the most celebrated songs from The Blues Brothers is “Everybody Needs Somebody (to Love)” and in Catholic theology, God is Love.

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