The famous American actor Shia LaBoeuf converted to Catholicism by dint of playing Padre Pio in an upcoming Hollywood film. Shia, very versatile, started as a kid in the cult Holes. Holes in the desertthen he has starred in many prominent films, including Fury with Brad Pitt and the saga Transformersand we also remember the young Indiana Jones ne The crystal skulls. An equally tumultuous life, like many of his colleagues, amidst drugs and various disorders, he says he was electrocuted on the road to Damascus just as, having to interpret the pre-conciliar saint, he was learning to say the old mass in Latin.
He should assume Gelasius the Mime as patron, a singular martyr of the Roman era who was hired by Diocletian precisely to mock Christian rites on stage: only that, having emerged from the water after the parody of baptism, the Mime, to the amazement of the public, he declared himself a Christian; he didn’t even know how it had happened, but that baptism, albeit fake, had transformed him suddenly. Enough to face martyrdom serenely. Shia thus joins the not small group of important Hollywood actors who are believing and practicing Catholics, on which Mel Gibson, Mark Wahlberg and Gary Sinise excel, people from daily mass. Let’s also put Jim Caviezel, a convert in Medjugorje, and the tormented Mickey Rourke, who admitted in an interview: “… if I were not Catholic I would have already shot myself”.
Among the many (perhaps too many) who have been on screen San Francesco is still the best. But the relationship between Hollywood and conversions to Catholicism, although singular given the environment, is ancient and dates back to the myth of myths: Rudolph Valentino. Then, climbing up the branches, we arrive at Loretta Young, the beautiful woman who had to hide her papism in order not to end up in the crosshairs of the Ku Klux Klan. And not only that, because the America wasp on this was inflexible, just think of Birth of a Nation by DW Griffith that the Kkk even had it on the poster. Between Freemasonism and Old Testament Judaism (remember the biblical blockbusters in which the Romans were represented as the SS of the time) Hollywood was practicable only to those who had kept his papist baptism well hidden as something to be ashamed of, think of the witch Hedy Lamarr, Austrian.
But then the shirts somehow loosened, even though Hollywood has always been the home, if not the factory, of the politically correct of the moment, and still is. So, here is Gary Cooper who goes to be baptized by Pius XII. His daughter, still alive, she is the abbess of a cloistered monastery. Abbess also Dolores Hart, who was in a film girlfriend by Elvis Presley. And what about the American myth par excellence, John Wayne? He too converted to Catholicism, as true myths like Buffalo Bill, Sitting Bull and Kit Carson had been before him. But the fact of Shia LaBoeuf, that is a famous actor who converts after impersonating a Catholic saint, has an illustrious precedent, sir Alec Guinnes, Oscar winner for The bridge over the River Kwai and best known by younger people for being the first ObiWan Kenobi in the saga of Star Wars.
In 1955 he played Cardinal Midszenty, primate of Hungary imprisoned and tried by the Soviets after the invasion. The film was called The prisoner and, since the USSR at that time was more powerful and influential than ever, it came out with the names changed. So powerful and influential were the USSR and its snack companions that the film was rejected at Cannes and even today only a few (right-wing) cinephiles know of its existence. But Guinness had identified himself so much with that heroic cardinal that he wanted to embrace his faith. Midszenty, for the record, ended his days in Rome, sacrificed to the Vatican Ostpolitik. To return to Shia, Ostpolitik is not yet finished, given that in the clerically correct sheets and sites there is no mention of an important detail and, in the actor’s statements, explicit: what struck him was not so much Padre Pio as the ancient massthe one with latinorum that our illiterate great-grandparents knew very well.
Rino Cammilleri, August 27, 2022