A respected Catholic commentator has criticised the sympathetic treatment given to abortion in the Oscar-winning movie `The Cider House Rules'.
   The film, which won Oscars for Michael Caine as best supporting actor and for writer John Irving's screenplay, has earned nearly $A82 million in nearly four months at the box office and was still in the weekly top 10 thanks in part to its seven Oscar nominations.
   Fr Paul W. McNellis SJ, writing in the 1 April issue of America magazine, said The Cider House Rules can be 'a coming-of-age experience for the abortionist'. He explained its message: 'To become a real man, just say yes to abortion'.
   Fr McNellis, a professor of social ethics and political philosophy at the Gregorian University in Rome, said that in a 'healthy' society, there is spontaneous revulsion to incest, cannibalism and murder.
   "But when such a reaction becomes sufficiently atrophied, then the time has arrived for a major studio (Miramax) to offer us a celebration of the compassionate abortionist and his apprentice as part of an evening's entertainment."
   The US Catholic Conference Office for Film and Broadcasting classified The Cider House Rules O -- morally offensive -- due to 'its positive treatment of illegal abortions, references to incest, murderous and suicidal behavior, drug abuse, a fleeting sexual encounter and brief nudity.'
   Irving, who wrote the novel which he adapted for the screen, thanked Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League in his Oscar acceptance speech on Monday.


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