ITV Sunday Night Theatre: Season 6, Episode 9

Catholics (29 Nov. 1973)
"ITV Saturday Night Theatre" Catholics (original title)

TV Episode  |  Not Rated  |   |  Drama
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 260 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 1 critic

In the near future, the Catholic church has joined with other western religions in an ecumenical movement that has washed out much of the original message of the religion. A group of Irish ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
The Abbot
Father General
Father Kinsella
Father Manus
Andrew Keir ...
Father Matthew
Godfrey Quigley ...
Father Walter
Brother Kevin
Brother Donald
Seamus Healy ...
Brother Pius
John Kelly ...
Brother Paul
John Franklyn ...
Brother Martin
Patrick Long ...
Brother Sean
Cecil Sheridan ...
Brother Malachy
Tom Jordan ...
Father Terrence
Liam Burk ...
Brother Daniel


In the near future, the Catholic church has joined with other western religions in an ecumenical movement that has washed out much of the original message of the religion. A group of Irish monks have begun saying the mass again in Latin and have begun to have an international following. Martin Sheen is sent from Rome to bring them to task and they must confront what is truly essential in their worship and what is not. Written by John Vogel <>

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Riveting for believers, half-believers and unbelievers alike [Video Australia]




Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

29 November 1973 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Featured in The Lonely Passion of Brian Moore (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Changing the language of the Mass ... Hmm, it's all Greek to me.
23 February 2010 | by (the Bay Area) – See all my reviews

Things Change ... Even within the Church.

From ancient times, the Mass had been recited in Latin. This way, no matter where in the world you are, a Catholic can go into any Church and KNOW the Mass.

Then came the so-called Vatican 2 (ending in the mid-60's). Among the list of reforms, was changing the language in which the Mass is recited. NOW, the rule became: The Mass will be recited in the vulgar tongue of the country where that Mass is celebrated.

So 45 years ago the Latin Mass died, because NO country in the world has Latin as its native tongue.

This is the setting of "Catholics." However, in this movie, several other reforms were also invoked (which it is just better to not discuss, and I wish were left out of the movie).

So, there is a group of monks who are still performing the Mass in Latin. The Pope is not going to allow this disobedience to continue. Martin Sheen (priest) is dispatched to lay the law down on these rebels.

The simple monks are living their difficult life (as they have for many years), and surely do not want to end the Latin Mass.

I enjoyed this slow-moving movie, generally. My heart bled for those monks, and their harsh surroundings. It left me with some sort of feeling like I knew what it would be like to live in a repressive society.

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