The Osservatore Romano is captivated by Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings

Source: FSSPX News


In an article published February 26, the Vatican daily praised the work of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973), whose second part entitled “The Two Towers” has been recently brought to the big screen. “The roots of such a creation which, beyond its seductive enchantment, causes to shine forth a meaning more profound than is immediately obvious, are not always understood”, the newpaper wrote.

The roots of this three-part work “The Lord of the Rings”, according to L’Osservatore Romano, are to be found in the person of its author Tolkien. Through “a mind which was balanced, cultivated, animated with an admirable sense of humor and in which lush fantasy was joined to the most lucid rationality”, Tolkien “echoed the Gospel”, explains the author of the article.

For the Vatican daily, “the world of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ fantastic as a projection of the real world, where men are disturbed by passions, animated by emotions, slaves of egoism, but open to values – friendship, loyalty, generosity, love – which are stronger than the will to power which devastates man”.

The article qualifies the work of Tolkien as a “kind of theology”. “It speaks beyond the characters, images and signs”, it concludes. “When the Faith animates thought and life, there is no need to make specific allusion to it: it shines out everywhere.”

It is regrettable that the author of the article does not evoke the marked difference between the written work of Tolkien and its modern transposition to the screen – according to what we have been told. We will not undertake a study of the work of Tolkien here, which is certainly not devoid of interest – even though the underlying theology is not always evident. Nevertheless, we can affirm plainly that the spirit of the film does not correspond to that of Tolkien. We have before us two works, which are different in spirit and in effect. The current means of cinematic representation of evil are such that the work is choked and thus falsified by them, searching for an expression approaching the “bewitched” spirit of Harry Potter.