The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


“Are Horror Films Catholic?” Loftus Lecture off to a thrilling beginning with Sister Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.

As summer comes to an end and the wind begins to chill, horror films are in the public’s interest. This past Wednesday, Gannon hosted the first Loftus Lecture featuring Sister Rose Pacatte, F.S.P. to help answer the question, are horror films catholic? Or are they just trying to scare the hell out of us? 

Gannon hosted Sister Pacatte in Yehl ballroom where many students’ faculty and staff waited for the input from the award-winning film journalist.  

Everyone took their seats, and Dr Eric S. Dart, chairperson and professor of the Philosophy and Theology Department, begun the lecture with a welcome to all. Stating that the Loftus Lectures have brought awareness and learning to Gannon for decades.  

Dale Hyland, Philosophy Major, and Seminarian of the Diocese of Greensburg led the hall in an invocation, “Please watch over us and guide us and allow us to enjoy the great insights that will be shared with us.” 

Story continues below advertisement

Emily Muntean, Assistant Director of Campus Ministry, had the honor to introduce Sister Pacatte, she gave a background of Sister Rose and all her accomplishments thus far. Including her journeys to various countries and communities across the globe to share her wisdom and guidance with others.  

“In Sister Rose our readers have a champion of the kind of story saying that moved humanity forward…Finding God in the media we consume every day.”  

 Her first topic on the media portraying or more accurately not portraying Catholicism begins with a conversation she had in Mexico City at the international premier of the film, ‘The Nun,’ with the director of the film itself. She stated that it was so thin on Catholicism and had asked if had research was done or if he had just watched all the other exorcism movies. To her question he replied just all the other exorcism movies.  

Many directors of horror films, as Sister Pacatte explains, disregard the knowledge and the truth when producing these films. They take the quick and easy route to ensure that they can get the big bucks without thinking of how it might affect the communities it reaches.  

The topic that Sister Pacatte complains about the most with horror is that they go the easy route by taking suicide as a way for the devil to come in because the church had condemned suicide but as of 1940 the church lifted that and has further clarified its teaching on mercy and no longer punishing the dead for the end of their life. Movie creators are still using that trope, she points out especially with the new film, ‘The Popes Exorcist.’ 

This has brought a shadow over the church by making viewers believe that the church condemns those who commit suicide which is far from the truth. 

However not all horror films function this way, Sister Pacatte mentions that the movie the Exorcist gave a proper portrayal of the Catholicism and extensive research was clearly done.  

“What scares us most is what we see but also what we don’t see and what we hear.” 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All comments will be reviewed for language before published on the website.
All THE GANNON KNIGHT Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *