by Michael dEstries
Categories: Film/TV
Tags: , .


In an attempt to remain hip, the Vatican has rendered its verdict on James Cameron’s mega-blockbuster Avatar — and they pretty much say it sucks. In fact, if there was a Regal Cinema in heaven, they’re quite confident the latest Kirk Cameron film would be playing instead.

The main criticism is that the film weakens the idea of a God in heaven by instead promoting the worship of nature — specifically, a giant tree.

L’Osservatore said the film “gets bogged down by a spiritualism linked to the worship of nature.” Along the same lines, Vatican Radio said it “cleverly winks at all those pseudo-doctrines that turn ecology into the religion of the millennium.”

“Nature is no longer a creation to defend, but a divinity to worship,” the radio said.

Taking a different approach, Bolivian’s President Evo Morales has praised Avatar for what he calls “its message of saving the environment from exploitation.”

And truly, that’s what most people will take away from this film — an appreciation of the beauty of the environment, it’s fragility, and the threats against it. I doubt many will burn their bibles and start worshiping trees. But if they DO, we have a pretty good idea of what will be playing in their heavenly cinema.

Sorry, Kirk Cameron.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • beforewisdom

    In the picture above the Pope looks like the character of Senator Palpatine in the Star Wars movie series, who eventually becomes the evil emperor and master of the “dark side”

    • Christine

      What you just witnessed was a real-life shapeshifting abomination of a Man with Reptoid DNA merged into his system at the genetic level. These abominations are amongst us today(!)

      The movie “AVATAR” was acting almost like a giant T.V. commercial of sorts to eventually introduce the existence of these cross genetic “Alien like creatures” to our society in the form of what they term “DISCLOSURE”

      It will be a false report of ” Alien Life” here to save us from ourselves, or something to that effect.
      -A complete and utter deception of massive proportions is coming, and people had better wake up.

      What you have just witnessed, if you have read this report since Part 1. of this study, was the real life XO-GENESIS of James Cameron’s satanic Avatar vision.

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  • Rad_Rosa89

    What’s wrong with loving nature and all the creatures it produces?

    Nothing at all, but then again that’s because I have no religion.

  • D

    I read the L’Osservatore’s review and I don’t think it’s quite as scathing as some of their other reviews of recent films. Catholic newspapers have been reviewing movies for a while and they’ve positively reviewed other eco-friendly films and documentaries in the past.

    I’m not worried about tree worship but I kind of agree with the rest of their lukewarm review. The visuals were fantastic, but IMHO, the story was just meh. I got the eco-message, but I got it when I watched FernGully too.

    And a side note, I doubt they’d be playing Kirk Cameron’s films in the Vatican’s version of heaven’s movie theater considering Kirk doesn’t think Catholics are actually Christians and Catholics are among those “Left Behind” in all his movies. Trust me, you’re more likely to see LOTR or the original Star Wars trilogy on repeat (I went to Catholic school and had to watch the Star Wars movies as part of my religion classes…)


  • Juan

    No disrespect to the pope, but I of Mayan dessendence of Mexico and we have been worshiping nature and its gifts to us, it was passed down to me. I do beleive in god and jesus, but sounds to me like the pope is also doing some of his attacking on other cultures. Most Indiginous people worship nature.

  • Andrea

    Is it really the Vatican commenting on it or just the Vatican media? Or is there even a distinction? Interesting though.

    • D

      It’s not the actual Vatican – it’s a Vatican newspaper, similar to a newspaper that someone would get locally regarding their county’s church issues. It has no bearing on church teaching or anything. Typically it will have reviews of the big movies that are released coming from a Catholic perspective. So, for example, they reviewed the 1st Harry Potter movie and gave it a big thumbs down but when the most recent HP movie came out it got a thumbs up. I doubt the Pope has ever even seen any of the movies.

  • Wendy Zajac

    What a sad thing to come out in the press. Has the church truly separated God from everything else? I believe God is everywhere, in all things, most definitely in nature. Much more so than in a manmade building. Man cannot replicate the perfect beauty of nature. Only a Higher Being could possibly do that. Has the pope been having issues of mental fatigue or something? Come on! Open your eyes and your heart…for God’s sake!! Most humans put God in a place called heaven instead of directly in our every day lives. The Na’vi place their God in a tree, but still refer to the energy as intangible/all around. HELLO!!!!!
    Avatar is an amazing movie and just what this planet needs right now. Could it be that the pope feels that a movie like this might make his followers see that they can have a relationship with God WITHOUT having to go directly through the church? Hmmmmmmm. Something to think about…..
    I have always felt closer to my God when I’m out in nature than any time I have ever been in a man made building.

    • Ivette R

      I wonder what the Vatican would think of the book called
      “The Shack”!! I loved AVATAR and like you I see and feel the presence of God in everything NATURE unlike within concrete walls.

  • Rosa Close

    The Pope wears fur, so what else to expect?

  • NMilluminati

    My church is the wind and the rain and the seasons. His is some old building and a bunch of old people.

    • el_secretario


  • stuff

    In the ancient pagan world, tree-worship and fire-worship was the very essence of life. Everything revolved around it and it actually enslaved people; so much so, that it often included the extremes of ritual human sacrifice, from the Carthaginians (small children) and Canaanites to the Seminoles (first born babies, again) and the Mayans. In the nature worship system, humans (eventually) become diminished to the level of the fodder for the belief in the regenerative cycle of nature and thus forced to sacrifice something for its perpetual existence, even itself.
    To read what Jehovah-God thinks about such things, read the book of Jeremiah (especially Chapter 10) and how much He despises the honoring of such behavior.

  • dayofwrath

    On that Day and it is near some people are going to curse the day that their mothers bring them to this world.To James Cameron it would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.

  • VeggieTart

    If you believe in a god (and I don’t), then worshiping nature is worshiping your god’s creation. I haven’t seen “Avatar” yet, so I can’t comment too much, but I really think the Vatican needs to chill. Nature is a lot more real than the pope’s god.

  • bitter old man

    Arguing with people that invoke deific aprobation to justify their parochial beliefs is a lost cause. By definition, these people have placed belief in their deity above reason; therefore, they will not accept reason if it does not support or reinforce their beliefs.

    I do wish, however, that they would all go back to Tennessee or wherever and await for their Rapture there, and stop annoying the crap out of the rest of us. Geez, it’s just a movie, people!