Catholic media criticizes “Eat Pray Love” movie & appears to belittle Hinduism

Catholic media has been largely critical of Oscar winner Julia Roberts
starrer “Eat Pray Love” movie and in the process appeared to belittle
Hinduism concepts and symbols.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that
we were all looking for the truth. Instead of condescending dismissal and
highlighting flaws of others, we should learn from each other through
dialogue in our shared quest for truth, and thus come nearer to the truth.

"America" Magazine from New York, which calls itself “The National Catholic
Weekly”, wrote about “Eat Pray Love” movie: “It is potentially dangerous.
It will exploit the common desire among women for the diligent joy which
Gilbert so beautifully names with products that falsely promise such
contentment”.

Catholic News Service headquartered in Washington DC, apparently talking
about Rome portion of the movie, said: “Though she seemingly hits every
restaurant in town, she gives the churches a pass, the implication being
that she knows better than to look to Catholicism for insight”. Its
description of the India ashram (hermitage), which Liz Gilbert (played by
Julia Roberts) visits, includes, "The unhealthy atmosphere of
semi-idolatrous worship…". It blames Emmy nominated director Ryan Murphy’s
movie for “…negating, or at least ignoring, the spiritual resources of
Christianity…”. It gives the movie a classification of “L”, which includes
“films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling”.

“National Catholic Register” from North Haven (Connecticut) argues: “Her
strange incuriosity regarding Italy’s spiritual heritage is all the odder in
light of her spiritual aspirations during her time in India”. It adds: "Even
Eastern religion is all very well up to a point..."

Office for Film and Broadcasting of United States Conference of Catholic
Bishops in New York, which reviews current movies, has not reviewed it yet.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said
that more broader and inclusive understanding of the religion was needed in
the world today. Despite our seriously different traditions, we should learn
to live together in mutual trust and peace, Zed added.

Roberts, who grew up with a Catholic mother and Baptist father, announced
sometime back that she was a practicing Hindu.

Shot is USA, Italy, India, and Indonesia, and released in USA and Canada on
August 13, “Eat Pray Love” will reportedly be released in India on August
27.