Priests Go Behind the Camera

It's the end of the 15th century, and the rebellious duchess Caterina Sforza, her children kidnapped by the forces of the ruthless Cesare Borgia, stands on the battlements of her castle, throws up her skirts and screams at Borgia’s 15,000 advancing troops: “Idiots! Don’t you think I can make more of them?” Later, with her castle reduced to rubble, Catarina is seized, raped and sent to Rome, where Borgia’s father holds a particularly high office: pope.

Provocative material for a movie, certainly. Particularly when the movie is being made by Jesuits.

“The Borgia Popes” is, in fact, just one of the projects under way by Loyola Productions, a nonprofit production company in Culver City, Calif., owned by members of the Society of Jesus, a large Roman Catholic order of priests and brothers. Jesuits are a missionary order whose members, in this case at least, would rather not be thought of as proselytizers.

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