From The Cardinal to The Shoes of the Fisherman: Hollywood’s Curious Fascination with Vatican II

  • Paul G. MonsonEmail author
Part of the Pathways for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue book series (PEID)


The paper recovers original archival documents and film footage to fill a surprising lacuna in scholarship on Hollywood’s reception and depiction of Vatican II. These neglected sources, buried in the archives of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles, demonstrate how a host of film industry producers, screenwriters, actors, and actresses reacted to the events and official teachings of Vatican II, especially in light of Nostra Aetate and Gaudium et Spes. The study further posits how these forgotten examples of a secular response to Vatican II can better inform and integrate both scholarly and popular narratives of the council’s reception and influence beyond the confines of Catholicism.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sacred Heart Seminary and School of TheologyMilwaukeeUSA

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