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Vampires not good role models for Catholics, declares Vatican

Deplores use of 'extremes' to make a point

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The Vatican has come out against vampirical toothy teen book'n'movie series Twilight, dismissing the epic girl loves vampire, girl loses vampire, girl becomes vampire cycle as a "deviant moral vacuum".

The Holy See's attempt to drive a stake through the heart of the burgeoning film franchise came as it took £1.8m on its opening day in Italy.

It was down to Vatican in-house mag Osservatore Romano to deliver the verdict on the movie.

According to the Daily Mail Monsignor Franco Perazzolo, of the Pontifical Council of Culture, said: "Men and women are transformed with horrible masks and it is once again that age-old trick or ideal formula of using extremes to make an impact at the box office.

"This film is nothing more than a moral vacuum with a deviant message and as such should be of concern."

The Mail added that a spokespriest said the film gives a "mixture of excesses aimed at young people and gives a heavy esoteric element."

The attack on the series - incidentally the creation of a Mormon - demonstrates the Vatican's eclectic approach to film reviewing.

The Vatican had long condemned the Harry Potter series, claiming it would corrupt impressionable young children and turn them onto the occult, or at least onto the English boarding school system. Then, it turned around and praised the film version of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince for its sharp delineation of good and evil.

Likewise, the Vatican had a long-running downer on Dan Brown and The Da Vinci Code - understandable perhaps given its rather anti-Vatican stance. Then, earlier this year, it faint-praisedly damned Angels and Demons as "quite harmless".

So, standby for the current condemnation of Twilight to subtly transubstanitate into polite praise for its portrayal of a young girl's spiritual journey from vampire lover to loving vampire wife and back into the arms of the one true faith. Or something. ®

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