Church

Anthony Hopkins and The Rite: Finding God and Dealing with his own Demon

He is known to be the iconic face of evil, but Academy Award-winner Anthony Hopkins recently showed another side of himself when he spoke about his faith in God.

Christian Today has more:

The 73-year-old actor, perhaps most famous for his portrayal of cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter, sat down with CNN’s Piers Morgan to talk about his acting career and the day he decided to believe in God.

Without hesitation Morgan asked, “Do you believe in God?” To which Hopkins replied, “Yes, I do. I do.”

Hopkins explained that about 35 years ago he felt the need for God while he was going through a crisis and prayed to Him even though he considered himself at the time to be an atheist.

I was hell bent on destruction. And I just asked for a little bit of help, and suddenly, pow. It was just like, bingo,” recalled Hopkins.

He said that while in New York he had a drinking problem that was so bad that it almost felt like he was possessed.

“It was like being possessed by a demon, an addiction, and I couldn’t stop. And millions of people around like that. I could not stop.”

Out of desperation, Hopkins asked for help and a woman told him to just trust in God.

“And I said, well, why not? And was such a quantum leap from this to that.”

The celebrated actor said it is “nonsense” for him to think that he can do anything and conquer anything on his own. Instead he pointed to his character, Father Lucas, in the new movie “The Rite,” who says he is weak, powerless and doesn’t know anything.

“The priest says that’s humility,” said Hopkins, who plays a priest that does exorcism in his latest movie…

Although he was reluctant to play an exorcist, he decided to take the part because of the idea behind the film.

“I liked the idea that it was based on a true story and that he (director) didn’t want to do anything strange with it, you know, spinning heads and things and all that,” the veteran actor explained.

“The Rite,” directed by Mikael Hafsroem – who previously made the Stephen King adaptation of “1408” – was ranked No. 1 at the box office after its opening weekend at the end of January.

I blogged on The Rite here.

Bible Archaeology

Khirbet Midras Being Closed

Instead of archaeological excavation, they’re covering up the site. This is so sad:

Khirbet Midras is a large site (about 40 acres) 30 km SW of Jerusalem, in the heart of the Shfela. Danny Herman, an archeologist and one of itraveljerusalem‘s tour guides discusses the new findings:

Although documented since the 19th century, Khirbet Midras was never really excavated. Surveys at the site detected various remains, mostly from Classical periods. One of them is a large stone lintel, which was always visible. Some suggested that the lintel was part of an ancient synagogue, but recently a team of the Israel Antiquities Authority exposed the vicinity of the lintel, and to everyone’s surprise it turned out to be a church.

The church had a typical basilical shape, and its mosaic floors are remarkably well preserved. Most of them depict geometric designs, yet at several spots lively images of animals, birds, and fish can be seen.

Unfortunately, no inscriptions were recovered [yet?], and so the cultural and religious context of the church is not completely clear. Behind the apse, an empty crypt was discovered, which may have been used for burial or related to the veneration of relics.

Some scholars suggested the church was related to the memorial of Zacharia, but with the lack of an inscription, this possibility remains as an educated guess.

An agonizing issue, says Danny, is that with the lack of budget to prepare the site for visits and tourism, next week the Israel Antiquities Authority plans to cover the whole building, in order to protect its remains.

Therefore, this weekend is probably the last chance to see the church, including its extraordinary mosaic floors, before they are concealed.

We reported on this find here just last week. These photos by the Israel Antiquities Authority were put up:

And here is a video: