Religion: The Miracle

One of the trickiest of human emotions is righteous indignation. Last week, as for weeks before, that emotion was being exhibited in all its trickiness by New York Roman Catholics crying "Blasphemy!" and by their opposition crying "Clerical censorship!"

The object of this indignation was a short (40-minute), 2½-year-old, second-rate Italian film called The Miracle. Thanks to court action, denunciations and counter-denunciations in the newspapers, picket lines and counter-picket lines outside the theater, the little movie was a sensation, a scandal and a box-office hit.

Made by famed Producer-Director Roberto (Ingrid Bergman) Rossellini with his then favorite actress, Anna Magnani, it tells the...