Cardinal Kasper has serious reservations about Mel Gibson’s "The Passion"

Source: FSSPX News


Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, has said that the praise of Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos on the film made by Mel Gibson (see DICI n° 81) was no more than a “purely personal” opinion. He distanced himself in a letter he wrote to the Anti-Defamation League, an influential Jewish organization in the United States. Cardinal Kasper stressed that the laudatory estimation by Mgr. Castrillon Hoyos, as well as the equally positive comments by Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, are “in no way representative of the official Vatican position”.

In its September 29 edition, the Jewish American paper Forward maintained that the stance taken by Walter Kasper was a direct consequence of the controversy provoked by the remarks of Mgr. Castrillon Hoyos. Initially, Cardinal Kasper considered that the controversial film was an American problem and should remain so. In the presence of the Israeli ambassador to the Holy See, Samuel Haddas, Mgr. Kasper had emphasized that it was a matter for the American bishops conference.

According to both Jewish and Christian critics, Mel Gibson’s film would portray the crucifixion as being incited by a plot by the Jewish authorities of the time. – Something which goes against the teaching of Vatican II, which has eliminated the notion of “collective responsibility” of the Jews, in what concerns the death of Jesus Christ.

Mel Gibson, who denies anti-Semitism, told the journal The New-Yorker, that he is being persecuted “like Jesus” for having realized this film. He affirmed that he had cut some of the controversial scenes and that he did this through fear for his own safety.