United States: controversy over Mel Gibson’s film on the Passion

Source: FSSPX News


The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish organisation, very influential in the United States, has accused Mel Gibson’s film, consecrated to the Passion of Christ, of “fuelling anti-semitism, by reinforcing the idea that the Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus.” Mel Gibson’s spokesman, Alan Nierod, replied that the director’s intention was “to fight against hatred, not to incite it” and that he had always “been fiercely opposed to anti-semitism and hatred of others”.

John Pawlikowski, director of the Programme for Judaeo-Catholic studies with the theological Catholic union of Hyde Park, said: “It’s the worst thing we have seen in years on the responsibility for Christ’s death.” On the other hand, Ted Haggard, president of the National Evangelical Association, considers Mel Gibson “the Michelangelo of his generation”, and that the film is the most authentic representation that he has ever seen.

Cardinal Francis George gave a more qualified opinion, following a private viewing of the film. He thought that for those who considered that “the Passion narrative is in itself anti-semitic, this film is a representation of that narrative.” “For those of us who do not believe there was anti-semitism, that Christ died for our sins, and that consequently we have all been the cause of his death, it is about a description of the brutality of this Roman method of execution.” In fact, according to those who have been able to have a preview of this film, the scenes recounting the sufferings of Jesus are particularly realistic, and Cardinal George has even said that he would “never again be able to read the Passion of Christ in the same way.”

Mel Gibson comes from an Australian traditionalist family. The 30 million dollar film has been personally financed by him.The dialogue is in Aramaic and Latin. The actor Jim Caviezel plays the part of Christ.