Monday, February 09, 2004

Vatican CDF representative, Fr. Augustin DiNoia, speaks on Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ

On p. 18 of the February 2004 issue of a Knights of Columbus publication, Columbia magazine, Fr. Augustin Di Noia, undersecretary of the Congregation fo the Doctrine of the Faith, is quoted (from a ZENIT interview) as saying that an "Intensely religious experience" awaits moviegoers who see Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. More interestingly, Fr. Di Noia says the following:
Speaking as a Catholic theologian, I would be bound to condemn anti-Semitism or anti-Judaism in any recounting of the passion and death of Christ--and not just because of the terrible harm that has been done to Jewish people on these grounds, but also because, as I have already suggested, this represents a profound misunderstanding of the passion narratives.

But let me answer your question plainly:
There is absolutely nothing anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish about Mel Gibson's film.

It is regrettable that people who had not seen the film, but only reviewed early versions of the script, gave rise to the charge that The Passion of the Christ is anti-Semitic. I am convinced that once the film is released and people get a chance to see it, the charge of anti-Semitism will simply evaporate."
For a full transcript of the ZENIT interview, click here.

FOLLOW-UP: After Dianne Sawyer's interview with Mel Gibson on ABC the weekend before Ash Wednesday, we received word from Chris Blosser's blog, Against the Grain, of the following magnificent post from "Dyspeptic Mutterings" which provides insight into what Gibson is going through in relation to his father. Highly recommended.

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