Story by: Jack Foley
NO sooner had the debate surrounding Mel Gibsons Passion
of the Christ seemed to have subsided, then it finds itself back
in hot water again.
According to the latest report, Pope John Paul II did not endorse
the film, according to his private secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw
Dziwisz, on the Catholic News Service (CNS).
The Pope was widely reported to have said that it is as
it was, following a private screening of the film before
Christmas, but, according to Archbishop Dziwisz, the The
Holy Father told no one his opinion of this film.
He added: "The Holy Father saw the film, privately, in his
apartment, but gave no declaration to anyone.
"He does not make judgements on art of this kind; he leaves
that to others, to experts. Clearly, the Holy Father made no judgement
of the film."
The latest controversy will do little to dent interest in the
project, which has been hounded by controversy ever since its
director, Mel Gibson, announced that it would be filmed entirely
in ancient Aramaic and Latin, with no subtitles.
The film overcame this hurdle because, according to a spokesman
for Gibsons Icon Productions film company, what you
see on the screen transcends language. It subsequently secured
a US release date on 2,000 screens, and will follow in the UK
on March 26.
However, Jewish groups fear the film, which chronicles the last
12 hours of Christs life, could spark anti-Semitism by suggesting
Jews were involved in his death.
It will now be interesting to be able to judge for ourselves.