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The Pope 'did not' endorse The Passion of the Christ



Story by: Jack Foley

NO sooner had the debate surrounding Mel Gibson’s 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 Gibson’s 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 Christ’s 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.

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