In anticipation of one of the greatest films impact-wise to ever open, we are counting down to Opening Day on Ash Wednesday when in theaters everywhere people will be moved by the Traditional inspiration of Mel Gibson who many see as a Hollywood movie star, but True Catholics see him as an evangelist in the purist sense.
A true Apostle for the Truths and Traditions of the Church Christ founded. Mel has set on celluloid what has always been set in stone: the everlasting reminder of why Christ died for each and every one of us. We have that reminder daily in the Latin Mass when the alter Christus - the priest offers Him up as a propitiatory sacrifice in an unbloody manner to the Father for us. Prayerfully this movie will move the hearts and souls of millions to return to the Truths and Traditions of Christ's True Church. For advance tickets, see The Passion Tickets
Posted: Feb 4
Mel Gibson Waves Olive Branch to ADL
Embroiled in a swirling controversy over his new movie, "The Passion of The Christ," Mel Gibson has asked his main critic for a truce.
See Gary Morella's no-nonsense thoroughly Catholic commentary on this below
In a letter sent Friday to the Anti-Defamation League, Mel Gibson asked Abraham Foxman to join him in "setting an example for all of our brethren; that the truest path to follow, the only path, is that of respect and, most importantly, that of love for each other despite our differences," according to the Los Angeles Times, which obtained a copy of the letter.
As the Times reports, the letter comes on the heels of a screening of the film in Orlando, Fla., which Foxman and a colleague infiltrated. Foxman later issued a press release charging that the film is unflattering to Jews and asked Gibson to make changes in the still-unreleased movie, which is due to premiere on Feb. 25, Ash Wednesday.
According to the Times, Gibson told Foxman, "It is my sincerest of regrets that events conspired for us to just miss each other when we both recently happened to be in Orlando," at the time of the screening Foxman surreptitiously attended, and added that "I do not take your concerns lightly."
The Times was unable to reach Foxman for his comments about the letter but noted that earlier Foxman had said he hoped Gibson would tell people about the film: "I did this film because I believe I was inspired by the Holy Ghost. I believe that Jesus suffered for all mankind. Some people want to put the blame for his death on the Jews. I Don't do that."
Gibson has repeatedly said that the film blames all of humanity for Christ's passion and death. He has also denied that the film is anti-Semitic.
Foes Plan to 'Mute' Film
Opponents of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ," along with their allies and those afraid to offend them (many of whom have never even seen the movie), are already planning to counter it.
Foes "are planning lecture series, interfaith talks and other programs to try to mute the film's impact," the Associated Press reported Monday.
"Do I think there will be pogroms as a result of this movie? No," said Rabbi David Elcott, American Jewish Committee's interfaith director.
"It's part of something larger, which is a hardening of religious conversation. It is such an absolutist movie. It undermines the progress that we've made in this country toward mutual respect and religious pluralism," he said.
As of now, opponents reportedly do not plan boycotts or protests outside theaters.
"Artists have every right to create any kind of movie they want, but an audience has the absolute right to pass judgment on that," said Rabbi James Rudin, an adviser for the committee.
American Jewish Committee is sending a 40-page "resource guide" to chapters nationwide on how to explain concerns about the movie. Rudin is urging Christian colleagues not to use the movie as an educational tool.
Leaders of Reform Judaism want members to "sit down with churches in your community" to "discuss" the film, said Mark Pelavin, director of Commission on Interreligious Affairs of Reform Judaism.
Boston College's Center for Christian-Jewish Learning has posted a study guide explaining Gospel accounts of the crucifixion and how Christian churches rejected accusations of deicide against Jews. The center plans a series of talks on the subject.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops plans to reissue its criteria for dramatizing the crucifixion along with statements on Catholic-Jewish relations.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is urging pastors to "teach boldly" that it does not "demean, malign or harm the Jewish people" when preaching the Gospel. The church's communications director, the Rev. Eric Shafer, saw the movie and said that it was not anti-Jewish but was "part Gospel story and part myth" and that viewers could assume it was based entirely on the Bible.
AP noted: "The campaign is being undertaken in the face of a massive evangelistic effort by many American churches in conjunction with the movie's release. Several prominent conservative Christians, including the Rev. Billy Graham, said the film was among the most powerful depictions they'd seen of Christ's last hours."
Of course, no such campaign is going on to "mute" Hollywood's recent string of dreadful and offensive movies.
Commentary by Gary Morella:
Mel Gibson is putting out an olive branch to those who will take it and stab him in the back with it. He is a courageous man who should be commended for doing what he did in giving us the most accurate rendition of the Passion ever put on film, as by all accounts worth considering, i.e., those who would not water down the message of the Gospels, he was as true to the New Testament as anyone could possibly
be. And many of those doing the stabbing will be pseudo-Catholics who could care less about the Gospel's message of the supernatural in favor of natural peace and justice social concerns where ecumania reigns supreme for a "lets get along in an earthly utopia" purposes instead of going to Heaven instead of hell, the latter being the only reason for the Church's existence founded by Christ upon the Rock that is Peter. Don't these ecumaniacs realize that there never will be any such "utopia" on earth because the devil never sleeps? Of course, none of them believe in the devil anymore, which means that they don't believe in Christ Who talked more about the consequences of believing in the devil than any other New Testament figure.
The pseudo-Catholics that I am referring to are the disciples of Raymond E. Brown, buying into his historical criticism tripe that the Gospels are only inerrant when they speak of salvation, the rest being nothing more than the quirks of the writers reflecting the prejudices of the age, which is complete and total GARBAGE, and debunked by a careful reading of the Scriptures themselves, as pointed out by outstanding Catholic apologists such as Bob Sungenis in his current series in Catholic Family News entitled "Father Brown and the Demise of Catholic Scripture Scholarship - Part I", and Msgr. George Anthony Kelly in his book, The New Biblical Theorists.
Sadly, these "Jesus Seminar" types such as former priest John Dominic Crossan, with the accent on "former", which speaks volumes, who was allowed to be a member of the faculty at a pseudo-Catholic University, which should also speak volumes as to the sorry state of so-called Catholic higher education these days because it is Crossan who tells us that Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, died a beggars death on the Cross and Whose Body was eaten by ravenous dogs in total denial of the Resurrection, are what passes off as Catholicism where the Gospels are reduced to being redactions of a "later faith community" who invented the Resurrection. Without the Resurrection of course, there IS NO CATHOLIC FAITH, the one, true faith. For these types Christ's miracles never occurred. They were spiritual hallucinations of the aforementioned faith community designed to create a God that never really existed, per the eyewitness Gospel depictions. Their revisionist history is the ONLY history, since they are the experts. Thus, who are their critics to include the eyewitness Gospel writers to question them? How dare these Biblical Neanderthals do such a thing!
The devil is not happy with Mel Gibson. He never is with people willing to tell the Truth, a Someone, not a something. And the devil will do everything possible to keep this Truth from mankind because the devil wants company for eternity. So be ready for the hysterical lies following Mel Gibson's Passion like the plague. And look to the Tradition of the Church rooted in Sacred Scripture for the Truth. That is where you will find the Word of God, not a bastardized version of it. Look to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, not the John Dominic Crossans of the world.
Posted: Feb 3
by William F. Buckley
The argument over Mel Gibson's dramatization of the death of Jesus needs analysis, and this is not difficult to undertake, even for those who have not seen the movie, scheduled for release in February, on Ash Wednesday.
The plot line is remarkably brief. The biblical writers had no interest whatever in the kind of thing that interests Mel Gibson. He has taken on, after all, the greatest drama in human history, the crucifixion of the Jew who claimed divinity and persuaded much of the civilized world to accept his word. Matthew handles the whole thing -- from the order given down by Pilate, to the expiration of Jesus -- in less space than is taken by this newspaper column.
In that account, one line is spoken that most grievously offends several Jewish critics who have seen the two-hour film. The moment comes when Pilate attempts to free Jesus, on the grounds that he has not been proved guilty of anything. A colloquy ensues, Pilate vs. "the Jews" who are clamoring for Jesus' death. Pilate declares, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person. You see to it." Matthew 27:25: "And all the people answered and said, 'His blood be on us and on our children.'"
That curse is not recorded in the three other gospels' accounts of the Crucifixion. Paul Maier, professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University, comments, as reported by The Christian Science Monitor, that "a tremendous number of Jews never turned against Jesus during Holy Week," and records that "the Gospel use of the phrase 'the Jews' referred to Jesus' Jewish opponents, not all Jews. It was a common construction of writing of the time."
But Abraham Foxman, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, and Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, believe that the language that includes the tribal curse should be removed from the film, which Mel Gibson actually thought to do in one version of it. ("The Passion" is still being edited.) Their more general objections are to the depiction of the murderous, bloodthirsty Jewish mob, as feeding a negative stereotype of Jews. "Do I think it will trigger pogroms?" said Mr. Foxman. "I don't think it will. But will it strengthen and legitimize anti-Semitic feelings? Yes, it will."
That judgment is incautious. Nothing legitimizes anti-Semitic feelings. The movie's play to human emotions is of course central to its purpose. Mel Gibson is a professional producer of movie drama, and an essential part of drama is to show on screen what happened, or is said to have happened. Nothing would be more ridiculous than to sweeten the voices of the mob that cried out for crucifixion.
But the notion that this generates anti-Semitism is not entirely to be scorned. Movies about the Holocaust generate a measure of straight-out anti-German sentiment. Mel Gibson's movie ("Braveheart") about the Scots generated, however fleetingly, anti-British sentiment. The movie "Zulu" is here and there resented as depicting black Africans as savage.
The danger that the reiteration of the story of the Crucifixion will do anti-Semitic damage is, happily, slight. The Vatican in 1965 rejected and indeed denounced the proposition that the acts of individual Jews 2,000 years ago justify anti-Semitism. The nightmare of the Holocaust will always keep us awake to the awful lengths to which ethnic and religious hatred can go. But if there is consolation to be sought, surely it is that Hitler was utterly indifferent to any crimes any Jews might have committed against Jesus Christ. His antagonism -- his hatred -- was based on preposterous, but no less lethal, ideas of racial purity. I know of no text by Hitler against the Jews -- and they are legion -- in which the death of Christ is even hinted at as indicating 20th-century Jewish culpability.
The idea of corporate guilt is stultifying. Yet it is constantly being fed, as by such doings as President Bill Clinton's going about Africa apologizing for slavery. It is one thing for modern Americans to regret slavery, quite another to apologize for it. Slavery, like anti-Semitism, is perpetually regrettable, but only those who engage in regrettable activity need to apologize for it. If it were otherwise, who among us could be free of ethnic or racial or religious taint from one or more historical abominations?
And even as we continue to see depictions of the Holocaust, and to learn from them, we will continue to see depictions of the tragic end of Christ on Earth, and learn from them.
William F. Buckley, Jr. is editor-at-large of National Review, a Townhall.com member group.
Posted: Feb 2
Is it not evident the ADL is desperate to denigrate Gibson and his film? They are truly desperate, so much so they can't afford a ticket? Foxman is indeed a fox, exhibiting the wiles of a vermin much smaller. Desperate men do desperate things and any credibility Abe Foxman might have had before his whole fiasco of getting personal against Mel, has now totally collapsed as the grass roots groundswell grows with just over three weeks to go before The Passion of The Christ is shown in over 3000 theaters nationwide. MC
ADL Snuck into Private Viewing of The Passion
From Newsmax.com on Jan 22, 2004
After screening Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of The Christ," the Anti-Defamation League issued a scathing press release Thursday stating that the film will foster anti-Semitism.
But sources close to Gibson's production company told NewsMax's James Hirsen that the ADL, which was hostile to the film before anyone had even viewed it, has never been invited to screen it.
How, then, was the ADL able to see the movie?
In their press release, ADL National Director Abrahama Foxman and another ADL official said they saw the film while attending a "religious gathering" in Orlando, Fla., called the Beyond All Limits Conference.
As it turned out, Hirsen informs us, the religious conference is organized by the Global Pastors Network.
Sources at Icon Productions were surprised to learn that the uninvited ADL officials had registered for the Christian conference under the name "The Church of Truth."
Soon after seeing the film, the ADL issued a strongly worded statement that calls Gibson's picture a "painful portrayal" and a "commercial crusade to the church community."
Despite the hoopla, a number of Christian leaders who have seen the film found it remarkably consistent with Gospel accounts of Jesus' last hours and in no way condemnatory of Jewish people.
America's most influential minister, the Rev. Billy Graham, gave a glowing review of the movie.
"I have often wondered what it must have been like to be a bystander during those last hours before Jesus' death," Graham said.
"After watching 'The Passion of The Christ,' I feel as if I have actually been there.
"I was moved to tears. I doubt if there has ever been a more graphic and moving presentation of Jesus' death and resurrection – which Christians believe are the most important events in human history.
"The film is faithful to the Bible's teaching that we are all responsible for Jesus' death, because we have all sinned. It is our sins that caused His death, not any particular group."
"No one who views this film's compelling imagery will ever be the same," Graham said