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
ITV's "Man of the Year": Mel Gibson
Inside the Vatican magazine has chosen Mel Gibson as its "Man of the Year" for 2003
Inside the Vatican News January 16 2004
by Inside the Vatican staff
VATICAN CITY, January 16, 2004 -- Mel Gibson, director of the controversial film "The Passion of the Christ" which will open in theaters on February 25, has been chosen as Inside the Vatican's "Man of the Year" for 2003, the magazine's editor, Robert Moynihan, said today.
"Some may raise their eyebrows at the choice of Mel Gibson as our 2003 Man of the Year," Moynihan said. "Our choice is not a canonization; we are not proclaiming Mr. Gibson 'St. Mel'. We live in an age of information and imagery an age when the media has unprecedented influence, and an age when film is perhaps the medium 'par excellence' for disseminating ideas, for teaching and preaching. In such an age, a man who decides, as Mr. Gibson decided in 2002, to take a large chunk of his personal fortune and risk his entire professional career on a film about Jesus Christ, is a rarity.
"And, in such an age, when such a man decides to make such a film, not in order to present an imaginary Christ, but to present a Christ in accordance with the Gospels, such a man is engaged in 'evangelization' in the literal sense of the word: he is spreading the Gospel truth about Jesus.
"And when such a man perseveres despite enormous criticism and repeated attacks against his motives and his character, he becomes admirable.
"And when such a film becomes as those who have seen it have testified the most moving film of its genre ever made, we sense we are in the presence of something truly extraordinary.
"In our secular age, the commitment made by Mr. Gibson during 2003 to complete his film, 'The Passion of The Christ' to paint, as it were, his own 'Sistine Chapel' in cinematic form bears witness to something that transcends Mel Gibson himself.
"And it is that 'something transcendent' which we honor in naming Mel Gibson our 'Man of the Year.'"
The magazine named nine other people among its "Top 10" people of 2003:
(2) the Holy Sees chief spokesman on behalf of the family: Cardinal Alfonso Lopez-Trujillo
(3) a widow from Guatemala: Rosalina Tuyuc, representive of all who lost loved ones during the civil wars of the past century
(4) a Benedictine nun who was the first woman to kiss Elvis Presley on screen and gave up her film career for love of Christ: Mother Dolores Hart
(5) an Italian professor who has dedicated his life to making peace: Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Sant'Egidio Community
(6) a Catholic Palestinian who stands firm against terrorism but calls equally firmly for justice: Michel Sabbah, the Latin-rite Patriarch of Jerusalem
(7) a Russian Orthodox bishop who is laboring to help Europe remember its Christian identity: Hilarion Alfeyev
(8) an American bishop who has defended family farmers and called on Catholic politicians to be coherent: Raymond Burke, new archbishop of St. Louis, Missouri (USA)
(9) a British Catholic medievalist who died half a century ago, but whose Christian allegory of the triumph of good over evil, "The Lord of the Rings," returned in 2003 as a magical film: J.R.R. Tolkien
(10) The entire order founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta: the Missionaries of Charity, because in their faces Mother Teresa lives on.
"We chose the Missionaries of Charity collectively at #10... knowing 'the last shall be first,' " Moynihan said, adding: "Sorry, Mel..."
The January issue of "Inside the Vatican" includes a 30-page dossier on all aspects of the controversy over Mel Gibson's film.
Gibson's "Passion" to hit U.S. screens big!
Wed 14 January, 2004 21:28
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sometimes a little faith can go a long way.
Mel Gibson's controversial new film, "The Passion of Christ," which at first had a hard time finding a distributor, will be independently released on about 2,000 screens in the United States next month, a Gibson spokesman said on Wednesday.
A release on 2,000 screens is similar to what a major studio release would receive.
The movie, whose dialogue is in Latin and Aramaic, covers the final 12 hours in the life of Jesus Christ and has come under fire from some Jewish groups who claim its story could foment anti-Semitism by tying Christ's death to Jewish authorities.
But Catholic and Protestant groups, as well as biblical scholars, have defended the film, saying it sticks closely to accounts of the crucifixion as told in the New Testament.
Pope John Paul saw the movie in December and told his longtime Polish secretary Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, "It is as it was," meaning he considered it an authentic portrayal of Gospel accounts, a Vatican source told Reuters.
Even though Gibson is a high-profile actor and Oscar winning director of films such as "Braveheart," "Passion of Christ" could not find a major motion picture studio that would distribute it due to the controversy.
In October, Gibson's Icon Productions film company and independent movie specialist Newmarket Films agreed to jointly distribute "Passion of Christ" starting on February 25.
Independent films normally start in small releases in only a few theatres. As their popularity grows, the distributor will place the film in hundreds of theatres around the country.
Newmarket's "Whale Rider," for instance, peaked at just over 550 screens this past summer.