mindless miters (mar12mm.htm)

March 12, 2004
vol 15, no. 72

Applying their Passive Progressive Poison by Panning The Passion
USCCB's appointed 'experts' dance around the real issue while doing the two-step as in double-speak!

By Gary L. Morella

    EDITOR'S NOTE: We kick off this new series "mindless miters" (the title of which says it all about today's spineless bishops who will not enforce Authentic Roman Catholic doctrine) with a review of 'The Passion of The Christ' by the 'experts' the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have decided would be the 'experts' to represent their thinking. How appropriate and we are not surprised that these experts haven't got a clue what true Catholic teaching professes. Gary Morella exposes their thinking as definitely out of whack with his succinct comments throughout as he dissects a CNS article describing the 'professional view' of these so-called 'experts,' all evolving from the same narrow mentality as the Scribes and Pharisees of old. Gary rightly rips the muddled, mayhem and pabulum they serve up to the dumbed-down Catholics, who so blindly buy the tripe these 'experts' are passing off because it has the USCCB 'seal of approval.' But it doesn't have God's Seal of Approval and that's what counts. While these 'experts' unofficially pan, yet lukewarmly dance around Mel Gibson's masterpiece 'The Passion of The Christ', Gary gets to the basics of why they are such pansies in their 'expertise' opinions. Gary's words are in black, the words from the CNS article in smaller, maroon type. Gary nails it, something the USCCB mindless miters couldn't do if you gave them a six-foot hammer!

    My wife told me that an evangelical asked a local Catholic "Why aren't Catholics excited about Mel Gibson's masterpiece, The Passion of The Christ?" The answer is, "Traditional Catholics are very excited and thankful to God, working through Mr. Gibson, to finally bring a film indicative of authentic Catholic catechesis to the public's attention, especially Catholics who have never been exposed to the aforementioned catechesis. For an example of kind of catechesis many Catholics have unfortunately been exposed to since the "spirit of Vatican II" did its work, see the following criticism of Gibson's movie from the Bishops who gave us sodomite priests. Below is the article from Catholic News Service titled Bishops' Reviewers See Flaws, But No Anti-Semistism, In 'The Passion in maroon and my comments following.

        WASHINGTON (CNS) - The U.S. bishops' Office for Film & Broadcasting faulted Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" for its "in-your-face rawness that is much too intense for children" but dismissed charges that the movie blames the Jews collectively for the death of Jesus.

   The "in-your-face rawness" that is decried by the U.S. Bishops' Office is necessary to remind what's left of the faithful that our sins, past, present, and future, had horrific effects on Christ during His Passion. What Christ went through for our redemption, giving us a chance at salvation is not to be minimized given the eternal consequences involved, i.e., sins have similarly horrific effects on unrepentant sinners who are staring straight at eternal perdition. Christ wanted man to know the effects of sin by the example of His Passion. Mel Gibson's movie is an exercise in orthodox Catholic catechesis reminding us that we're living in an age where the effects of sin are so minimized that there are those in the Church who preach the false doctrine of "universal salvation for all", de facto eliminating hell and its landlord, making Christ out to be a liar, given that He talked more about the consequences of mortal sin than any other New Testament figure.

    "Unflinching in its brutality and penetrating in its iconography of God's supreme love for humanity, the film will mean different things to people of diverse backgrounds," said the office's review.

    It added that co-writer, producer and director Gibson "has undoubtedly created one of the most anticipated and controversial films of recent times."

   What's controversial about telling the Truth Who is Christ? That should not be controversial to true Catholics who understand that their faith calls them to stand in contradiction, not accommodation to a world that mocks it.

    Distributed to the Catholic press Feb. 25 by Catholic News Service, the review was written by Gerri Pare, director of the film and broadcasting office, staff member David DiCerto and office consultant Anne Navarro. The office is a New York-based division of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    The review was also written in consultation with Atonement Father James Loughran, director of the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute, and Salesian Father Lawrence E. Frizzell of the Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University.

   What are the worth of reviews from ecumenical and interrelgious institutes who tell us that the Catholic Church is no longer in the conversion business? That's not real ecumenism, which is converting the world to Catholicism for the sake of its eternal end, but rather a false ecumenism where the Church is reduced to a lowest common denominator in a syncretistic indifferent sense making it indistinguishable from non-Catholicism to include unbelief in extreme instances.

    Pare, DiCerto and Navarro called the movie "an artistic achievement in terms of its textured cinematography, haunting atmospherics, lyrical editing, detailed production design and soulful score."

   This magnificent motion picture is more than just an "artistic achievement". It is a Lenten prayer, a gift from God through Mel Gibson to remind the world of what Catholicism is, in particular, what the Mass is. It is not a communal meal concelebrated with the laity under the direction of a presider where altars are replaced with tables, immaculate unspotted hosts with a loaves of bread, chalices with cups, stain glass windows reminding us of the Church Triumphant with multicolored banners covering the walls of windowless Churches, pews having kneelers with theatre seats to accommodate the entertaining possibilities which are equally important in the modern Church, and tabernacles at the center of altars, the centerpiece of the faith, that which uniquely distinguishes it as Catholic, with shoeboxes in closets minus the smallest birthday candle, let alone a sanctuary lamp to announce the Real Presence, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, of God among us. It is a re-representation of Christ's Sacrifice on Calvary, a continuation of the First Mass, the Sacrifice of the Cross, wherein Jesus is once again offered up to the Father in an unbloody manner by an ordained priest representing Christ the High Priest for the sake of our salvation. Mel Gibson's Passion is to be congratulated for getting this core teaching of Catholicism right, as he has been by many orthodox clergy around the world.

    But they also cited "flaws as well as triumphs .., such as a recurring tendency to slip into the horror-genre conventions, including a scene of a guilt-racked Judas being taunted by little boys whose faces turn into those of grotesque, macabre ghouls."

   How can Gibson be faulted with "horror-genres" when the biggest horror of all is eternal death in the fires of hell that awaits those dying unrepentant of their mortal sins? Does it not occur to these critics that the devil would have wanted Christ to die before His ultimate Sacrifice for our Redemption on the Cross, e.g., during the scourging? The Omniscient God-Man Himself says in Scripture that it would have been better for Judas if he had never been born, Omniscient meaning God's has knowledge of our past, present, and future which are the eternal present for Him, something that does not bode well for the final end of Judas, a man who gave in to the ultimate sin of despair in acquiescence to what the devil wanted by hanging himself. Why should Judas be represented as anything other than what he was, i.e., "guilt-racked" in the knowledge that he willfully betrayed the Son of God with a kiss. Are we supposed to believe that the devil and his demons did not have their way with Judas, contrary to Christ's own words? See the Confessions of Saint Augustine. Also, see Most's The Consciousness of Christ.

    "And close-ups of Christ "The Passion" is not "made to look exciting, glamorized or without consequences," viewers may be "repelled by such unremitting inhumanity," the review said.

    "In the end such savagery may be self-defeating in trying to capture the imagination of the everyday moviegoer," it added.

   The movie breaking every box office record speaks otherwise. Viewers NEED to be repelled by the effects of sin. If these effects were so horrible on the God-Man, how much worse will they be to a soul dead to sin at the time of meeting God in Judgment? How can this needed message be anesthetized if man is to have a fear of sin in what it did to Christ, and especially what it will ultimately do to him if he dies with final impenitence. Far from being self-defeating, it is a message to the faithless that they had better wake up because hell awaits.

    "Each flashback in the film is a welcome respite from the near-incessant bloodletting, but more importantly for how it conveys Jesus' core message of God's boundless love for humanity," the reviewers said. "More of these flashbacks would have been helpful in fleshing out the life and teachings of Jesus."

   The Good and Gentle Jesus, the Jesus of Mercy is meaningless without the Jesus of Justice. That is a truth that is missing in the modern Church.

    But on the question of whether the film is anti-Semitic, Pare, DiCerto and Navarro said the movie "suggests that all humanity shares culpability for the Crucifixion" and makes it "abundantly clear that it is the Romans who are Christ's executioners."

   And it is also abundantly clear that Pontius Pilate did not want responsibility for the death of an innocent man by washing his hands. It was the Jewish leaders of the time who rejected Christ, which forced Pilate's hand. That is also abundantly clear. To imply otherwise is to deny the New Testament.

    "Overall, the film presents Jews in much the same way as any other group - a mix of vice and virtue, good and bad," they said, although they called "problematic" a scene of the "stock frenzied mob uniformly calling for Christ's crucifixion."

   It is ludicrous to call a scene of the Jewish mob calling for Christ's crucifixion "problematic" when what was portrayed is exactly what is recorded in Sacred Scripture. Moreover, Scripture relates how the mob said let Christ's "blood be upon us and on our children. "

    The reviewers said "The Passion" may have "little resonance" for those viewing it "without a faith perspective."

   How could anyone but the most hard-hearted not be moved at the viewing of this magnificent prayer for the conversion of man to the one true faith, the Church that Christ founded upon the Rock that is Peter? The REAL problem is the "little resonance" shown by the pseudo-Catholics criticizing this motion picture because they have long since lost the faith, which is the only perspective that they are evincing by telling the world that the Catholic Church is no longer in the conversion business, a slap in the face of Almighty God given His charge to convert the world in the last paragraph of the Gospel of Matthew.

    But for Christians, they said, it "is likely to arouse not only passionate opinions, but hopefully a deeper understanding of the drama of salvation and the magnitude of God's love and forgiveness."

    The Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III - adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R - restricted.

   What Gibson's religious masterpiece is doing is waking up Catholics as to what their faith has traditionally always been, is, and always will be, in the face of a skewing of it to the point where no evidence of Catholicism remains. Mel Gibson has done more for Catholicism in a few short weeks than all of his "Catholic" critics collectively have in the course of their lifetimes.

mindless miters
March 12, 2004
Vol. 15, no. 72