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Donahue: 'Relentless' attack on 'The Passion'will backfire
NewsMax ^ | January 23, 2004 | Carl Limbacher

Posted on 01/23/2004 4:39:49 PM PST by ultima ratio

Donohue: 'Relentless' Attacks on 'The Passion' Will Backfire

William Donohue, president of Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, issued the following statement today on the latest controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ”:

"Never has there been such an unseemly campaign to discredit a film of such epic proportions. The guilty include journalists, Catholic and Jewish theologians and Jewish activists. Their goal all along has been to portray Mel Gibson as a retro-Catholic anti-Semite, and to upend his film with charges of violence in the streets. But their relentless campaign is ultimately futile: at the end of the day, the people will judge the movie. And they will also judge Gibson’s foes for what they have sought to do.

"It was reported last month that the pope, after seeing the film, commented, ‘It is as it was.’ That is when the campaign to discredit the movie went into high gear, pulling out all the stops. The result being that we are now supposed to believe that the pope watched ‘The Passion’ but had nothing to say about it because ‘It is common practice of the Holy Father not to express public opinions on artistic works ….’ Yet in 1999 the Holy Father released a list of his top-45 favorite movies, among them being such interesting choices as Pier Paolo Pasolini’s ‘The Gospel According to St. Matthew’ (number 2) and Franco Zeffirelli’s ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ (number 5).

"There is little doubt the words, ‘It is as it was,’ are exactly what the pope said. There is also little doubt that some Vatican officials now think it better to keep the pope out of the controversy.

"The following is from the Catholic Catechism: ‘The historical complexity of Jesus’ trial is apparent in the Gospel accounts. The personal sin of the participants (Judas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate) is known to God alone. Hence we cannot lay responsibility for the trial of Jesus in Jerusalem as a whole, despite the outcry of a manipulated crowd and the global reproaches contained in the apostles’ calls to conversion after Pentecost.’ Nothing in the movie contradicts this interpretation and that is why it is so scurrilous for anyone to suggest otherwise.”


TOPICS: Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: gibson; passion; pope
I recall the Pope's list. It was published by the Wanderer just a few years ago. So much for the Pope's not commenting on films.
1 posted on 01/23/2004 4:39:49 PM PST by ultima ratio
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To: ultima ratio
I think the Vatican bureaucracy is just trying not to offend our Jewish brethren, whose completely understandable apprehension is unfounded.
2 posted on 01/23/2004 7:18:19 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (2004: The Neocons vs. The Neocoms)
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To: ultima ratio
The clanging hordes who denounce this movie sight-unseen don't care if it's well-made or trash.

They simply do not want the story told -- period.

I think it will break attendance records, especially now that Gibson has relented on the subtitles.

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." -- Romans 10:17

3 posted on 01/23/2004 7:33:20 PM PST by Dr. Eckleburg (There are very few shades of gray.)
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To: Jeff Chandler
At the expense of Mel Gibson? --Making Gibson look like a liar? At the expense of his film and the truth of the Gospels? Remember, those who attack Gibson have also claimed the Jews had nothing to do with the crucifixion of Christ, that the Romans alone were to blame. Some have even publicly attacked the historicity of the Gospels and have called the Gospel authors themselves anti-Semitic.
4 posted on 01/23/2004 7:37:19 PM PST by ultima ratio
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
I agree. This is a culture war--and Gibson is about to score a great victory for our side.
5 posted on 01/23/2004 7:39:21 PM PST by ultima ratio
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To: ultima ratio
You got that right! Gibson's movie is the best news on the culture war front in a long, long time!
6 posted on 01/24/2004 6:59:19 AM PST by Thorin
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To: Thorin
People are still underestimating this phenomenon. Hollywood has from the beginning, mocking Gibson's intention to use ancient languages, suspecting the film might be anti-semitic, and trying to keep the film from being widely distributed. And now the Vatican is underestimating it. It does not openly support the film out of fear of ecumenical damage. It is knuckling under to the forces which hate Christianity and the Gospel narratives themselves.

True, popes are not film critics. But the Pope is charged with preaching the Gospels--and the challenge to the film's truthfulness is identical to the challenge to the Gospels. A few in Rome have responded directly to this. But most are retreating into silence, more worried about the ecumenical fall-out than about preaching the truth about the Crucifixion. This tells us a lot about the conciliar Church and where it is coming from these days.

Personally, such men remind me of Christ's cowardly disciples who went into hiding immediately after His arrest. They don't want to choose sides on this enormous issue for fear of offending the film's enemies--but they have been challenged to do so and have a moral duty to do so because the claim is that by being faithful to the Gospels, Gibson is being anti-semitic. This lie needs to be answered by those in authority. It is unconscionable that they should let it stand.

Back in the nineteenth century Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, an artifact with a moral vision that rocked the nation. Lincoln himself joked her novel had started a civil war. A few years after its publication slavery was gone. The Vatican needs to recognize that the popular culture has an immense influence for good all around the world. Even in the nineteenth century a single work of art could provoke cataclysmic changes. And in contemporary times it should realize that that influence has multiplied exponentially through the movies.

Up till now that influence has been largely negative. Hollywood moguls have encouraged attitudes hostile to religion. They have seriously eroded the Christian message and have often been openly hostile to Christianity itself in many films. The Gibson film, therefore, is a huge counter-statement, a powerful reminder to the entire Christian world of the price Jesus paid for our salvation--and it delivers its message by means of an artistic vision worthy of universal respect. The enemies of Christianity don't like this one bit.

7 posted on 01/24/2004 12:10:19 PM PST by ultima ratio
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To: ultima ratio; Akron Al; Alberta's Child; Andrew65; AniGrrl; Antoninus; apologia_pro_vita_sua; ...
Ping
8 posted on 01/24/2004 12:14:27 PM PST by Land of the Irish
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To: ultima ratio; Dr. Eckleburg; irishtenor; OrthodoxPresbyterian; MarMema; Canticle_of_Deborah; ...
Well said and as unnatural as this is for us Prods and Catholics to agree so vehemently (sarcasm off), the accurate presentation of the life of our Savior Jesus Christ is one thing we and our Catholic/Orthodox bretheren and sisteren can agree on. And I plan on seeing the film (bringing boxes of kleenex) when it comes out here.
9 posted on 01/24/2004 12:43:49 PM PST by CARepubGal
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
They simply do not want the story told -- period

Amen

The preaching of the gospel is foolishness to them that are perishing

10 posted on 01/24/2004 1:36:06 PM PST by RnMomof7
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To: ultima ratio
Hollywood is not friendly to Mel anymore. He has produced movies in recent time that contained moral lessons..and hollywood can not stomach that .

May God hold him tight

11 posted on 01/24/2004 1:39:06 PM PST by RnMomof7
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To: ultima ratio
Very well said brother.

Peolple are acting just as they did when our Savior was tortured and murdered over 2 millenia ago. God how I pray that the Vatican would stop being a broken lumbering political machine.

The protestants are correct when they say that the "infallibility" of the Vatican is a joke. It's not only fallible it's darn near broken at this point.

It's now a fact that the Pope implicitly stated "it is as it was", yet they can't say this publicly? They can put together a "pop" list of his fave movies yet an accurtate description of how Christ was brutalized on our behalf gets treated like a radioactive potato, it's devout producer dragged in the dirt.

Traditionalists and devout lovers of Jesus are banging on the door SCREAMING "please let us in" begging for truth and sanctity, yet they put fags, humanists and other religions before us.

Gosh.

12 posted on 01/24/2004 2:40:57 PM PST by AAABEST
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To: CARepubGal
There's an irony in what you say. While the Vatican worries about Jewish-Catholic relations due to the fall-out from this film, the film itself is bringing Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox together, making clear our common bond. So it is far more powerful ecumenically than Rome's waffling.
13 posted on 01/24/2004 2:50:18 PM PST by ultima ratio
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
especially now that Gibson has relented on the subtitles.

Then we'll all be speaking Aramaic. Hey, wait a minute. Do mods speak Aramaic?????

I see a light in the FR religion tunnel........

14 posted on 01/24/2004 3:22:38 PM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: ultima ratio; CARepubGal
So it is far more powerful ecumenically than Rome's waffling.

Very good point.

15 posted on 01/24/2004 3:26:41 PM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: ultima ratio
Excellent post. Anti-Catholic slurs reveal the spiritual poverty of those filled with such hatred. Their retreat into lies demonstrate the shallowness of the culture of death they worship.
16 posted on 01/24/2004 3:54:51 PM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: ultima ratio
Donohue: 'Relentless' Attacks on 'The Passion' Will Backfire

Thought it was Phil there for a sec. ;-)

17 posted on 01/24/2004 4:26:20 PM PST by american colleen
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To: CARepubGal; drstevej; RnMomof7; Jean Chauvin; Tantumergo; Hermann the Cherusker; Catholicguy; ...
Well said and as unnatural as this is for us Prods and Catholics to agree so vehemently (sarcasm off), the accurate presentation of the life of our Savior Jesus Christ is one thing we and our Catholic/Orthodox bretheren and sisteren can agree on. And I plan on seeing the film (bringing boxes of kleenex) when it comes out here.

Me too, my Orthodox Presbyterian sister -- me too.

And my OP dating-companion, and her entire family (she is the second daughter amongst nine children -- if that isn't evidence enough of my Teaching Presbyter's Pro-Life, anti-contraceptive Romanist background, I don't know what is).

Of course, Mel Gibson's "Passion" is not a modern "Romanist" undertaking -- as an SSPX-leaning Traditionalist, Mel Gibson himself is a Pre-Vatican II, OLD SCHOOL Roman Catholic... the kind that actually BELIEVES in something.

That's the kind of Roman Catholic with whom I am willing to fight the good fight.

I am going to make a prediction -- not the first time this prediction has been offered, but I second the notion:

As well it should be.

I think it will be re-released, and re-released, and re-released across the Fruited Plain. I think it will play in International Venues for years.

Mel Gibson sank $30 Million of his own money into this Project, on an SSPX-Traditionalist Whim and a Prayer...

I think he is going to send James Cameron's "Titanic" to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean (and it's about time that over-rated crap received its comeuppance).

"Lord of the Rings" is, without question, the Climax of 20th Century movie-making (and we freely admit our debt to the Genius of Roman Catholic Tolkien, in this regard).

But "The Passion" will set the bar for the 21st Century. It will be brutal, vicious, uncompromising, and shall have as its subject matter the greatest story ever told... in the words of Lewis and Tolkien, the TRUE MYTH.

Let's set the pop-corn a popping, my Calvinist brethren; and enjoy what looks to be a very fine movie. Our Lord is on the march, and He is not silent.

Money is not, of course, the measure of success.

But having committed $30 million of his own Money to this Project... I honestly think that Mel Gibson is going to gross Billions, and define the standard for 21st-Century movie-making.

Best, OP

18 posted on 01/24/2004 11:49:12 PM PST by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: ultima ratio
"Personally, such men remind me of Christ's cowardly disciples who went into hiding immediately after His arrest."

I think they're much worse. It's as if they have taken a turn at hammering in the nails, just so the crowd won't call them "anti-Semitic."

So much is done and said now, or not done and said, "propter metum Judaeorum." Our masters perceive this film to be as dangerous to their stranglehold on our culture as a public creche or a Christmas carol, and they will fight it tooth and nail.

19 posted on 01/25/2004 7:25:53 AM PST by Goetz_von_Berlichingen
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To: Goetz_von_Berlichingen
It's as if they have taken a turn at hammering in the nails, just so the crowd won't call them "anti-Semitic."

A little movie trivia... it is Mel Gibson's hand that is holding the nail to the palm of Jesus Christ in "The Passion of Christ" - because of his belief that he is (as part of the human race) responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

20 posted on 01/25/2004 7:33:08 AM PST by american colleen
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To: ultima ratio
the film itself is bringing Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox together, making clear our common bond.

Yeppers, that's the truth. Braveheart Mel is doing us all a great favor.

21 posted on 01/25/2004 9:32:57 AM PST by xJones
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To: Diago

22 posted on 01/25/2004 9:35:52 AM PST by Diago
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To: ultima ratio
Your post # 4 says it all. Truth is 'short and sweet'. Or, sour - depending upon the listener's prejudice.
23 posted on 01/25/2004 2:02:31 PM PST by Robert Drobot (God, family, country. All else is meaningless.)
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To: Goetz_von_Berlichingen
So much is done and said now, or not done and said, "propter metum Judaeorum."

John xx:19, if memory serves.

24 posted on 01/25/2004 5:20:46 PM PST by John Locke
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