Magazine article The Christian Century

Pope, Graham Said to like Gibson's Movie

Magazine article The Christian Century

Pope, Graham Said to like Gibson's Movie

Article excerpt

Continuing to preview his renamed The Passion of the Christ movie to people expected to praise it, actor-producer Mel Gibson got plaudits from Billy Graham, who was moved to tears, and reportedly secured favor from Pope John Paul II.

The Vatican declined to confirm the reports, avoiding being viewed as giving the film a commercial endorsement. According to the widely circulated reports, the 83-year-old pontiff viewed the film on DVD in his private apartments in December with his secretary, Polish Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz. His verdict: "It is as it was."

Jewish groups and stone Catholic scholars have criticized the graphic film depiction of Jesus" last hours, contending that it will fuel anti-Semitism by reviving the allegation that the Jews killed Christ, which was formally rejected by the Second Vatican Council in 1965. The council's landmark document said that what happened in Christ's death "cannot be charged against all the Jews without distinction then alive, nor against the Jews of today. …

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