Herbert E. Douglass, Th.D.

William Miller's home near Hampton, NY

Home Page  *  Contact  *  Search this Site

Credentials & Positions

Books Authored

Articles Authored

Sermons & Talks

Comments [by Others]

Cited [by Others]

Recommended Reading!

Favorite Links

Thoughts on Gibson’s Passion:                              ©2004 Herbert E. Douglass   3/19/04

As of this date, ticket sales were well over $250 million in the United States alone.  Production costs were estimated at $30 million and Marketing at 15 million. Some return on investment! Third largest opening in the history of Hollywood films, (behind “The Return of the King” and “Star Wars: Episode I”). Just a 2 hour and 6 minute film about Jesus with no famous actors—but it is turning the movie world upside down.

For many weeks, those in the film business forecasted that the Passion would be a blockbusting failure at the box office. How wrong they were!  What is going on here?

I have seven main concerns to probe:

  1. What is the basic theme and message of the film?
  2. Why are Protestant leaders Gibson’s loudest cheerleaders?
  3. Should we confuse emotional experience with religious experience?
  4. Why are Catholics, Protestants and Jews proclaiming the movie as a window of opportunity for genuine ecumenism—the best event for religious unity of the past 2000 years?
  5. But can this film be an even greater opportunity for the more complete story of Jesus to be told, both His Sacrifice and His High Priestly role in the Heavenly Sanctuary so awesomely outlined in the Book of Hebrews.
  6. What does the film teach us about the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan?
  7. Should we ask the basic question: Is it not even more important to ask Why He died as well as How He died?

First, let’s look at the film positively! For many hundreds of thousands it will be the first time they have thought about Jesus—that can’t be all bad. In a world awash in secularism, materialism, and instant gratification, seeing the crucified Jesus discussed on the front pages of magazines and newspapers and heard on most every news broadcast round the clock, is an event that no one predicted three months ago.

It would be difficult to doubt Mel Gibson’s sincerity and Christian devotion to his Catholic beliefs. For those who know him, Gibson is not an “actor,” or “fake” in real life.  He is the husband of one wife and a devoted father of seven children.  He is a real “Soccer dad” who spends time and not big bucks on his children.  He has seen too many rich kids go astray when parents do not teach them any values.

He and others have been weary with “Jesus films” that have presented Christ as a warm and fuzzy “Buddy” who made us feel good about our selves or as an other-worldly effeminate, somehow not the Man that rugged fishermen, tax collectors and members of the Jewish Sanhedrin were attracted to.  Gibson was determined not to perpetuate a “fairy tale.”[1]  When asked by Bill Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek Church, why so many religious films are, by comparison, not very good, Gibson said by way of response, “I tried to make something that was real to me.”[2]

Beyond argument, it is a magnificent day of opportunity for the Christian church to talk to a non-Christian world—if we are truly focused on Jesus of Nazareth.

Ellen White wrote that we should  “spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones.”[3] In view of such counsel, how should anyone respond to this movie that opens with horror movie suspense and quickly moves into slasher-film dread?

Second, let’s look at the basic theme and message of the film, directly and subliminally.  It is only fair to let Mel Gibson and his supporters tell us what their purpose was in producing this blockbuster, especially when we know that Mel spent his own money and not that of investors.

Gibson: “I want to show . . . as close as possible what I perceive the truth to be; it reflects my beliefs.”  “The goal of the movie is to shake modern audiences by brashly juxtaposing the sacrifice of the cross with the sacrifice of the altar—which is the same thing.”[4] “There is no salvation for those outside the Church.”[5]

Vittorio Messori, Italian reporter/writer: “This film for its author is a Mass.  Let it be in an obscure language, as it was for so many centuries.  If the mind does not understand, so much the better. The blood of the Passion is continuously intermingled with the wine of the Mass, the tortured flesh of the ‘corpus Christ’ with the consecrated bread.”[6]

Third, how did Gibson develop the film story?  What were his historical resources?  Many thought leaders, both Catholics and Protestants, have said that “all the material in the film comes directly from the Gospel accounts. So, if they are critical of the film, they would be critical of the Gospel.”[7] Pope John Paul II is quoted as saying, “It is as it was.”[8] Robert Schuller, Crystal Cathedral/Hour of Power declared: “It is an accurate account of Jesus’ real sufferings for the sins of the whole world.  This is not a film anyone should miss.”[9]

But others, Catholics and Protestants, are struck with the frequent inclusion of extra-biblical materials, chiefly from Catholic tradition[10]

The movie begins with Jesus crushing the head of the serpent in Gethsemane, Temple guards still in Gethsemane knocking Jesus about and then hanging Him over a bridge by chains, swelling shut His right eye, the exaggeration of Mary’s role (mother of Jesus), the sharing of a towel from Pilate’s wife to Mary to wipe up Christ’s blood from the pavement after the scourging, Peter falling at the feet of Mary and calling her “Mother,” Mary assists Jesus on the way to the cross, with Jesus telling her, “Behold, I make all things new,” the interplay of Mary and Jesus reaching the apex in the Pietà scene, Mary kissing the bloody feet of the crucified Jesus―this and more rest heavily on Gibson’s imagination and on a mystical Roman Catholic devotional work by a German Nun, Venerable Anne Emmerich (1774-1824), entitled, “The Dolorous Passion of Christ.”[11]

Gibson stated that this book became his primary inspiration for making the movie: “She [Emmerich] supplied me with stuff I never would have thought of.”[12] Father Stephen F. Somerville said the Mass daily for seven weeks of the filming—the old Latin Mass of the pre-Vatican II liturgy. He said that Gibson “made practical use of Emmerich in the movie.  A lot of the details that you see visually in the movie are in the Emmerich book.”[13]

Did you notice what day was picked for the long-awaited opening?  Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent for Roman Catholics around the world. 

Why do you think Gibson chose Latin and Aramaic above English?  Because it adds to the mystical flavor.  Two thousand years ago, the soldiers most probably spoke in Greek; the NT was written in Greek.  Greek is easier to understand, even today.

 Gibson said that there is “lot’s of power in these dead languages.”[14] This is pure mysticism.  The goal of all this mysticism is to connect the sacrifice of the cross with the sacrifice of the altar, which Gibson said, “is the same thing.”[15]  Catholics believe that Christ is being re-sacrificed in the Mass—the very act of offering up Jesus in the Catholic Mass today is cloaked in mystical rites, the bell, the priest in his motions, the utter silence of the cathedral.

In other words, the Catholic view of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross is directly linked to the daily or weekly sacrifice of the Mass. Wherever one goes in a Catholic hospital or schoolroom, you will find the dying sacrifice on the cross.  The Catholic mind has been fixed on the cross; its literature for hundreds of years is most graphic, very graphic, describing Christ’s last 12 hours.  But is this focus telling the whole story?

Fourth, what was the attitude of the actors and other personnel involved with the day-to-day shooting?

James Caviezel, actor who plays Christ: “I’ve always made acting follow truth, and Mary has always pointed me toward the truth. I really believe that she was setting me up, getting me ready to play her Son.  She architected the whole thing. . . . People have asked me, ‘Were you scared about getting this film?’  And I say, ‘Yes, part of me.’ But the other part of me says that I’m absolutely honored that He, through Mary, would pick me to play this role. . . .  Before going to the set everyday, I prepared myself in meditation or through the rosary, always through Mary.  I also went to confession, and the Holy Spirit would convict me of my sins.  Once I’d done that, the rest was very fundamental; it really was.”[16]

 Caviezel urged all his fellow actors and others to attend Mass every day.  He said, “I felt that if I was going to play him, I needed Him in me (sacramental eating).  So Gibson provided that.”[17]  Many of those working on the set couldn’t make a regular church Mass because they had to apply makeup. So the priest working with Gibson converted “a small room into a chapel. . . . improvised a decent-looking altar, and Mel sent somebody out to buy everything we needed—vestments, nice candles. . .  . Mel knelt on his knees on the floor behind me and answered the prayers in perfect Latin.”[18]

Caviezel said, “This film is something that I believe was made  by Mary for her Son.”[19] Many in the crew became Catholic converts. It is a Catholic movie with Catholic director, Catholic theological advisors and carries the endorsement of John Paul II.

Those who have seen the film could not miss the massively exaggerated role of Mother Mary, especially in using extrabiblical content; for example, clothing her as a Catholic nun or when she is washing his blood off the stony path.  Note the spotlight on a foretaste of Michelangelo’s Pietà, inviting the world to share Mary’s grief and to behold her Son.

Fifth. After saying all this, how come Protestants are Gibson’s loudest cheerleaders? The New York Times Magazine (February 29, 2004) asked the obvious question: “Why are evangelical Protestants embracing Mel Gibson’s ultra-Catholic version of the Savior?”  Gibson himself is astonished: “I’ve been actually amazed at the way I would say the evangelical audience has—hands down—responded to this film more than any other Christian group.”  What makes it so amazing he says is that “the film is so Marian.”[20]

Among the endorsers are Focus on the Family president, James Dobson, Harvest Crusades evangelist Greg Laurie, Willow Creek Community senior pastor Bill Hybels, Robert Schuller, and Tyndale House Publishers.[21]

The main idea behind the cheerleading is that Gibson’s Passion of Christ may well become the best ecumenical opportunity in modern times.  Lisa Wheeler, associate editor of a Web portal dedicated to Catholic evangelism, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “It’s the best evangelization opportunity we’ve had since the actual death of Jesus.”[22]

This cheering is one of the best examples for showing how Roman Catholicism has infiltrated the modern Protestant mind—a far cry from the Protestant Reformers of the 16th and 17th centuries. The Catholic eye is focused on the body and blood of the crucified Christ that is celebrated and recrucified in every Sunday Mass—exactly the issue that helped fan the Protestant Reformation.  The value of Christ’s gift to humanity is thus focused almost exclusively on physical sacrifice when something much larger is being unfolded.

Most Protestants also focus on the crucified Christ but with a difference,  They believe that Jesus died for our sins once and for all; thus, we don’t need a replay in each Mass and celebration of the Eucharist.  Most Protestants, believing that Jesus died for our sins, is all that Christians need for a free pass to heaven.  Thus, for them, any emphasis on overcoming sin tends to legalism; that is, attempts to add to the “complete atonement” Jesus did for us on the Cross is “a different gospel” (Galatians 1).  But on a closer look, the conventional Protestant believes in a limited gospel!  I haven’t heard of anyone singing the Hallelujah Chorus when they left the theatre—their focus will be more on the Cross only, but now more than ever.  That’s why the two-hour and five-minute film does not portray the Passion like it really was!

Sixth. This leads to an obvious question: why is it that most Protestants today are satisfied with their focus on the cross only and not also on Jesus in the Sanctuary above? 

Some Protestants, however, also include a fuller New Testament focus on where Jesus is now―as our High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary (the chief message of the Book of Hebrews); here we are asked to send our prayers not to earthly priests but to our Heavenly Intercessor; as our all-powerful High Priest who gives us “mercy and grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16)―help that is not promised or received from the saints or Mother Mary.

Because of a limited understanding of Christ’s sacrifice, most Protestant theologians spend little or no time following Jesus into the Heavenly Sanctuary in response to the  author of Hebrew’s appeal to “consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. . . . who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession” (Hebrews 3:1; 4:14, NKJV).

A profound, integral connection exists between Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and Christ’s ministry as our High Priest.  This connection embraces and heightens Christ’s purpose for coming to this world.  White wrote: “The [Holy] Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world's Redeemer.”[23]

Seven.  Let’s look at the Passion from another direction: Protestants, along with Catholics, are saying that the Passion is the greatest window of opportunity in modern times to get people thinking about what Jesus did on the Crossthat is, His suffering paid for your sins.  But this opportunity was not made in heaven but somewhere else.  Using this film will focus on the theological errors and the Church’s seductive methods of the Middle Ages—preaching Christ through drama, passion plays, and reliance on saints, even Mother Mary with all the imagination of mysticism, and the awe of feeling the mysterious, all the while forbidding the reading of the Bible in the common language as fostered in Gibson’s film. 

The Passion is a revival of the methodology of the Middle Ages—feeling trumps thinking, in fact, you don’t have to think—just let your senses feed your soul.  Experience before thinking always leads away from God, rarely toward.  There is a world of difference between being told to experience the love of God and being told to believe and trust the love of God.

Mysticism is not owned by the Catholics.  Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims have their mystics—a way of focusing the mind on mystical experience as if that were the way to discover ultimate truth.  Many Christians go down this road thinking that understanding the reality of Jesus is through visualization and intense departure from worldly distraction.

From another direction, Christian leaders are jumping at a “modern” way to communicate with the young and the unchurched.  They believe that the usual “lecture” time (sermon) in their worship hour doesn’t anymore communicate or interact with the TV-soaked mind.  They are convinced that the modern mind is more in tune with a steady diet of MTV and gratuitous violence that never existed in mass media even thirty years ago. So here’s a chance to use a modern-day technique to communicate the truth of the Bible!  And the Passion is certainly that visual experience!

But our response to Christ’s death should not confuse emotional experience with a genuine religious experience.  New Agers own this market! An unconverted person can be emotionally activated very easily!  But truth should never be overshadowed by the medium. That is why those who emphasize drama, skits, and repetitious choruses are looking for the quick fix of an emotional experience—rarely is the audience thinking about repentance and commitment.

Ingmar Bergman, Sweden’s famous film director, said it well, “No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our feelings, deep down into the dark
rooms of our souls.”

Another way to confuse the gospel experience with an emotional experience is to etch into our mind and memories extreme emotional experiences.  Billy Graham said, after seeing The Passion: “Every time I preach or speak about the Cross, the things I saw on the screen will be on my heart and mind.”  Exactly, he could not say it more clearly, and that is the problem.  Countless millions will have James Caviezel on their minds when they worship Jesus Christ.  Those who watch this R-rated blockbuster (and it was not R-rated for nothing) will never erase the visual impact of gore and torture from their minds.  When they think of Jesus, they will have a hard time thinking of not Jesus of the gospels but of JC, James Caviezel.

Why do you think the Gospel writers never gave us a description of Jesus?  They knew the danger of the second commandment.  Every visual representation of God or Jesus is inevitably a lie.  Isn’t it interesting that Jesus of Gibson’s Passion, or Jesus of any film that you can think of, is tall, slim, and handsome.  Or otherworldly! We would do better if we looked at his bloodline.  He probably was much shorter, perhaps a receding hairline.    Perhaps his mother was unattractive!

 Why didn’t Gibson cast Danny DeVito and not James Caviezel in the leading role?

For the first four centuries after Christ, the church did not use visual representations of Jesus; they relied on the preaching of the Word.  The Passion is in essence, an animated crucifix.  If this is the way God wanted us to visualize the importance of the death of Christ, why wasn’t the Bible more graphic, more descriptive?

 Eight. How should Adventists look at their window of opportunity?  Let us not be misunderstood: It IS their window of opportunity.  When people are talking about Jesus and the crucifixion, it IS their opportunity to tell them the truth about the Passion.  Adventists do that by telling them Why He died, not only How he died.

First, they won’t fall into the trap of drinking the wine of confusion, whether from Catholic cups or Protestant.  The truth about God and His thoughts for this world should go through the head on the way to the heart, rather than the other way around.  It may not be, at first, what TV-soaked young and old may think they want because they are oriented to stretching their imagination through drama and symbols.  But it will be the only biblical way for getting truth about God or about human beings.

Would Adventists really be missing a great opportunity?  Yes, if they do not take the opportunity to declare the reasons why Jesus died.  It may be their best opportunity in a hundred years to explain the core error in Roman Catholicism and much of Protestant theology.

It seems that only Adventist Christians can present the larger picture of what was going on in the Garden and on Calvary.  And it seems that Mel Gibson saw more clearly than most theologians the interaction between Good and Evil, between God and Satan during this frightful hour in world history.  The Passion pulled the curtain back on the real controversy between God and Satan that has been affecting the plight of men and women since Creation. The intense, slasher horror, drama of Christ’s scourging interplayed with the even more significant drama of Satan being highlighted as the principal antagonist.  This was not merely a story of the Jews or the Romans against one Man they called Jesus.  It was a remarkable exposure of the real forces in mortal combat—Christ and Satan!

Think of Judas, staggering from his betrayal, and menaced by demon children with pointy teeth and milky eyes[24].

Gibson’s ability to track on one side that “pale, hooded female figure” that whispers Satanic temptations and on the other the continuing focus on Mary is enormously significant.[25] Then he links the slithering snake from under the robe of this hooded tempter with Genesis 3:15 as Jesus crushes the snake’s head with his sandaled heel.  How many viewers caught this important metaphor of this Great Controversy?

Think of the drama as Satan, the hooded female, glides through the crowd as Jesus climbs towards Calvary.  Mary, on the other side of the road, trying to reach Jesus, locks eyes with Satan, as “determined as Satan is smug.”[26]

At a January screening at Willow Creek in Illinois, Gibson explained why he used a female figure to portray evil. Evil, he said, “takes on the form of beauty.  It is almost beautiful.. . . . Evil masquerades, but if your antennae are up, you’ll detect it.”[27]  Would that more theologians would say all this as well!

David Neff, in speaking to Gibson about his inclusion of this Good versus Evil standoff, said: “That’s the big picture, isn’t it?”  Gibson replied: “The big realms are slugging it out.  We’re just the meat in the sandwich. And for some reason, we’re worth it. I don’t know why, but we are.”[28]

Gibson reflected this spiritual battle throughout the making of the film: “The closer you are to a breakthrough point, the more vigorous it gets, so that you know when the opposition is at its greatest, you’re close and you have to keep pressing on.”[29]

But in recognizing that the “big picture” in the Passion is bigger than the horrific thrashing Jesus experienced on that awful “good” Friday, we must ask further questions.  If the Great Controversy is more than a personal battle between Christ and Satan or between good and evil in the abstract, how would human beings know who wins?  What is the Controversy all about?  How does the Controversy affect men and women individually?

In summary, the biblical overview of the Controversy begins in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) and ends with the mighty declaration that God is “just and true in all Your ways” (Revelation 15:3; see also 19:2).  This Controversy over the integrity of God—His fairness and His unselfish love—is reviewed in Revelation 12 beginning with the “war . . . in heaven” between “Michael and his angels . . . and the dragon and his angels. . . . So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil, and Satan, who deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:7-9).  Jesus faced off with the Devil in the wilderness experience (Matthew 4), called him a “murderer from the beginning. . . . a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44, 45). The apostles frequently mentioned Satan’s efforts to frustrate them (Acts 5:6; 26:18; Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 7:5; 2 Corinthians 2:11; 11:14; 12:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:9;1 Timothy 1:20; 5:15).

The biblical record covering the life and death of Jesus vindicated God’s character and government in the Controversy begun in heaven and finally resolved on earth. Jesus could honestly say that Satan “has nothing in Me” (John 14:30).  Pilate repeated the judgment of Christ’s contemporaries, “I find no fault in Him” (John 19:6). This leads us to the fundamental question that Gibson’s Passion failed to provide: 

Why did Jesus die?  His groaning began long before Calvary.  He was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).  Think of His agony in Gethsemane when blood oozed from his pores. He would have died in the Garden if “an angel” had not “strengthened Him” (Luke 22:44). But it was not physical pain that caused His sweating unto death in the Garden.  And physical pain did not break His heart on Calvary.  He did not die to pay off God so He wouldn’t be offended any longer with sinners. (After all, God, the Father, “was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19.) And He did not die only to display to the world how much He loved sinners.

Jesus died to shut Satan’s mouth.  The controversy was over who was right and who could best run the universe.  Jesus, as a human being “in every respect (or, “in all things”), had to be made like His brethren” in order to rightly become our “merciful and faithful High Priest” (Hebrews 2:17).  Satan had said for thousands of years that God was too selfish, too unbending, too arrogant and severe, with His creation, especially in demanding that everyone should do everything His way or else.

Jesus died to show the universe that God never asked anything from His creation that He Himself would not do, that He never asked the impossible, that love was the only path to real freedom, health, and happiness.  And He died to show the universe that the wages of sin is death, not the death of sleep before the resurrection, but the awful awareness of what it means to be God-forsaken.  Indeed, the Passion misses why He died.

The real Jesus was not terrified by His physical pain.  Darkness overwhelmed Him, He was within a millimeter of becoming unglued (Ps 22:14, 14). Everything about Him shouted that He had been a failure. The cable that bound Him to sanity was only a nanometer wide—but through it flowed a millivolt of faith.  He had no way of trusting His experience.  Everywhere He looked as He hung on the cross, it seemed like He had been a colossal failure! The only thread of hope He had was His mental catalogue of what He had learned about His Father during the last 33 years. And in that personal confidence He could finally say, “It is finished.” He had done what He came to do—to reflect the honor and fairness of His Heavenly Father.

But Jesus made plain that the Controversy was not finished when He died or when He ascended to heaven. He knew the Controversy would continue until Planet Earth became aware of the significance of His life and death.  Further, He made plain that the continuing vindication of the power and character of God’s judgment would be lived out in the Christian Church, that the end of the world and His return would be contingent on how well, how clearly, the choice between God’s ways and Satan’s ways is revealed to the world (see Matthew 24:14).  In other words, God will not bring final judgment on this planet until everyone alive in one generation has had a fair opportunity to hear His salvation offer and be empowered by His Spirit.

In John 17:18, Jesus summarized in a few words the mission of His followers: “As You [Father in heaven] sent Me into the world I also have sent them into the world” (see also John 20:21).  When this assignment is nearing its fulfillment, John forecasted that “the dragon [Satan] was enraged with the woman [the church], and he went to make war with the rest [Gr. Remnant] of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17; see also 14:12).

No wonder Peter was so explicit in his last letter to his fellow church members.  He could not be plainer: “Since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat. . . . Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found in Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Peter 3:11,12, 14).

The evil that zeros in on God’s loyal followers in the end of the end of time will create a time of trouble like this world has never seen—and that is more than imagination can put into words (Daniel 12:1).  The forces of evil driving those who are rejecting the last messages of warning and invitation will create a worldwide movement to “cause as many as would not worship” the human systems that promote conflict with God’s ways “to be killed” (Revelation 13:15).  That ominous thundercloud is hovering on the horizon.

White said it well: “It would be needful for His church in all succeeding ages to make His death for the sins of the world a subject of deep thought and study. Every fact connected with it should be verified beyond a doubt.”[30]

In summary, the Passion does not open up Christ’s unspeakable spiritual anguish that far outweighed His gruesome physical torture.  Nor did it follow Jesus to where He is now as humanity’s Heavenly High Priest.

But Mel Gibson did force us to think again about our Lord’s death as the center of human history.  He forces us to ask the big question: what is more important—why He died or how He died?  After everything can be said, and before I know all the answers, I do know one simple truth: when Jesus died, He had Herb Douglass on His mind.  He was dying for me. 

[1] “Mel Gibson—The Passion,” http://davidmacd.com/catholic/mel_gibson_passion.htm 

[3] E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, 83. 

[4] EWTN (Roman Catholic Television Network), January 13, 2004; “The Passion of Mel Gibson, Terry Mattingly, Scripps Howard News Service, January 21, 2004.

[5] The New York Yorker, September 15, 2003.

[6]  Zenit.org . Rome, February.18, 2004

[7] Archbishop John Foley, President Pontifical Council for Social Communications, The Vatican—Catholic News www.cathnews.com/news/309/93.php

[8] Zenit.org. Rome, December 18, 2003.

[9] www.Outreach.com.  Many more Protestant and Catholic leaders are here quoted.

[10] David Neff, “The Passion of Mel Gibson,” Christianity Today, March 2004; Russell Hittinger, William K Warren Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Tulsa, www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0403/opinion/hittingerlev.html; Vittorio Messori, Zenit.org. Rome, February 18, 2004.

[11] “The term “Venerable” means the Catholic Church considers her a candidate for canonization as a ‘Saint.’ Many theologians believe that during her life, God gave her extensive visions of the past, the present and the future. . . . The preface says they are ‘at the very utmost the Lenten meditations of a devout nun.’” http://davidmacd.com/catholic/mel_gibson_passion.htm  

[12] The New Yorker, September 15, 2003.

[14] EWT Network, reported by Terry Mattingly, Scripps Howard News Service, January 21, 2004

[15] Ibid.

[16] Interview with National Catholic Register, January 30, 2004.

[17] “Mel Gibson’s ‘Christ’ Reveals Crucifixion,” Newsmax, Sunday, January 25, 2004.

[18] Father Somerville, http://spiritdaily.com/somerville,htm. March 7, 2004.

[19] Interview with Caviezel by Catholic priest, Mario Knezovic, Radio “Mir”

[20] Christianity Today,  March 2004.

[22] “Churches Make ‘Stunning’ Show of Support for Gibson’s ‘Passion,’” Newsmax, February 5, 2004.

[23] E. G. White, The Desire of Ages, p 671.

[24] “Good and Evil Locked in Violent Showdown,” The New York Times,  January 25, 2004.

[25] Neff, op. cit. Gibson said: “The woman we cast is very beautiful.  I didn’t want the stereotypical devil withhorns. I don’t believe that is how the devil presents himself/herself. He/she is very seductive and doesn’t put out signposts announcing who he/she is.” http://davidmacd.com/catholic/mel_gibson_passion.htm 

[26] Russell Hittinger, Professor Catholic Studies at the University of Tulsa, www.firstthings.com/

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

This Site Last Updated: Friday, October 10, 2014 03:20 PM
Copyright © 2000-2014 Herbert E. Douglass. All rights reserved.

blog counter