Thursday, February 26, 2004


On the Charlie Rose show last night (Wednesday), there was a discussion of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Ght general reaction of the four guests was negative (very negative by David Denby "two hour snuff film" and Christopher Hitchens "fascist"). One of the guests was Jon Meacham of Newsweek, who wrote a recent cover-story Who Killed Jesus?, and he made the following point:
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has established a policy for protraying the Passion. It includes the following:

  • Don't have Jewish high priests dressed in black.

  • Don't have the Jews shown as a chanting mob.

  • Don't show Pilate as a passive, sensitive, not-particularly strong ruler
According to Meacham, Gibson violated those advisories. (Yes, we know that Gibson is not part of the established Catholic Church, but it shows what the USCCB thinks should be done.)

NOTE: The official movie review by the USCCB is strangely neutral in tone. Go figure.

ADDENDUM: If you are a fan of John Dominic Crossan (we are), check out his essay on about the source of Gibson's ideas: The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the Meditations of Anne Catherine Emmerich.


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