Thursday, February 19, 2004

The Church tries to stop Jews from getting killed over Gibson film. Or at least cool down the passions likely to be inflamed by The Passion of the Christ. It's the least it can do, given the Church's historic legacy of anti-Semitism, as outlined in James Carroll's Constatine's Sword and other works. The most complete and balanced look at the theological controversies surrounding the film are at Beliefnet.com. But the troubling elements of the film are easily matched by the Holocaust-denying statements of Gibson's father, a leader in the same reactionary Catholic sect that Gibson belongs to. My bet: there will be violence aimed at Jews when this film is aired in European and Eastern European countries with deep legacies of anti-Semitism, such as France and Russia. The European Union is worried enough about the renewal of anti-Semitism to launch a new initiative targeting it. The Gibson film doesn't help.Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Church tries to cool row over Mel Gibson's film about Christ

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