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DID HE OR DIDN'T HE?

By Fr. Wilson ( articles ) | Jan 22, 2004

Word was that the Holy Father had seen the Mel Gibson movie on the Passion, was moved by it, and had said, "It is as it was." Then, an unnamed Vatican official denied that. But the story was repeated, so the Pope's personal secretary now denies it.

Yet apparently, the Gibson people had an email from Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the papal spokesman, confirming the quote. Which email N-V now disavows.

Peggy Noonan's not amused by this little tale of intrigue, the significance of which is far more than at first it seems -- having to do, as it does, with how information gets out of the Vatican and how trustworthy it really is. If the original story was true, then the Gibson people are really being hung out to dry, made to look as though they fabricated a papal quote to advance their movie. If that's what is going on, it's reprehensible, and jaundiced Vatican watchers will be saying with a sigh... "It is as it was."

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