The Passion: anti-Semitism & violence

By Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. (articles ) | Feb 04, 2004

The daughter of Holocaust survivors is the actress who portrayed Mary in The Passion. She says there is nothing anti-semitic in the film. "If there is a message, it's more about how people can be manipulated by their leaders, Maia Morgenstern said."

Meanwhile, Barbara Nicolosi discusses the graphic violence of the movie and the reaction by many people who say they could not stomach it. I'm not sure I agree with her completely. She compares the reaction to those of the 10 out of 11 apostles who did not witness the crucifixion for themselves and says it was "proof of an imperfect love that ultimately placed their own safety and sensibilities over following Jesus." Let's keep in mind that we are not asking people to witness the actual Crucifixion, but one artistic representation of it. Gibson's version could conceivably be more violent and gory than the actual event. We have no way of knowing. Certainly, none of us were called by God to witness the real Crucifixion ourselves-- otherwise we would have been born 2,000 years ago near Jerusalem. So we should not judge anyone too harshly for determining for themselves that seeing the movie might do harm to their prayer life or cause disturbances in them that have nothing to do with avoiding the consequences of their own sin. After all, we don't want devout and faithful people to become physically ill at the image of the Crucifixion that pops into their head after seeing the movie. We are called to meditate on the truths of Christ's sacrifice, but not necessarily the gore and violence of the sacrifice.

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  • Posted by: - Feb. 06, 2004 12:06 PM ET USA

    I don't blame anyone for not having the stomach for a realistic accounting of the Passion[as relistic as anyone can make it]. but what I cannot understand is for people to say that because of the violence it is wrong to see it by stating their objection to the violence they imply that there is something wrong with anybody else who sees it.I think we should promote this film for those who wish to see it. I recommened The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 06, 2004 10:26 AM ET USA

    The trouble it seems is that the whole issue of "The Passion" is completely politicized. Liberals are against it, so we have to be for it. The "Way of the Cross" is penitential. A theater is not a church; are people going to watch the movie on their knees? Or are they going to be sipping Pepsi and eating popcorn? Is the ending hopeful or does a graphic movie like this tend to leave some in despair?

  • Posted by: - Feb. 05, 2004 9:44 PM ET USA

    The only danger we might expect from movie is that we actually have some idea of what He suffered. Certainly His mental suffering before and during His passion was far greater than the physical torture He received. The Passion will only give us a visual concept. Could anyone conceive what it might be like to anticipate such suffering for 33 years? Our human hearts will only begin to come to grips with what we have done.

  • Posted by: visions - Feb. 05, 2004 8:46 AM ET USA

    In a few weeks lent will begin and we most certainly will be meditate on the passion and crucifixion of Our Lord. His death on the cross for our sins remains a mystery for all to contemplate. I believe that our sinfulness is really what disturbs us not the gore and violence that certainly accompanied Our Lord's death. Also think of Our Lady seeing her Son put to death. May we use this upcoming lenten time do draw closer to both Our Lord and His Blessed Mother.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 04, 2004 11:00 PM ET USA

    I read an article by a physician on the horrors of crucifixion (not to mention theprior flogging). It isn't exactly the neat corpus on the plastic/metal cross that now hangs in some of our churches. Yet, why the outrage about Gibson's film when few have seen it? Are we not free adults (not according to the Massachusetts' Supreme Court)? Yes, let's do meditate on the gore and the violence! Did Christ suffer the agony in the garden over sacrifice or the pain involved?

  • Posted by: - Feb. 04, 2004 10:57 PM ET USA

    That's precisely my point, Don. We aren't seeing precisely what Jesus suffered because there is no complete record of it. What we will see is one man's interepretation. For myself, I plan to see the movie and I think I will be edified for it, but I don't blame anyone who can't bear to watch.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 04, 2004 10:29 PM ET USA

    Where has Barbara been the past thirty years. She must have missed the "Chain Saw Massacures"'Terminator movies . I hear people that have seen the film The Passion of Christ describe it as brutal. Crucifixions were meant too be brutal.It was reserved for the most heinious criminals which is probably why it is barely mentioned in the Gospels. The Apostles may have been ashamed to write about it. I believe that when people see what Jesus really suffered there will be a return to the faith

  • Posted by: - Feb. 04, 2004 7:50 PM ET USA

    Rather than shrink from the horrors of a powerful depiction of the Crucifixion, perhaps it would be helpful to meditate on why Jesus Christ chose to suffer and die in such a "gory" manner.