The Passion: anti-Semitism & violence

By Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. ( articles - email ) | 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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