The ADL has issued an online guide, Things Teens Should Know about Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” Most of it is fair enough, but not when it comes to the issue of whether the film accurately reflects Church teachings. Of the Gibson movie, the guide says, “His film does not adhere to these [Vatican II’s] guidelines.”
Catholic League president William Donohue disagrees:
“The ADL has failed in a) altering the movie’s script b) getting the Vatican to denounce the movie c) getting the U.S. bishops to denounce the film, and d) getting a postscript. Now it is instructing the public that ‘The Passion of the Christ’ contravenes Church teachings. We’re getting used to the chutzpah, but the ADL’s latest salvo deserves an answer.
“The movie has been heralded by such Catholic heavyweights as Pope John Paul II (yes, he did say, ‘It is as it was’); Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy; Most Reverend John Foley, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; Reverend Augustine Di Noia, Undersecretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago; Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, Australia; Most Reverend Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Denver; Most Reverend John Donoghue, Archbishop of Atlanta; Reverend Richard John Neuhaus, Editor-in-Chief, First Things; Reverend Thomas Rosica, CEO, Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation; and theologian Michael Novak.
“According to the ADL, all these authorities are wrong. Do those at the ADL really think anyone will believe them?
“Finally, let’s put one thing to rest: 1965 was not the first time the Catholic Church condemned collective guilt of the Jews for the death of Christ. Indeed, the Catechismthat the ADL so likes on this subject quotes a passage from the Council of Trent that also condemns collective guilt. And it was written in the mid-1500s!”