A Vatican sermon made a veiled criticism of Mel Gibson's controversial movie The Passion Of The Christ in a church service this weekend (13-14MAR04)

FATHER RANIERO CANTALAMESSA told a congregation in the holy city, that current criticism surrounding the film about the last 12 hours of JESUS CHRIST's life would be acceptable, if the film spreads the belief that all Jews were responsible for the death of Christ.

In a Lent sermon, Father Cantalamessa said "if it restricts itself to showing an influential group of Jews" were to blame, then there was no basis for anti-Semetic comments about the movie.

He continued, "The Jewish people, as such, are not responsible for the death of Christ.

"The Passion is a film to be criticised if it seeks to advance the belief that all Jews at the time and in succeeding generations are responsible for the death of Christ.

"But the film cannot be accused of betraying the real story if it restricts itself to showing an influential group of Jews at the time playing a determining role."

The film, starring Jim Caviezel as Christ, opens in The Vatican's neighbouring Italy during Holy Week from 7 April (04).

14/03/2004 20:54