Theologian Bruno Forte on 'The Passion'
If It Were Anti-Semitic, It Would Also Be Anti-Petrine, He Says
ROME, APRIL 12, 2004 (Zenit) - The theologian who directed this year's Lenten retreat for the Pope says the accusation of anti-Semitism against "The Passion of the Christ" is unfounded.
"One must not exaggerate in trying to make this film a testimony of faith, although undoubtedly it makes one appreciate the depth of the Gospels, and confirms that Christ loved us to the point of death," said Monsignor Bruno Forte in statements on Vatican Radio last week.
Monsignor Forte is a member of the International Theological Commission and a professor at the School of Theology of Southern Italy.
The theologian noted the criticism of excessive violence that some have made against Mel Gibson's movie. But he insisted that the film's focus on the suffering of Christ in his passion "is not historically unfounded."
"If we think of the 'flagellatio' (flagellation), we must remember that it was an atrocious punishment, as the flesh was torn from the condemned person," Monsignor Forte said. "I think that behind this there is the option to explain what Angela of Foligno said: 'Christ was not joking in his love for us.'"
"It is an aspect that is sometimes missed in certain, more-sweetened representations of the Gospels," he added.
"And this love for the flesh of the Son of God, which, as Tertullian said, 'is the foundation of our salvation,' can be the positive inspiration of Gibson's decision, although the result at the level of image might be considered by some as excessive, as too much blood is seen," the theologian said.
Monsignor Forte disagreed with criticism that said the film could foment anti-Semitism. "This is something that is absolutely unfounded," he said.
"In fact, the film emphasizes the responsibility of the Jewish leaders of the time in this politico-judicial conspiracy," he observed.
"But at the same time, it shows Pilate's ambiguity, the responsibilities of the Romans, one might even say the 'misery' of Peter," the theologian added. "Therefore, if it were anti-Semitic, one would also have to say that it is anti-Roman and, paradoxically, that it is 'anti-Petrine,'" or against the papacy, since Peter was the first Pope.
The theologian noted that the movie is certainly the product of "a director who says openly that he wishes to give witness to his faith, and this is certainly a considerable fact. But we must be cautious before saying that the film is just a simple testimony of faith."
"Having said this, we are faced with a product that has led many people in the world to think again about the passion of Christ," Monsignor Forte said. "I would see in this an analogy with the medieval sacred plays."
"I think that in this connection, the passion of Christ can also make us feel, especially with the testimony of forgiveness that Jesus offers his persecutors and of his love until the end, an extraordinary force of redemption and hope," he said.
Monsignor Forte added that the film "has led me to appreciate even more the narrative sobriety and depth of the Gospels. Above all, it makes one feel that Christ is the one who has really loved us to the end; that in this love of his to the end he has revealed himself as the Son of God who came to save us."
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Passion, Mel Gibson, Movie, Review
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, February 21, 2018
- Cleaning products could be damaging to your health HD Video
- Pope Francis accepts bishop's resignation
- British Court rules: Bermuda's actions to defend marriage will stand
- Are your cleaning products making you sick?
- Daily Reading for Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 HD Video
- St. Severian: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, February 21, 2018
- St. Patrick HD
- Deadly Flu Season: Vaccine only 36 percent effective during worst season in years HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education