Skip to content

Secularist 'neoconservative' and the Passion

by Matt Abbott

I tend to shake my head when I hear someone described as a "neoconservative." A secularist "neoconservative," to me, is the same as a "fiscal conservative." In other words, secularist neoconservatives/fiscal conservatives are, in reality, not conservatives at all; they are liberals, albeit a bit more sophisticated in their arguments than the ordinary, run-of-the-mill liberal. They support Republicans insofar as Republicans promote a particular type of foreign policy, or a particular view of economics.

But secularist neoconservatives seemingly have little or no concern about the moral law and the evils that are destroying our culture - abortion, contraception, assisted suicide, pornography, and the homosexual agenda. And, for all practical purposes, they are anti-Christian.

These neoconservatives, like their liberal counterparts, have a problem with Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ.' The film is anti-Semitic, they assert. Oh, yes - they also say it is pornographic and sadomasochistic (!).

Columnists Charles Krauthammer and William Safire are considered neoconservatives. Both have blasted Gibson and the film. As have Scott Shore and Lev Navrozov.

In a March 19 column on, Navrozov states the following:

".I wrote the March 5 column ["Dissenting View on Gibson's Passion"] not to disprove or disparage this kind of mysticism [that Christ died to save us from our sins], but to show that Gibson's film restores what the Catholic Church rejected 40 years ago (Vatican II) and what had been a cause of, or a pretext for, anti-Semitism for about two millennia... So, Gibson is the new pope of the Catholic Church, and his movie is the new Renaissance of Christian art, complete with Bach and Michelangelo!.. A Catholic who rejects the Catholic Church of the past 40 years is not a Catholic. Hence Gibson, his father.and those who approve Gibson's film, running counter to Vatican II, are not Catholics..

"Forty years ago, the Catholic Church moved along the [Lev] Tolstoyan path. By announcing that Jews did NOT crucify Christ, Vatican II implied that the whitewashing in the Gospels of Pilate and shifting the blame at Jews or THE Jews is not THE Truth, for it is important to keep to the spirit of Christ's teaching, and not the letter. It is in the spirit of Christ's teaching not to hate, but to love Jews, who gave to the world St. Mary, Christ and his apostles, as well as the Old Testament (the bulk of the Holy Bible). Those who consider themselves Catholics, but reject Vatican II and accept everything written in the Bible as THE Truth have been thus nourishing the denial of Christ. This makes them resort to anti-Semitism in order to stop this denial. Thus the vicious circle continues, while anti-Semitism may become one of the factors leading to Nazism, unless the Chinese nano-annihilation of the West comes earlier."

A couple of points here. First of all, Navrozov insinuates that the Catholic Church, prior to Vatican II, taught that the Jews were collectively responsible for Christ's crucifixion. Not so. The teaching of Vatican II on the subject does not in any way contradict previous Catholic teaching; it merely reaffirms that the Jews were not collectively responsible for the crucifixion. It is our sins that killed Christ. Period.

Navrozov also seems to suggest that those who approve of Gibson's film must have a problem with Vatican II. This, of course, is preposterous. Some Catholics reject the Council, but most do not. (It should be noted that Catholic liberals are the ones who often misrepresent the Council's teachings.) And the many, many Protestant Christians who have seen and appreciated the film obviously do not recognize Vatican II as such; if they did, they would be Catholic.

If Gibson wanted 'The Passion of the Christ' to appeal only to "pre-Vatican II" Catholics, it would almost certainly have been a total flop. But Gibson marketed the film to Protestants as much as he did to Catholics. And I'm glad he did so.

Finally, Navrozov fatuously states that those Catholics who "accept everything written in the Bible as THE Truth have been thus nourishing the denial of Christ."

Huh? You mean if a Christian believes in the inerrancy of Sacred Scripture - as he or she should - it is "nourishing the denial of Christ"? Navrosov is basically saying that authentic Christians aren't truly Christian; rather, they're anti-Christian. And, of course, they're anti-Semites.

Such modernist nonsense!

Even "Vatican II" Catholics, like me, believe that Sacred Scripture teaches the truth. To quote the Catechism of the Catholic Church (which quotes extensively from Vatican II documents): "The inspired books [of Sacred Scripture] teach the truth. 'Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures' (no. 107).

But is 'The Passion of the Christ' anti-Semitic? Not according to "Vatican II" Catholic Dr. Joaquín Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See's press office, who said that the film is "a cinematographic transcription of the Gospels. If it were anti-Semitic, the Gospels would also be so."

Indeed. And that is the consensus of the vast majority of Catholics and Protestants.

I would submit that the aforementioned neoconservative critics, like their liberal counterparts, are attempting to mask their contempt for the truths of Christianity and the moral law by using sophistry to ridicule Gibson, his supporters, and the film itself.

Maybe one day they'll come to their senses.


(Matt C. Abbott is the former executive director of the Illinois Right to Life Committee and the former director of public affairs for the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League, respectively. He is also a contributor to,,,,,,,, "The Wanderer" Catholic newspaper,, and He can be reached at


Catholic Online IL, US
Matt Abbott - Author, 000 000-0000



Passion, movie

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

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.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

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

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
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

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.