Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Bookmark and Share

Revealing Quotes from Advocates of 
Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ"


1. On the Damage of Watching a Man Act the Lord Jesus

a. Billy Graham (Arminian ecumenist): "No one who views this film's compelling imagery will ever be the same." "Every time I preach or speak about the Cross, the things I saw on the screen will be on my heart and mind."

b. Cal Thomas (syndicated columnist): "Jim Caviezel, who plays Jesus, with tender understatement may be the best Jesus ever (not counting the original)" (Tribune Media, 5 August, 2003).

c. Roman Catholic Cardinal Francis George Archbishop of Chicago: "I’ve never thought of the crucifixion with the images that I received while watching this." "I’ll never read the words the same way again" (Chicago Sun Times, 3 August, 2003).


2. On the Film’s Mariolatry

a. Dr. Mark Miravalle (Professor of Theology and Mariology, Franciscan University of Steubenville):

Throughout the film, it is only Jesus and Mary who see their mutual adversary Satan ... During the way of the cross, Mary slides her way through the crowd to accompany her tortured son carrying his cross when she spots Satan as he parallels her movements on the other side of the crowd. She recognizes her antagonist, looks at him for a moment, and then refixes her gaze on her suffering son.
After the scourging, Mary is inspired to soak up the blood of the Saviour, splattered throughout the area of the pillar, with linens. She alone knows that each drop of this divine blood is supernaturally redemptive.
Many times during the savage process of the passion (for example, at the scourging, during the way of the cross, at Calvary), it is the glance of his Mother that gives Jesus the human support that strengthens him to proceed to the next stage of suffering. After one fall on the Via Dolorosa, Mary crawls next to her mutilated son and re-assures him: "I’m here." Jesus regains some focus …
As Jesus, who is affixed to the cross, is being raised up from the ground, Mary, whose hands clutched the rocky ground as her sons’ hands were nailed to the cross, rises from her kneeling position in proportion to her son’s being raised on the cross. She then stands upright as her son is now upright on the gibbet.
After some time, Mary approaches the cross … She kisses Jesus’ bloodied foot, and pleads for permission to die with him at this climactic moment of redemption: "Flesh of my flesh, Heart of my heart, my Son. Let me die with you!" … As the fruit of her sufferings with Jesus, Mary becomes the spiritual mother of all beloved disciples, and of all humanity redeemed at Calvary.
In The Passion of the Christ, Gibson has accomplished a Marian feat no pastor or theologian could achieve in the same way. He has given the world through its most popular visual medium a portrayal of a real human mother, whose heart is inseparably united to her son’s heart. This mother’s heart is pierced to its very depths as she spiritually shares in the brutal immolation of her innocent son. Hers is an immaculate heart which silently endures and offers this suffering with her son for the same heavenly purpose: to buy back the human race from sin.
Mary co-redemptrix has been given her first international film debut in a supporting role, and it’s a hit.

b. Joe Sobran (political commentator): "If we're looking for Gibson's motives, we should start with the role of Mary in the story ... She is shown, with the utmost compassion, witnessing and sharing Jesus' torment. We see a flashback of her consoling him as a boy when he falls down, just as she consoles him when he carries the Cross. All this adds emotional depth and spiritual meaning."


3. On the Film’s Romanism

a. U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (Office of Film and Broadcasting): "The Passion ... is a composite of the Passion narratives in the four Gospels embroidered with non-scriptural traditions as well as the imaginative inspiration of the filmmaker. The result is a deeply personal work of devotional art—a moving Stations of the Cross, so to speak."

b. Patrick J. Buchanan (political commentator): "Gibson's Passion gives us a Lenten masterpiece, a beautiful moving work of art. To cradle Catholics who can recite the lines of each episode before they are uttered, it is faithful to the Gospels, to the Stations of the Cross, to the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary" (on WorldNetDaily).

c. Tom Allen (Roman Catholic editor and president of Catholic Exchange): "I noticed early on the fervour with which so many Protestant communities were preparing to use the film for evangelistic purposes ... the irony is that [they] cannot adequately speak to many of the issues and questions the film evokes because the film is so distinctly Marian, so obviously Eucharistic, so quintessentially Catholic ... The film ... links the sacrifice of the cross with the sacrifice of the Mass. In doing so it faithfully depicts ... Catholic teaching" (from the Introduction to A Guide to The Passion: 100 Questions About the Passion of The Christ).