Quotes from Advocates of
"The Passion of The Christ"
1. On the Damage of Watching a Man Act the Lord
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,
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
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.
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
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
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.
co-redemptrix has been given her first international film debut in a
supporting role, and it’s a hit.
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).